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Carolina Flare

By Capt. Bill Pike

From Whence Carolina Flare?

Carolina Flare drawing by Paul Mann

Given his long boatbuilding tenure in North Carolina’s Dare County, Paul Mann knows a thing or three about Carolina flare. And Mann believes that, at least today, the famed feature of mid-Atlantic battlewagons (which he says began its evolution with shad boats and other Tarheel-type commercial fishing vessels ages ago) is more about style than seakeeping. “In the ’60s and early ’70s we all began exaggerating it,” he says, “turning it into into a styling thing more than anything else.” The drawing here (done by Mann at Power & Motoryacht’s request) illustrates what he thinks are the several aspects of design that make for a true Carolina-type sportfishing boat, namely flare, flam, S-frame (or S-curve, a hullside design element), and extreme tumblehome. “All these things can get a little confusing,” concludes Mann, “and some people think a boat’s got lots of flare when, in point of fact, it has lots of flam but no flare at all.” Wanna truly understand the whole flare/flam story? See if you can dig up Carolina Flare: Outer Banks Boatbuilding & Sportfishing Heritage by Neal, John, and Jim Conoley. Mann heartily recommends it.

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