Crystal River Boat Builders

CRBB is an educational organization which works to preserve and continue local maritime heritage.

Operating as usual

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 05/09/2022

Riding the TIDE at Cedar Key Saturday.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 04/23/2022

Our skiff build is coming along. Chines are fastened in, and we trial fitted the sides. Frames still to be beveled for the side plank.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 04/01/2022

A few weeks ago Evan thought we could use a clock so we challenged him to design and build one. He showed up with this masterpiece. Under the clock Evan is cutting his first scarf.


Lofting the first of the CRBB skiff series


Siver Tide start up prior to launch this morning

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 01/12/2022

the tide gave us enough water to launch the Silver Tide this morning

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 12/16/2021

We had a wonderful time visiting today at our Holiday get-together. A special treat was rides during the last sea trial of the electric Aqua-velvetride shore cruiser. There is just a bit more "pretty" work to do before it hits the market.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 12/04/2021

She’s almost done, and she’s beautiful—the electric pirogue “Electra Glide”!
Bill and Ed did the foredeck and are working on the aft deck. John (seen touching up the rubrail) is doing the bright finish.


The "crystal river" in motion

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 11/27/2021

This is a project we are just completing for the Crystal River Best Western Hotel. They asked for a display cabinet that represented the Crystal River area. The Hotel sits on some of the same property used for a cedar mill in the early 1900's hence the cedar top. The base is made from pine, another typical local wood. The "river" on top represents the Crystal River and the blue on the bottom represents the beautiful springs found here.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 11/05/2021

For the gearheads. Earl opened up the Silver Tide's transmition for inspection. Plenty of wear and a bearing issue in the reverse gearing. We lubricated what we could but will let the bearing issue ride for a bit. This is a unique system, in forward all components are fixed and turn with the input shaft.


We now have all three components of our drive system woking together. The reconditioned/repitched propeller, motor, and newly adjusted transmition. Cruising at 4 knots at 400 RPM. Top speed around 5 knots.

Skiffs information pkg.pdf 10/22/2021

Skiffs information pkg.pdf

A member asked us to send out some more information on the skiff projects. Here it is. We should be beginning work on one of these in the next few months. We have not decided which one will be first. Another thought that has been raised: could these designs be the basis for a sailing boat?
What do y'all think?

Skiffs information pkg.pdf

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 10/20/2021

ANNIE is now back home on disply with the EGRET at the Best Western Hotel, Crystal River. The Electa-Slide Cruiser is getting paint and will soon be ready for a new owner.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 08/31/2021

The majority of the funding for our limited budget comes from donated project boats. We have to be picky with the donations so we have a chance of them making money for us and definitely not costing us. Here is a really cool boat that we declined. It is reported as professionally built Florida boat, probably around 60 years old. It is a sharpie hull displacement power boat with an outboard well just ahead of the transom. The boat was recently surveyed by a professional wooden boat builder. The hull was found solid but the pilot house needs rebuilt. And of course all the cosmetic details. 27' long and trailerable, this tiny ship would make a nice economical coastal cruiser. We can put you in contact with the owner.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 08/28/2021

Our Swifty 14 is SOLD. This is a well behaved, roomy 14 footer with a like new sail. A donation of $650.00 makes this yours. An excellent little trailer is available for sale with this boat. $1,550.00 for both.


We'll offer this first to local boat builders who need a few pounds. We have scrap sheet lead available at $1.25 lb. Contact through our facebook PM


Evan finally was able to experience his boat in the water. He has been working hard to make the necessary repairs. This was also his first time rowing. Now on to making it look good.


The TOO FAR Water and
Natural Resources organization will meet at 6:30 p.m.
July 22 at 9228 E. Gospel Island Road in Inverness.
Joel Abramoviz, a member
of the Crystal River Boat Builders group, will give a presentation about historic boats used
on local waters.
Refreshments will be served
prior to the start of the meeting.
The organization is dedicated
to promoting conservation, restoration and sustainable use of
natural resources for present
and future generations.
A committee seeking funding
for a clean-up project on Lake
Henderson will also make a
progress report at the meeting.
For more information, call


Joel checking out boat trim and his motor control engineering in this test launch. This is going to be a fun little shoreline cruiser. Watch for the completed boat- it will be available.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 07/02/2021

Evan has been working hard on his boat while learning a whole lot of good boat building and boat fixing stuff

Rebuilding a wooden boat - 4 years in 29 mins! (Tally Ho EP100) 06/27/2021

Rebuilding a wooden boat - 4 years in 29 mins! (Tally Ho EP100)

Rebuilding a wooden boat - 4 years in 29 mins! (Tally Ho EP100) Rebuilding Tally Ho - UP TO NOW! (EP100)Rebuilding a historic sailing yacht - Rebuilding Tally Ho - UP TO NOW! (EP100)Support / Donate; http://www.sampsonboa...


