Since 1976 Cracker Boy Boat Works has proudly called Riviera Beach its waterfront home. Yet before the Murphy’s used it as a boatyard, it had another use for the family. Beginning in 1946 the waterfront property was used for the family construction company in many marine related projects. While building many marinas, docks and seawalls in South Florida, this waterfront was ideal for loading and unloading the necessary barges and equipment.
One day, a conversation between the Murphy brothers and Hans Peter Vollmer gave birth to the idea of the use of the property as a do-it-yourself boatyard, and a burgeoning business partnership began. Piling was put in place for travelift piers, and a 50- ton Acme lift was ordered. In the yard, a small marine store was established to service twelve storage slips. Fencing, water and electric outlets were installed. Boat chocks were made and the business opened under the management of Mr. Vollmer. The first haul out, and travelift capacity test, was Murphy’s tug named the St. Lucie.
When searching for a name that would stand-out and be recognized as a true local family business, the choice was Cracker Boy Boat Works (Florida crackers being a local nick-name referring to the colonial era Ireland/Celtic and American pioneer settlers in Florida dating back to the 1760’s).
In 1978, Cracker Boy Boat Works opened a second facility on the Fort Pierce waterfront. The Murphy’s purchased the vacant property on Taylor Creek and again transformed it from the ground up. Seawall and travelift piling were installed for a 50-ton Acme lift. Around the yard fencing began to go up, the marine store, bathrooms and shop were constructed. Boat blocks were crafted, utility outlets (water & electric) were installed, and twenty-four storage spaces were designated. The first haul out in this new facility was the ‘Saturday Child’, owned by the Peter & Ursula Vollmer.
Cracker Boy Boat Works has improved and expanded over the years, and is now an established business, known by the entire marine industry. In Riviera Beach, our travelift capacity has increased to 150 tons. We can handle boats up to 110 feet, with drafts of 20 feet. The deepwater hauling capacity in Riviera Beach has made us unique on the United States East coast and attracts racing sailboats from all over the word. The storage capacity of the Ft. Pierce yard has expanded from twenty-four to fifty spaces. The travelift capacity has increased to 75 tons, and it can haul boats up to 70 feet, with drafts of 6 feet.
Cracker Boy Boat Works’ yards are proudly “Do-It-Yourself’ and welcome owners completing their own projects. However, for those individuals that are unable to, we have excellent contractors available locally. From bottom painting to mechanical issues, we can connect you to the marine industry’s best independent contractors.
In Riviera Beach, our general manager, Phil Schubert, who has been on staff since 1979, along with his friendly yard employees and marine store staff, will always help you to determine how best to proceed with your repairs.
Similarly, in Ft. Pierce, Rick Weidner, our current general manager and an employee since 1995, and the rest of our Cracker Boy Boat Works family are always happy to help and answer any question.
Fort Pierce , Florida , 34950