Broadwater Boat Company of Maryland

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Apparently this was a boat manufacturer in Mayo, Maryland from 1956 to 1980. Like the way the brand sticks out on the bow of this cabin cruiser, which is in the old Wiley junkyard/marina in Irvington, Virginia.

Does anyone know anything more about the company?

55 Comments

  1. The company produced so called price boats during the time period
    of 1956 through the late 1970’s.

    The construction was of marine plywood on oak frames. Up to around 1971 the decks and cabin superstructure was of fiberglass covered marine plywood. The later 33 and 36 footers used a molded fiberglass deck and cabin superstructure.

    All in all these boats were lightly built and were built for a price point in the market. As fiberglass manufacturing techniques for larger ( 30 ft & up) improved, the top brands such as Chris Craft, Trojan,etc could produce an all fiberglass boat for not much more then what the Broadwater line was selling for. Broadwater management was reluctant to invest in costly tooling for fiberglass hull molds during the recession wracked and dawning of Arab oil embargos and subesequently, buyers were gravitating away from wood hull boats and the company eventually folded.

    My father operated a marina in Mystic,Ct for many years and he signed up to be a Broadwater dealer around 1970 to replace the Ulrichsen line of sea skiff cabin cruisers that folded in 1969. He never stocked the boats to sell alongside new Pacemakers, choosing to sell the all fiberglass Baha Cruiser line instead.

  2. I’m sure the above was well-meaning, but I worked at Broadwater from 1968 – 1973, and numerous corrections are needed. For starters, there was’t a stick of white oak in the boats; they were all mahogany framed. Neither the decks nor cockpit sole were never fiberglassed; they were plywood, covered in a heavy gauge marine grade “Nautolex” vinyl which had the look of classic narrow deck boards, white with black seams, a common material in those days.

    The 36 footer was an earlier rather than a later model. The last 36 came down the line prior to my starting there in ’68. Fro that point forward, a 33 footer was the largest of the lineup. They were good solid boats and I’d hardly classify them as “lightly built”.

  3. I stand to be corrected Bill, on the type of wood used for framing and the deck covering. In 1970 I was 13 years old and was not aware and possibly confusing the Broadwater brand with
    Revel Craft whch we sold n the early 60’s.

    My father Samuel, decided that the all fiberglass Pacemakers were seling quite well and we did not add a “price” or “value” brand which was the South Hamton Marine Baha 31, all fiberglass construction with a deep v hull designed by Raymond Hunt.

    I beg to differ with you Bill, the Broadwater was a decent boat and in comparison to the wooden Pacemakers,egg Harbors and Chris Craft Constelations, Sea Skiffs and some other brands the Broadwater was not built as well.

  4. Bill Klein I would like to make contact with you if I could to find out more about the 1971 33ft Broadwater. I am in need of any photos or info of this boat as I’ve just purchased one for a rebuild. the wood hull is in poor shape my hope is the frame is solid without dry rot. I will know more when I remove the side panels that need replacement. I’ve found no photos of these boats on the internet and am very interested in the design on the side upper panel. I believe it was black vinyl with wooden gold stars? I wish to bring her back to the classy look when she left the factory with mahogany sides and interior. Thanks to anyone that can help with any information. reach me at jerrybranch @ gmail . com (delete spaces)

  5. Jerry, I’ve sent you an email.

    Alan, our boats were definitely nothing to rival Egg Harbors or Pacemakers or the higher end Chris Craft models, but as plywood boats went, I always felt they held their own with anything out there.

  6. bill klein, i too would enjoy making contact with you as my mom and dad owned a 1969 31′ bay breeze from june 1969 until july of 1972 when we took delivery of our factory fresh trojan f-36 tri cabin. the broadwater was a good boat, and she got us home every time, including after a gale off of thomas point light in july 1969. when we pulled into the braodwater plant later that evening, doug and dave were there to go over the boat w/ dad. not a drop of water in her bilge, and that chrysler 225 kept purring like a kitten.
    my email is: themightyheeb @ gmail. com (don’t forget to delete the spaces.)
    looking forward to meeting you online.
    (p.s. i loved the little mariner too. )

  7. My uncle had three Broadwater boats. As I recall, the largest of them was a 36′ model. He docked it at the Capitol Yacht Club across from the Pentagon on the Potomac River and at one time he was the Comodore of the Yacht Club. It had a single 318 Chrysler V-8 engine and my uncle claimed it could pull two water skiers.

  8. My name is Guy Burton, I started working for Boardwater in 1969. each department had various staff, I worked in the Hull Department, Sob assembley, enginering department also did repairs to boats. The owner was Dave Ritchie. Ritchie Ward was the Plant Manager.