With our EGRET now on duty as a historical land display we have Egret particular sailing items for sale. If you are building a Joel White Egret or planning to this is your deal. Suitable trailer, sails with gaffs and sprit booms, and ballast. We will sell separately but are hoping to get another Egret sailing.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 06/12/2021

We lowered the SPIRIT's mast this morning for maintenance. Oiled the mast, greased the stays, and checked the hardware. All good and the mast back up in a couple of hours.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 06/04/2021

We had a good time talking with friends at the Coastal Region Library in Crystal River this morning. After a short talk inside the SILVER TIDE got a close inspection. Photographs courtesy of the Library.

Timeline photos 06/04/2021

Timeline photos

Tomorrow morning the Crystal River Boat Builders will be visiting the Coastal Region Library at 11:00. Stop by to hear first hand about the process of building the "Silver Tide"!

For more information, check out this article from the Citrus County Chronicle:

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 05/29/2021

Egret has issues that will keep her out of the water. While the issues are solvable they are not practical for us to correct at this time. EGRET is now a beautiful exhibit on the grounds of the Crystal River Resort Best Western. She will impress and educate many hundreds of people as does our sailing scow SPIRIT exhibited nearby.

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 05/16/2021

We had a great time visiting everyone at the Homosassa Mullet Toss Festival this weekend.

Homosassa Mullet Toss and Spring Festival – Homosassa Civic Club, Inc 05/10/2021

Homosassa Mullet Toss and Spring Festival – Homosassa Civic Club, Inc

Looking forward to a fun day at the Mullet Toss next Saturday. We will be exhibiting the Silver Tide and enjoying watching the fish fly.

Homosassa Mullet Toss and Spring Festival – Homosassa Civic Club, Inc Donations can be made by check to Homosassa Civic Club. Please note on the check that the donation is for the Old Homosassa Heritage Park and Working Waterfront. The address is:

Photos from Crystal River Boat Builders's post 05/08/2021

We've been working on rehabbing our donation boats. We are turning a large pirogue into a laid back electric launch, seen here while prototyping the power mechanism. We are cleaning up a Swifty 14 sailboat and Evan is fixing up his new old rowboat.

Our Story

CRBB is an educational organization working to preserve and continue local maritime heritage. We build replicas of the indigenous watercraft of the Nature Coast. Everything we build, we do by hand using traditional methods; and we try to use the materials and tools of the period. There is always a work-in-progress and we love "show and tell." Kids of all ages can get "hands on" with history. Our work tells the story of the fishing and transportation industries of Florida and especially Crystal River -- including, of course, the role of watercraft on the Nature Coast during the Civil War. We are a chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association.

Videos (show all)

we were supposed to sail back to Crystal River Sunday but decided not to
rowing the Midge
Holiday Spirit
Bill's Jimmy Skiff in a breeze




614 NW US-19
Crystal River, FL

General information

The Crystal River Boat Builders (CRBB) began with an idea in the spring of 2009. The traditional boats used along the Nature Coast don't exist anymore, no one is building or using them anymore, most of the materials needed have disappeared, and the skills of yesterday's boat builders are being lost.

The CRBB is an educational organization which works to preserve and continue the living traditions, skills, lore, and legends surrounding working and pleasure watercraft (predating the marine gasoline engine) in the areas surrounding Crystal River (the "Nature Coast"). The CRBB encourages rediscovering the design, construction, and use of these boats, and it embraces contemporary variants and adaptations of traditional designs.

The CRBB plans to accomplish these goals through an active boat building program - an 1800's era boat (a 14ft Chesapeake Sharpie Skiff) was the first boat to be built. The boatshop where this boat was built was erected in June of 2009 and the skiff started shortly after. The measurements for this boat were used to "loft" plans. Only hand tools are being used and many (perhaps forgotten) skills are being re-learned, demonstrated and documented.

Research and study of local boat building and use, involving historical societies, schools, and even Civil War re-enactment groups is underway. The CRBB would like to begin outreach programs to the community for educational purposes and perhaps work alongside established groups fostering interest in the nautical history and environment of the area.

The initial motivation for forming the CRBB as an educational project was fostered by the personnel of the Central Region office of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. They are our founding sponsor.

The Crystal River Preserve State Park quickly "came onboard" to support this effort. They are our host, providing space for our shop and use of the park facilities.

The CRBB contacted the Traditional Small Craft Association, a 501(c)(3)organization, and began the effort start a local chapter. As we had begun our project, and had lined up such support, we were welcomed.

The Friends of the Crystal River Preserve State Park, also a 501(c)(3)group, recognized the worth of CRBB to the park and the region, and our chapter has been assimilated into their organization with many reciprocal benefits.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 9am - 12am
Saturday 9am - 12pm

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