Our Boat Building History

Our story started when my father, Steve Weill, was a boy living in Long Beach, California and growing up on the ocean. Catalina Island was a frequent getaway for the family in the summertime. Even as a young boy my father admired the Whitehalls on the island. He recognized the qualities of the classic craft and by 1978 my dad had been in North Idaho 4 years. He met a talented man named Frank Wright who ran a paint store and built boats. Frank was well versed in both traditional wooden boat construction along with fiberglass boat building. During the winter back in 76-77 Frank spent over 300 hours meticulously building the Plug and Mold according to the design in Chapells Book “Small American Sailing Craft”. The plank lines on the boat are a testament to Frank’s great skill as a boat builder. I see them every day and never get tired of looking at them.

The spring of 1978 marked the beginning of Classic Boatworks after Dad acquired the Whitehall Mold, followed by the Herreshoff Design two years later. 1978 would see Whitehalls on Lake Pend Oreille and other local lakes. Within a few years the boats were being delivered to the west coast, Flathead Lake and Lake Tahoe. The legacy of these fine craft and skilled builders continues. We are excited to also offer ‘built to order’ wooden drift boats for those interested in a fine river boat. Our boats, like their design, have stood the test of time.