  9. I too had a 33′ broadwater single screw. I have a couple of pics of it. Would be interested in any other pics of this boat. I havnn’t been able to come across any at all.

  10. I just bought a 30′ broadwater hardtop that is in need of much work. Any pics or advice I can get is appreciated,as this whole project will be new teritory for me.

  11. I visited the Broadwater factory in late summer of 1972 or may be 1973 or it could of been 1974 and the factory just received two “2” white “in color” 18 foot striped fiberglass outboard hulls (with decks joined) from a company in Florida who Broadwater had contracted to build them there first fiberglass line of boats, to be marketed the very next model year. Shortly before this time there was a article in the Annapolis Evening Capital news paper about how several Broadwater plywood cabin cruisers had structural failure while cruising out in the Chesapeake Bay. Most people assumed it was poor construction. This put a severe blow on Broadwater’s sales from then on and I think that is why the company failed. I was later told that the structural failure was actually the plywood separating due to a defective load of plywood that the factory received years before, but there was no way the problem could not be detected in ’til years later. I clearly remember when the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and creeks were full of Broadwater Boats. techforce2000@gmail.com. By the way, Broadwater was not a high end boat, but it was a very good buy for the money…

  12. One more thing I forgot to mention is that, by the late 1970s Broadwater did offer a line of fiberglass cabin cruisers. Another problem was that Bayliner punched a hole in all moderate priced boats at the time and they still do now. Other entry level competitors such as MFG, Aristo craft and Cruisers Inc failed because of Bayliner. Broadwater also still manufactured straight inboard boats at the time. Even though a straight inboard is less maintenance than a inboard/outboard, a outboard or inboard/outboard boat is cheaper to produce because a outboard or inboard/outboard hull dose not need full length support stringers as a straight inboard hull needs to be much stiffer, but this also cost Broadwater more money. techforce2000@gmail.com. Dave…

    1. this is a neat observation….i didnt know all the history about it. Its a shame that the company didnt survive that..

  13. I brew up on a 30′ broadwater loved my childhood wish they still made them didn’t them build them in mayo maryland

  14. Bill Klein, I have a 30ft broadwater boat. I dont know what model it is but its a cabin cruiser. I would be so greatfull if you could shed some light in her for me. Its registered as a 1968 but I dont beleave thats true. She has a fiberglass hull with a wooden cabin and decks. There is a plate on the 318/225hp engine that says 1979 so I am guessing she was re-powered at some point. If you could contact me at crimknow@hotmail.com I could send you pictures.

  15. ps: anyone with info is welcome to contact me at that addy.

  16. as i said in an earlier posting, my mom and dad had a 1969 31′ bay breeze flybridge cabin cruiser, BUBALA 2. would love to hear from other broadwater enthusiasts out there on the web. feel free to email me but put BROADWATER in the subject line.
    themightyheeb AT gmail DOT com
    thanks.
    aaron

  17. I acquired a 1975 33 ft. Broadwater twin engine 351 winsers . Picked up a couple years ago and had to restore it while still in the water. Hard task to say the least. Anything not fiber-glassed was rotted. I redesigned the rear deck and built a roof over it. I rebuilt both side decks and resurfaced bow. Basically had to rebuild everything but the inside which I just changed anyway. Still got work to do like lighting but overall, it’s been an adventure. Does any one know how many 1975 33 foot twin engine broadwaters that are still in operation? I’m betting not many. Overall after fiber-glassing my whole boat and changing it a little, it now drains properly and is a very dependable vessel.

  18. A few years ago I purchased a 28′ Broadwater which had been involved in a marina fire and rebuilt into a workboat. The hull is all fiberglass and the Broadwater logo is still on both sides of the bow at the rub rail. I use this boat for commercial crabbing and is powered by a 350ci. Chevrolet. It is usually docked at the Waterman’s basin at the Kent Narrows bridge (slip #79) vessel is named “Moonshine”.

  19. As a child I got my parents interested in fishing, and therefore, boating…started out with a cute 16′ Cruisers Inc outboard with a lapstrake hull that we trailered behind my dad’s work car, a 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne. (Wish I had that one today!!) We bought it at a dealership that sold Broadwater boats, Emmett Marine (Lindenhurst, Long Island) We were infatuated with the roominess of these boats, because of course, we had to check out the showroom! A few years later, my parents decided they wanted a boat to sleep on, as friends of ours had one and we could all get together on weekends. It was then my dad started cruising the classifieds and found a 1964 23′ Broadwater that we all loved. A few years of the three of us camping out on that one led us to our third boat, a 1964 30′ Broadwater! I loved this boat more than life and every year my mom and I helped my dad paint and stain and prepare it for the spring……..
    In 1976 my parents started planning their retirement and put the boat up for sale, and a few weeks later it was stolen from Lands End marina in Sayville, Long island. I was devastated enough about it being for sale, and had I been old enough at the time would have loved to take it over, but an 18 year old can’t afford such a thing….
    To this day I miss that boat and draw pictures of it….Just thought I’d share my love for Broadwater boats with kindred souls.

