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Shipbuilding History

U.S. yacht builders active in wartime

This page, while tracking many recreational boats, documents wartime naval construction. In both world wars, leading yacht builders made a significant contribution to the war effort in these yards, of which there were at least 36 with significant records.  In WWI, 16 yacht builders switched their capacity to the construction of sub chasers, a type of boat that was obviously well suited to their capabilities.  In WWII, the same 16, plus another 20, were involved, not only building sub chasers but also turning out tremendous numbers of minesweepers, tugs and other small vessels, in both steel and wood.  The tables in this section are far from complete, some only covering the yard's wartime output, and not always that much, because neither yacht construction nor wartime construction of small vessels are well documented.  Note also that these are yards that were primarily yacht builders: dozens more yards built barges and other small vessels with simple hull forms.  In addition, many more small yards engaged in converting existing small boats for wartime service and in repair work. If anyone has any corrections or additions to this table, please send them to

# Company Builder since Location State
Yacht Builders Who Were Active in Both WWI and WWII
1 Chance Marine Construction (later Annapolis Yacht Yard, John Trumpy & Sons) 1912 Annapolis MD
2 Consolidated SB (formerly Gas Engine & Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co.) 1885 Morris Heights NY
3 Davis & Sons, M. M. (later Cruis-Along Boats) 1883 Solomons MD
4 Grebe & Co., Henry C. (formerly Great Lakes BB) 1915 Chicago IL
5 Herreshoff Mfg (powered boats and yachts) 1863 Bristol RI
6 Herreshoff Mfg (sailing boats and yachts) 1863 Bristol RI
7 Hutchinson's Boat Works 1902 Alexandria Bay NY
8 Jacob, Robert (formerly David Carll SY and Piepgras & Co, later Consolidated SB) 1850s City Island NY
9 Kyle & Purdy (formerly City Island SB, later T. A. Kyle Shipyard 1890 City Island NY
10 Lawley & Sons, George 1874 Neponset MA
11 Luders Marine Construction 1908 Stamford CT
12 Matthews Boat Company 1890 Port Clinton OH
13 Mathis Yachts (later John Trumpy & Sons) 1909 Camden NJ
14 Nevins, Henry B 1907 City Island NY
15 New York Yacht, Launch & Engine Company 1900s Morris Heights NY
16 Wood, B. F. (later Elscot Boat and Consolidated SB) 1860 City Island NY
Additional Yacht Builders Who Were Active in WWII
17 Quincy Adams Yacht Yard (formerly F. D. Lawley) 1906 Quincy MA
18 Calderwood Yacht Yard (now Manchester Marine) 1899 Manchester MA
19 Casey Boatbuilding ? Fairhaven MA
20 Chris-Craft 1874 Algonac MI
21 Dawn Cruisers (later Wheeler Yachts) 1906 Clason Point NY
22 Dodge Boat & Plane 1922 Newport News VA
23 Fellows & Stewart 1896 San Pedro CA
24 Gamage, Harvey F. (also known as Bristol Yachtbuilding) 1924 Bristol ME
25 Goudy & Stevens 1920 East Boothbay ME
26 Kretzer Boat Works 1906 City Island NY
27 Minneford Yacht Yard 1930 City Island NY
28 Owens Yachts 1932 Baltimore MD
29 Rice Brothers Corp. 1894 East Boothbay ME
30 Richardson Boat 1909 N. Tonawanda NY
31 Robinson Marine Construction 1925 Benton Harbor MI
32 Palmer Scott & Co. 1935 New Bedford MA
33 Seabrook Yacht 1938 Seabrook TX
34 Stephens Marine (formerly Stephens Bros.) 1902 Stockton CA
35 United Boat Service 1942 City Island NY
36 Vinyard Shipbuilding (later Delaware Marine) 1896 Milford DE


These shipbuilding pages are part of an ongoing project; new material and data is added regularly.

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Revised: 1 March 2023