MAKING OF AN EMPIRE
Celebrated 40 Years Of Building The Finest Cruising And
Sportfishing Yachts In The World, by
Cape Hatteras jabs itself into the North Atlantic at
the precise juncture where the southbound Labrador Current and the
northbound Gulf Stream grind against each other like tectonic plates.
The result is a wide area of tumultuous ocean infamous in the annals of
shipping. But, the commingling of these warm and frigid waters also
creates one of the greatest fish aggregations on the face of the planet.
From paleo-lndians forward, commercial fishermen and sportsmen have been
drawn here by the variety and sheer numbers of their quarry.
One of these
sportsmen was Willis Slane, scion of a hosiery-manufacturing fortune
from High Point, North Carolina. Slane loved the challenge of this
fishery, as did many of his compatriots at the Hatteras Marlin Club, a
small cluster of docks and buildings on the lee side of the low, skinny
barrier islands. What originally had begun as a duck hunting club had
metamorphosed into one of the greatest fishing venues on the Eastern
It happened that on a
particular Saturday night in May, in the year 1959, Slane and his pals
were trapped in this clubhouse by a howling late spring nor'easter. The
boats they were using, locally made wooden hulls for the most part,
simply could not take the pounding required to go in and out of the
rambunctious inlet and to fish the skittering rips and snarls of Diamond
Slane took me on a ride out to Kivett Drive, He stopped the car and
said,' 'How 'd you like to see a boat factory sitting right there?
What we were looking at was nothing, nothing but fields of broom
sedge, It was kind of hard to imagine. " -Ray Myers