  20. Some of the best memories of my life were aboard our 31 foot Broad water boat. We docked our boat at Holiday Hill Marina which was right around the corner from the boat builders in Mayo, MD. My Dad added a Fly Bridge & really gave our boat some BLING! Harness Creek & Thomas Point lighthouse are forever engrained in my childhood memories aboard our Broadwater, feet dangling over the bow!
    I never realized how lucky I was or how much it influenced me until I became adult and would give anything to go back to the innocence of 1972.

  21. My Great Uncle had a 22-23Ft Broadwater Cabin Cruiser with a screaming Mercury 115 O/B, the boat planned quickly and was VERY FAST for a cabin Cruiser as a child it felt like the only thing in the water was the lower transom. We had a shore home outside of Middle River when Heart & Miller Islands were separate Islands and had a lot of fun Rock fishing off of the boat. We would take fishing trips from Middle River to Smith Island and that Broadwater braved many Bay storms. Like other contributors I would enjoy viewing any photos people have. Thank you all for stirring such great memories.

    J.K.

  22. Pardon the HP error, the Mercury was a 150…

  23. just purchased a 1965 27″ 4 sleeper, needs alot of tlc but looking forward to restoring-any pics or info incl. manuals or info would be appreciated. had the 318 replaced w/a 5.7 mercruiser comp. ski engine

  24. correction 30′ bay breeze

  25. I also worked at Broadwater 1968 to about 1971. Knew Dave Ritchie and Ritchie Ward well. What days those where, company parties once a year that todays’ business’s wouldn’t dare give. Since the boats were built upside down, after the keel was installed it was time to “Roll a boat” an event that usually involved the whole plant since it was done manually. Bringing in a side or bottom of plywood for the boats usually involved 5-6 people. I worked in the mill running the infamous shapers, and yes it was all solid mahogany. I was later moved the trim shop, a much safer place to work. It was an interesting place to work back in those days, the owner Mr. Ritchie had a terrible temper, but we got it done!

  26. Casa Rio Marina, did that use to be the Broadwater factory?

  27. never heard of Casa Rio Marina, but I left there in 1973

  28. My wife and I had a Broadwater 31 Express Cruiser. We only paid around $2,000 for the boat used every summer for about 4 to 5 seasons, then one day in late afternoon, heading back to the marina, we struck a waterlogged piling sort of floating just below the surface, which pierced the hull. Down she went.

    I was able to get her to shore and she rested in about 3 1/2 feet of water. We pumped her out the next morning and made a h uge patch out of a very large truck tire inner tube and pumped her as dry as we could get her.

    We towed her back to the marina about miles away and hauled her out.

    The next a good friend went with me and we cleaned her up the best we could.

    AFTER FURTHER INSPECTION WE FOUND THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO ONLY THE HOLE WHERE THE PILING HAD DRIVEN ITSELF THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF THE HULL. It was exactly in between two stringers which made for an easy hull repair. We got her all dried out, did a few electrical repairs like the alternator, spark plugs, and wiring. She fired right up and after rebuilding the carburetor, we ran her for another 3 years. The only reason we sold her was I was nervous every time we went out after that. Oh well….

    Shit happens, but overall we got what I had into her back on the sale, and had many good years for a very inexpensive boat.

  29. Casa Rio is on the old Broadwater property. One of the factory buildings burned down years ago.
    We owned 2 Broadwaters; purchased a new 30 foot in 1974, a total piece of crap. In it’s first year the back deck collapsed into the bilge, a seat fell apart, and worst of all the screws started popping out of the bottom. Years later purchased a fiberglass 33, luckily cheaply as it was junk also. In the mid 70’s Broadwater had numerous lawsuits, one made the Washington Post if I recall correctly. A gentleman slipped and fell and the bow rail broke off and he drowned.

  30. My Dad and I had a 1971 29′ (30) Broadwater Explorer and it stayed in our family until about 1983. I shark fished out of Montauk with the likes of Frank Mundas for years then brought her to the Jersey shore around ’80. It served our family well for what it was. By todays standard, it might be considered a cheap boat, but we thought it was awesome. I used to love their brochures, they were a small newspaper! ala Uniflight’s which was a similar literature, but on nice glossy stock.
    Good luck with your projects.
    Don

  31. My Dad bought a boat in the ’80’s from this company. They had a sign in the office that said “If God had meant man to have fiberglass boats he’d have given us fiberglass trees”. Understand that they originally built just wood boats.

