February 5, 2021
When Eugene Evans, 67, of Crisfield, Md., was escalating up in the isolated fishing village of Rhodes Level on Smith Island, Md., his lifestyle aspiration was to turn out to be a commercial waterman.
As a youth, Eugene invested summers functioning with his father on the loved ones boat, Twilight, harvesting peelers and delicate-shell blue crabs and messing all over with boats. At an early age, it was obvious, he could come up with ingenious approaches of repairing everything linked to boats.
Evans married his childhood sweetheart, Rose, in 1970. And at age 17, he went to operating the drinking water complete time. With decline in the seafood field, the few moved off the island in 1973 to Crisfield on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Evans ongoing to work the water, but much more and much more he was acquiring phone calls from business fishermen seeking him to work on their boats. In excess of time, he was expending far more time doing work on boats than fishing.
In 1980, the couple commenced Evans Boat Fix. He crafted his very first fiberglass boat in 1983, a Smith Island crab scrape boat, regarded on Tangier Island as a barcat. The design of boat advanced about time especially to pull a dredge by hand for blue crabs in the grassy shoal waters of Tangier Sound. The boat fashion goes back to days of sail and wind electrical power.
Evans’ father, John, owned a 22-foot barcat created throughout the sailing era. When Evans determined to use it as a mildew to establish a fiberglass edition, it even now experienced the slotted centerboard, which experienced been plugged when the initially engine was installed. “I truly took her and turned her upside down and utilized her as a plug to create my very first fiberglass boat,” he says. “She was an previous boat, but she experienced options that worked great for doing work the waters of Tangier Audio.
“She was a sluggish-heading boat due to the fact she experienced a sailing-design and style tuck stern. I squared the stern up on my (fiberglass) version and set a tunnel in her for the shaft and prop. The tunnel built her ready to work in 12 inches of drinking water on a tender bottom,” he states.
“When we got her completed, I shortly developed and offered two far more to a father and son. I had no intention of turning out to be a comprehensive-time boatbuilder. I finished up building 5 boats that initial winter,” claims Evans.
The upcoming year, 1984, a waterman requested a 30-foot barcat. “I got (Smith Island boatbuilder) Joe Kite to make a 30-foot common wood crab scrape boat, and I applied it as a plug to make my fiberglass boat,” suggests Evans. Kite was paid by the hour to develop the wood boat and came everyday to Crisfield from Smith Island to perform on the boat in Evans’s boatshop. The 30-foot fiberglass barcat was a productive endeavor for Evans Boat Mend and he crafted and bought numerous more that 12 months. Kite stayed all over for the launching of the initially fiberglass 30-foot barcat. He was later on featured in the short article “C-flex Technique sparks Maryland builders’ shift to fiberglass” in NF June 1989.
“When Joe saw our concluded item, he identified as (the late) Dave Sintes (of Seemann Fiberglass) and experienced him style and design him a boat. Right after that time with me, Joe did not build a lot of boats out of wood. It was all fiberglass,” says Evans.
In 1985, Evans started getting requests for greater, more regular deadrise boats. He teamed up with a Trappe, Md., boatbuilder, the late Gene Travers, to design and generate the properly-regarded fiberglass Somerset 35- and 42-foot boats. More than the several years, the firm crafted deadrise fiberglass boats for commercial fishermen up to 50 feet lengthy.