The late Captain Curt Whiticar ranks as the “dean of custom boat building.” A Stuart, Florida transplant from New Jersey, he grew up fishing with his dad, known as Captain Add-- a charterboat captain and oysterman-- and his two brothers. The kids spent summers fishing on Delaware Bay and winters on the St. Lucie River.
In 1921, Whiticar used his profits from delivering newspapers and painting names on boat hulls to design and build a 14-foot skiff. He founded Whiticar Boat Works, designing and building six boats by 1931. At 23, he designed and built the 33-foot single-screw fishing vessel Shearwater. It was built to overcome local inlet problems and the demands of offshore fishing and it formed the backbone of the today's Whiticar sport fisherman. Whiticar built boats for his father and brothers which they skippered as the popular Whiticar charter fleet in Stuart.
The Whiticar family was heavily involved in founding the Stuart Sailfish Club in the 1940s and created an incentive program for club members to release sailfish. Whiticar retired from full-time boat building in 1986, but Whiticar Boat Works is still run by his family members.