  32. My son just acquired a 1968 30′ broadwater cruiser
    it is in the Lake of the Ozarks and is still afloat, definately needs a lot of tlc but he’s gonna make it a five year restoration project, any information would be very much appreciated.

  33. I have purchased a 27 foot Broadwater on Ebay and need specifications as to the width and height. The boat is on Long Island and I’m in Ga. It need about 30 hours more of painting and adjusting the new engine and transmission and I’m trying to figure if it is oversized to do usual transport or if I can put it on a trailer and pull it back.

  34. I’m trying to find the weight of the 1966 27 foot cabin cruiser. I bought a trailer, but am afraid that it is too light to carry it. I plan on adding 2 6000 lb rater tandem axles. But the trailer is aluminum I beams 6×4 I guess if it is 8000lbs I need to beef up the trailer. The boat was a deal, permits to get to Ga are $800. trailer so far is $2500 and axles will add $1300. Wife said a mistress might of been cheaper. LOL But I need to finish the drill get this baby home finished and enjoy the Gulf coast.

  35. larry i have a 27ft broadwater cutdown and i think it was at one time the same boat that you have. could you email me a few pictures of your boat? mack12231122@gmail.com

  36. NEED INFO PLEASE. I just purchased a 1968 Broadwater Cabin Cruiser 30′ with a Chrysler 310 motor. It is in great condition and has been remodeled and updated. Can anyone point me to or give me an estimate value of this beauty. I spent $2800 for the boat and trailer. thanks.

  37. Diane Smith // Jun 22, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Diane I have been searching for our old 1968 30″ Broadwater for over 20 years at the Lake of the Ozarks, and wondering if the boat your son bought could be our old boat that we had at the Blue Anchor Marina in the early 80’s. For one of these Broadwater boats to make its way to the Midwest is a mystery. However we originally purchased it at the Ozarks in 1983. It was named the Patrick II, I believe we still have a couple pics of it, would love to see that old boat again. Please email me back!

    My son just acquired a 1968 30′ broadwater cruiser
    it is in the Lake of the Ozarks and is still afloat, definately needs a lot of tlc but he’s gonna make it a five year restoration project, any information would be very much appreciated.

  38. I am just back from Casa Rio – winterized a boat there. (I work on boats for a living – have Capt license — been doing it for years — started with wood ones — Etc.)
    Anyway . . . most comments here about “Broadwater” are essentially correct. The guy who started company originally built small “skiffs” on the South River — which he sold — and also rented out. (Basically “row boats”) Then he “moved up” as boating took off — and started the “Broadwater” company. Started kinda small — but grew with the 60s economy. They did have trouble with a load of plywood in the late 1960s — several boats “went down” due to that. The ends of the plywood panels (near bow) were weak and the fasteners would “pop” out — causing a big problem, – obviously! It did not happen to lots of them — but . . . and not really the Broadwater’s fault — but “the buck stops here” and all that.
    Most Broadwaters used the marine “318” Chrysler engine — which was a quite good one (Walter Chrysler was a long-time boater – BTW.)
    The boats were light — and had almost flat bottoms. But the Chris Craft Cavaliers and others were not so very different (though Chris Craft used better wood and somewhat better “fittings” and so forth.)
    The 30 ft Broadwater became a very popular boat from mid New Jersey down to Norfolk area — in part cause you could still get it with a “single” engine — saving money and fuel. (Most other 30 footers by this time — only “twin” as a choice.)
    Capt. Bob

  39. Growing up across from Broadwater Boats was a lot of fun. we new the Richies. And the wounderful boats they built. What A quaint road Cadle Creek. All kids should have it as good as I did. we lived at 4068. One bedroom cottage. my Pops paid the same price for that little piece of heaven as our 6 bedroom home in Silver Spring Md. 34,000. Amazin are Mark & Dave Richie Still alive and well. Send Me pic of Broadwaters please.

  40. My Dad bought one of Dave Ritchie’s earlier boats, a little bare hull unfinished 14′ plywood/mahogany outboard runabout, around 1958. I can remember as an 8 yr old going from Towson where we lived to the Broadwater factory to get it – what a thrilling day for a kid! I still recall the wonderful smell of wood and the noise. Dad fiberglassed the outside of the hull in the back yard, put on a curved plastic widshield, a steering rig, and a used 1955 Evinrude Big Twin 25 – manual start! and got a used trailer.

