Butler Built Boats – The Boats


Butler boat circa 1939 built for a Mr. Ashburn

What a wonderful portfolio of some of the nicest boats on the bay. And they all came from one place, one family, and one soul. The Butlers. This family has had generations of craftsmen and simple humility all designed and built into timeless boats.

Butler boat #1, round stern built by Samuel O. Butler

I am not sure this collection has ever been seen all together and for sure there are a ton, couple tons, Okay 100’s of tons more out there. Especially in the small work skiff category. According to my pal Charles Williams, “owning a Butler Built Skiff with a red johnson on it was every boys dream here.” So today we get to take in some of the history from the New Global HQ, and an amazing family. The Butlers!

Butler boat 1940 for Richard Smith

Butler boat – FLORAN built for Reed Randolph 1947

Butler boat  built for Franklin Schaum 1951

Butler boat mid 1950’s

Butler boat –  DOTTY-O built 1956 for Olis Headley

Butler boat – A C LADY (ZEPHYR) built 1958

Butler boat – JANET-O built for Leland Robinson 1959

Butler boat – HIAWATHA built for Wallace Lewis 1964

Yes, this is the same boat we did a video on over a year ago and is still going strong. Here is the video as a reminder

Fleeton from Wray Sinclair on Vimeo.

Butler boat  LOUISE-B bult for Jessie Brimer 1966

Butler boat SOUTH WIND built for John Shelton 1967

Butler boat launching MISS LUCILLE 1983 built for Calib Williamson

Butler boat  ROBIN SUE 1987 & MISS LUCILLE 1984

Butler boat  KATHY LEE built for Lee Pruitt 1990

Butler boat MISS BETTY built for Jimmy Gaskins 1991

Butler boat – DAISEY MAE built for Ewing Wall 1999

Butler boat  IRIS MARIE built for Hudnall Haynie 2003

Butler boat  18ft sailing skiff for Rob Schindler 2006

Butler boat  12ft rowing skiff 2007

Butler boat  outboard roundstern 2007 for Joya Hoyt

Butler boat 21ft deadrise built for Dick Doyle 2009

Butler boat Center console built for Tom Sentz 2014

Butler boat 21ft & 18ft built for T L Berry 1983 & 1985

There are more out there and even more that have been saved over the years, and repaired, including Sweet Pea over a decade ago with a new refasted Hull. Stay tuned.


18 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Those are some GREAT looking boats!!!!!

    I smell a story coming! I thought Sweet Pea was a Rice built boat?

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great story today! What a proud history and legacy for the Butler family. The lines of all of their designs are wonderful, but the express cruisers combine east coast beauty and “big water” functionality to perfection. A special treat for me was seeing the big CC Sedan behind Daisy Mae. A different kind of boat, but what I personally grew up on. I have been enjoying your stories about the Marine Railway restoration, but today was really special!

  3. Forest Gump
    Forest Gump says:

    Very cool boats and quite a history.
    Did they build Jenny?
    Here is a picture of the guy that lettered all those boats

  4. G. Gordon Gray
    G. Gordon Gray says:

    Question, was this style of cruiser used in Cary Grant’s movie “ Father Goose”?

  5. Mark in Ohio ( sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio ( sometimes da U P) says:

    Great story! Cool pictures. What history the Butler’s have in that area. In the UP for a little while 14° yesterday morning High of 36 yesterday. Still too cold to boat.

  6. Matt
    Matt says:

    The crazy part of all this… All designed and build by eye. Talent and skill. Thats craftsmanship. Not mass produced. Custom boats that many are still working hard for the oners. Or rather custodians.

  7. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Wow! I got nothin’.
    Echo all the above comments about style, looks, craftsmanship, longevity, caretakers and more………………….

  8. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    I think my favorite is that Dick Doyle but I really like that Franklin Schaum also. All those custom designs are so amazing and the fact that they’re all built by Eye just blows my mind.

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