Reid's boatbuilding and repair









Family History

Richard Reid grew up in a boatbuilding family. His grandfather, Willis J. Reid, with "Reid's Boat Yard", started in the business in 1905. Prior to W.W.II the yard built fine original yachts up to 96 feet long. Willis Reid had a reputation as a good boat builder and had the respect of and a good working relationship with many of the best yacht designers of the 20th century such as: John Alden, Sam Crocker, L. Francis Herreshoff, Phillip Rhodes and Eldridge McGinnis. Books about these designer's work often mention Willis J. Reid as the builder of some of their designs. In his third and final boat yard location he had as many as two hundred employees during World War II and built many army and navy craft up to 130 ft. long, for the government.

Willis J. Reid boats:

Willis Reid had three sons, Robert, Willis Jr. and James, all of which were active workers in the yard. After he sold the yard in 1946, the older sons moved and established their own boat yards in New Hampshire and Maine. The other son, Richard's father Jim joined the army in W.W.II but after the war also worked as a boat builder near Boston Harbor.

Because of the extensive influence of family involved so continuously in boatbuilding and growing up on the water, Richard developed a respect and love for sailing and the boatbuilding profession early in his life. After years of ship models and dreaming and reading, Richard built his first boat upstairs in his parents' home just one mile from his grandfather's former boat yard during the few years when his uncle, Willis Reid Jr. (the general manager of "Reid's Boat Yard") lived with them. His Uncle Willis was particularly influential on Richard during these years. After finishing school, Richard worked for several years on large tug boats on Boston Harbor and then later on push tugs in North Carolina, moving barges up and down the Intracoastal Waterway for a short time before beginning boat building full time.

Richard moved to Wilmington in late 1975. In 1976, Richard began employment by the Westsail Corporation in Wilmington. In addition to the repetitious experience of teak trim and mechanical installations Richard learned a considerable amount of fiberglass and mold making during this time, building custom 21 ft and 38 ft fiberglass molds and sailboats on his own. From there, he went on to work at various other boatbuilders and marine services in the area until 1981, when he started Reid's Boat Repair and Boat Building. His first contracts were for building three 30 ft sailing trimarans. Since then his work has included many large and complex boat building and repair jobs, finally moving to the current location in July of 1998.

Reid's Boatbuilding and Repair
8118 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28411
Phone (910) 547-9100

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