Capt John Lubbehusen  “Bahama Jack”

Traditional methods and materials are used, except as requested by client or deemed unsuitable to conditions with which the boat will be used and stored. Local woods  that are used have been  harvested and dried by our shop whenever possible. We prefer to use red cypress and atlantic white cedar (juniper) which we can






The Old Florida Boat Company also does limited bronze fabrication for traditional and classic small craft, as custom designs and historically accurate reproductions  require us to make much of our own fittings.  We offer bronze fittings, such as spar fittings and bands, pintles and gudgeons, fairleads, etc. either fabricated in our shop or custom made for us in England.  We are able to offer some of these items galvanized through our English supplier, please inquire as to availability and price.


We also have our own sail loft in order to produce traditional, hand-sewn cotton and canvas sails for our mostly one-of-a-kind type boats. All sails have roped edges using tarred hemp colored POSH 3 strand polyester and/or natural cotton and hemp that has been treated either with pine tar mixture or the proprietary silicone treatment that we use to treat our sails. Although panels are machine sewn, all other stitching including grommets,

We search out the finest in exotic woods, which we either harvest ourselves

or obtain through reliable and environmentally conscious  suppliers we have developed over the years.

I began building boats as a child in upstate Michigan, eventually moving down to miami where i  spent time building both sailing yachts, trawlers and commercial boats for Dave Westphal and Jim Krogen in Coconut Grove, before going to work for Merrill-Stevens Drydock Company in Miami where I served as Yacht Carpenter 1st Class and as their sailing yacht rigger. I later served an apprenticeship under an older German boatbuilder, Uwe Lorensen, and went on to build boats in switzerland between semesters in college over there.

I am a licensed captain with a Merchant Marine Masters rating. I have mostly worked both as a sailing yacht delivery captain, and  I ran charters in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands with boats of my own that I had built or restored. I later spent a few years living in the bahamas where I built indiginous boats with the locals and went on to own a few of the larger Abaco built fishing smacks.

In short, my life has revolved around building and sailing  boats. I now find myself in the wonderful position of living and working in a historical seaside community here in Saint Augustine, where I am able to build both historically significant ships and  wooden boats that have sailed these waters for centuries.

harvest locally, as well as tulip poplar and a few others. We also use southern longleaf pine (also known as “Pensacola”, or “pitch” pine) and live oak. Although these woods are  still available here in Florida, some quality woods are hard to come by, such as longleaf pine and cypress, so we often recycle this old growth timber by deconstructing old buildings or harvesting old logs from local rivers.

Woods such as lignum vitea, black mangrove, walnut, etct are utilized in blocks, cleats or to trim out our boats depending upon request and availability.. Occasionally, thanks to a hurricane or some other natural fate, we are able to procure hard to find timber such as cuban mahogany and tamarind. Some timbers, such as sitka spruce, which we use for spars and oars, obviously comes from outside of Florida, but we obtain our wood from the most dependable sources to assure quality control.

reef nettles, etc are available as hand sewn.  Dacron sails are offered as well, and we prefer to use the egyptian cotton style/color Dacron that is now available, and is available in weights as light as 3.8 oz.

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