Barbour Boat Works, Inc. Records, 1943-1998, undated

Manuscript Collection #758

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Barbour Boat Works, Inc. Records
    Creator: Barbour Boat Works, Inc.
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Correspondence, contracts, ship plan drawings, manuals, photographs, brochures, and other files pertaining to the construction, repair, and marketing of vessels, both military and civilian.
    Extent: 114.0 Cubic feet, 240 archival boxes,
  • Description
     

    The material includes correspondence, contracts, ship plan drawings, manuals, photographs, brochures, and other files pertaining to the construction, repair, and marketing of military and civilian vessels. The bulk of the correspondence is between the company, dealers and individuals regarding various vessels. Some topics of discussion include boat orders, pricing, modifications, performance evaluations, lumber shortages and shipping methods. Administrative materials include employee records, order books, secretarial notebooks written in shorthand, insurance and pensions files, payroll records, tax information files, shipping and freight cost information, dealer lists by state and boat show information. There are also magazine advertisements, various trade magazines and newspaper articles written on the company and its products. Also included are a number of technical manuals (some related to the U.S. Department of Defense), microfilm, punch cards and backup tapes.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Barbour Boat Works Inc. was founded by Herbert William Barbour in 1932 on the Trent River at New Bern, North Carolina. The company initially specialized in wooden vessels. It remained a small company until the coming of World War II. At this time the company began receiving U.S. Navy contracts for ship construction. They began expanding their facilities and soon had a payroll of over 1200 people. Ships built included salvage ships (among the largest wooden ships built for wartime use), net tenders and mine sweepers. In the coming years, more vessel contracts were obtained from the Navy, Army and Coast Guard. These included a number of 56' troop transport vessels for the Vietnam War effort (five of which were fitted with helicopter landing pads, making them the smallest carriers in the U.S.), a prototype steel fire boat and steel tug boats.

    Following the war, the company began construction of both private and commercial vessels. The private vessels included rowboats, racing class sailboats, normal duty sailboats, outboard runabouts and utilities, inboard cruisers and a few larger coastal cruisers. The bulk of the private vessel construction consisted of 14' utilities and 19' and 21' cruisers in both outboard and inboard configuration. These types sold on a worldwide scale. Commercial vessels included trawlers, ferries, tankers, fishing vessels, barges and tugs.

    A 155-foot seagoing tanker, delivered in April, 1972, was produced by the company for a major oil company. At the time, this was the largest ship to be built in North Carolina since World War II. The company also produced a number of custom, innovative vessels including Porpoise II (built for the Marineland Studios in Florida, it featured tanks of circulating sea water allowing transport of sea animal specimens) scallop trawlers, a Navy submersible, demountable submarine tender and a modified hull for the Navy's failed Osprey project.

    During the company's long history, a number of subsidiaries were formed by the company. One of these, formed in 1955, was Reggie's Outboard Service. This subsidiary featured a complete stock of boats, motors and sporting goods, as well as a complete shop for servicing outboard motors. Also, in 1957, a complete Diesel Parts Supply division was added. The same year, the shipyard made the transition to steel construction, its first steel vessels consisting of three ferries for the state of North Carolina's eastern ferry system. The company also eventually expanded its services to accommodate repairs and conversions of vessels for both U.S. government agencies and private business. In 1945 a propeller reconditioning shop was installed at the plant, and in 1970, a complete machine shop was relocated there. The company closed in the mid-1990s.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    March 10, 1998, (unprocessed), 15688 items, 124 cubic feet; Records (1945-1971) of New Bern, N.C. boat works, including correspondence, contracts, blueprints, specifications, manuals, photographs, brochures, and other files pertaining to the construction, repair, and marketing of vessels. Donor: Reggie Rivenbark

    November 7, 2000, (unprocessed addition 1), 10 items, 0.5 cubic feet; Operator's, Organizational, Direct Support, and General Support Maintenance Manual for Landing Craft, Utility LCU 1667-1670 (1905-00-168-5764); Specifications for Rehabilitation Landing Craft, Utility, LCU 1646 Class FY 87; and computer back-up tapes, ca. 1983, 1987, undated. Donor: Paul Fonteny, North Carolina Maritime Museum

    August 10, 2005, (unprocessed addition 2), 3300 items, 45.30 cubic feet; Records (ca. 1940's-1970's) of New Bern, North Carolina boat manufacturing firm, including correspondence, contracts, drawings and blueprints, specifications, manuals, photographs, brochures, and other files pertaining to the construction, repair, and marketing of vessels. Donor: Paul Fonteny, North Carolina Maritime Museum

    April 11, 2006, (unprocessed addition 3), 29.0 cubic feet; Records (ca. 1940's-1970's) of New Bern, North Carolina boat manufacturing firm, including correspondence, contracts, drawings and blueprints, specifications, manuals, photographs, brochures, and other files pertaining to the construction, repair, and marketing of vessels. Donor: Bill Rivenbark

    September 13, 2006, (unprocessed addition 4), 27.0 cubic feet; Records (undated) including ship plan drawings (ca. 12 cubic feet), customer purchase orders (ca. 9 cubic feet), artifacts (ca. 1 cubic foot), product catalogs (ca. 2 cubic feet), shipping industry manuals (ca. 1 cubic foot), and subject files (ca. 2 cubic feet) of the Barbour Boat Works, Inc., New Bern, North Carolina. Donor: Frances D. Hayden, North Carolina Maritime Museum

    October 3, 2007, (unprocessed addition 5), 500 items, 1.83 cubic feet; Collection (ca. 1968-1997, undated) of blueprints, specifications, engineering documents microfilm cards, charts of job accounts, and correspondence relating to United States Navy shipbuilding, ship repair, and ship conversion contracts, especially related to naval landing craft and to closing of the corporation. Donor: Darlene Perry, North Carolina Maritime Museum

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Paul Fonteny
    Gift of Reggie Rivenbark
    Gift of Bill Rivenbark
    Gift of Frances D. Hayden
    Gift of Darlene Perry

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Barbour Boat Works, Inc. Records (#758), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Prelimiary inventories by Russ Green, Jeff DiPrizito, Kevin Nichols, Eric Bruning, and Jessica Wallace

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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