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North Carolina State Boat

Shad Boat

The General Assembly of 1987 adopted the shad boat as the official State Historical Boat. 

The Shad Boat was developed on Roanoke Island and is known for its unique crafting and maneuverability. The name is derived from that of the fish it was used to catch - the shad.

Traditional small sailing craft were generally ill-suited to the waterways and weather conditions along the coast. The shallow draft of the Shad Boat plus its speed and easy handling made the boat ideal for the upper sounds where the water was shallow and the weather changed rapidly. The boats were built using native trees such as cypress, juniper, and white cedar, and varied in length between twenty-two and thirty-three feet. Construction was so expensive that the production of the Shad Boat ended in the 1930s, although they were widely used into the 1950s. The boats were so well constructed that some, nearly 100 years old, are still seen around Manteo and Hatteras.

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