    We loved that little boat and our family of 6 (!) used her on Lake Champlain in Vermont for 5 years… fishing, cruising, even water skiing! Dad finally traded her on a used MFG 15′ w/ 40 Evinrude – big move up! The 14′ was sold to our minister friend Rev Hunter who lived farther out in Baltimore County, who used it on Squam Lake up in New Hampshire at least until ’69 iirc! What a great little boat!

    I have origianl magazine ads from 1966 that show pics and specs of Broadwater 27′, 30′, and 36′ models. For $2 postage &c I’d be happy to copy them for anyone who owns one out there…
    please eMail directly me at:

    firesweep “at” verizon “dot” net

    I’d love some info or pics of the early plywood runabouts from Broadwater if anyone has anything!
    regards, Roger in NY

  41. I too worked at the plane in 1970 or 71. Just a few months as it was a long drive and I only had a motorcycle for transportation. Worked for Buddy Mauk in the mill shop. I cut the hull ply on a huge worktable with a pattern and router. I only damaged one ply section when I flipped it over to match the scarfs to direction of travel. ?The shaper guy would be thigh deep in chips at the end of the day cutting out the Mahogany structure pieces. I remember Buddy free handing the keel sections on a large table saw with no guards on it. Impressive.
    Joe

  42. I restored a Broadwater 32′ over the course of about 8 years. I had the cabin off, I rebuilt the cockpit, replaced the bottom, pulled the 318 and put a PCM 5.7 H.O Vortec with a new shaft, shaft light, cutlass bearing everything.
    I still don’t know how I really feel about the whole experience. But I did it.

  43. I owned a 1972, 32 ft Broadwater Explore Mark iii.
    purchased it new for $15,900.00 . My family and I enjoyed the boat, we kept it well maintained ,used it often on the Long Island Sound. Built memories that have lasted a life time. After 11 years we sold her for $ 4,00.00 ,LESS THEN WE ORIGINALLY PAID. Anyone looking for pictures of this boat is welcome to contact me.

  44. Any one of you guys that worked at broad water please let me know how they were measured. We have one that was cut down to make a crabbing boat in broad creek. We’re they measured the top side or keels on.
    Lisa
    Lisagowe@atlanticbb.net

  45. Hello all Broadwater Boat lovers! I worked at Broadwater during ’72 and ’73 – and had the time of my life, both with the Ritchie family, the employees, and the people who bought the boats! Yes – it was a great time … I’m glad to see so many people talking online about what fun they had in the boats – I can assure you they were built with care and love – please, if you have a specific question, feel free to leave a note with your e-mail address and I will be back in touch with you! In the meantime, HAPPY MOTORING!

  46. Please be in touch with me about your Broadwater Boat and good memories with it!

  47. And also … I will notify the Ritchie family to keep in contact with this website if there is anyone wanting a specific question answered …

  48. Back in the late 80s early 90s my dad had a 21 ft broad water that was a very unique boat. Inboard 302 with v drive. I still have pictures of it. It was mid to early 70s with fiberglass construction cabin cruiser all except the gun wales of wood.Still have pictures. Would love to have it back in any condition to restore.

  49. Hello Bill Klein and J McDANIEL,

    I am hoping you will get this message. I am about to look at a 1973 27ft Revelcraft that has a rebuilt Ford 302 and a rebuilt transmission. Owner claims she only needs the Zinc’s replaced and some TLC around the trimmings and railing. What is there specific I should look for before buying the boat. Engine work, electronics, electric, and any normal millwork I dont worry too much about but I dont want to get involved in replacing structural or the bottom. Any hints or tell tails to make sure I am not buying a head ache. Eric.Angloher@Angloher.com 732 233 6581

  50. I grew up every weekend on a 30 ft 1973 Broadwater from the time I was 6 until I was 17. My dad ended up marinetexing the cockpit late 70’s. I remember being green from cuperonalling the bilge, and I learned how to spackle and sand. We had an issue with the transmission it had to be replace three times until they realized the put a left trans in a right screwed boat. Dad did all his own work including replacing the transom and the back quarter panels on each side. Awesome summers on the Chesapeake Bay.
    My uncle had one built ’69 or ’70 32 Broadwater express that broke her spine and she went down in less the 5 mins.

  51. Very nostalgic reading.
    My Mom and Dad bought a new 30’ Broadwater cruiser in 1965 or 1966. We had a blast on the boat for all the years we lived in Maryland.
    It was berthed at Bolling Air Force Base on the Potomac River. We cruised the Potomac and Chesapeake whenever my Dad had time off. