A Family Business Since 1975
Bock Marine Builders, Inc. began in 1975 as Roanoke Island Steel & Boat Works, in the fishing port of Wanchese, North Carolina. The owner, Carl Bock, Jr., had worked in different shipyards in Norfolk, Virginia all his life, and after the death of his wife, Katherine, in 1973, Mr. Bock decided to move to the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina and begin his own steel boat-building business.
Although the very first contract he landed was for a 53′ sailboat, his interest was in commercial fishing vessels, and soon after that, a contract for a 90′ clamboat, the “Kristy Lee” for Stanley Smith of Ocean City, Maryland, was signed and the boatyard was on its way.
While in Wanchese, the yard went on to build three fishing trawlers for the Wanchese Fish Company, three small tugboats for Cottrell Engineering, a 57′ trawler, a 45′ ocean cruiser, a 112′ clamboat, and a 54′ trawler. All the commercial fishing boats the yard built were designed by Carl Bock, Jr.
Although the fishermen of Wanchese kept the yard busy between contracts with repair work and building of trawl door and scallop dredges, seasons change, and in 1983, feeling that the company had outgrown its one acre of land in Wanchese, Mr. Bock decided to relocate. With the help of Morty Brous, agent for International Paper, he soon discovered and purchased the 6-acre parcel of land that was known as the “barge landing” in Core Creek, 8 miles north of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Relocating to Beaufort
On December 15, 1983, with a partially completed 122′ tuna boat in tow, Roanoke Island Steel & Boat Works moved into Core Creek and soon changed its name to Bock Marine Builders, Inc. The tuna boat, “White Dove Too,” was delivered to the Genovese family of Cape May, New Jersey, on August 14, 1984, becoming the first vessel completed in Core Creek. She is the largest vessel the company built and is the most complex. When completed, she was worth nearly $2M.
After moving to Beaufort, Bock Marine completed 13 more vessels, three of them clam boats for Barney Truex of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Along with the new construction over the years, Bock Marine successfully completed numerous repair or conversion jobs, including lengthening three vessels in the 70- to 80-foot range by 15-20 feet, several repairs to fire-damaged vessels, one repair to a sunken trawler, and the conversion of one trawler to a catcher/processor.
In 1988, a waning market for commercial fishing boats prompted the company to diversify with the purchase of a 60 ton travel-lift and certain improvements aimed towards boat repairs (both pleasure and commercial) and boat storage in the 30′-65′ range. In 1995, the 60 ton lift was replaced with a newer, more modern 70 ton lift. 1995 was also the last year for new construction. Carl Bock, who passed away in 1999, spent his final years successfully competing in Senior Games and Senior Olympics and at the same time, began turning more of the daily management of the boatyard over to his youngest son, Kenny, who had worked with him since 1976.
With the help of longtime employees Randy Carter, Dale Tosto, and Larry Murrell, Kenny and Nancy Bock are fully focused on providing “friendly and professional” service to the boating community, from routine maintenance to complete overhauls on any type of hull – wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and concrete. Bock Marine is known up and down the coast for the quality of their work, indicated by repeat customers, and for the success of the vessels they built. Over the years, that reputation has been extended with services provided to vessels traveling the Intracoastal Waterway and around the world, including many foreign-flagged boats.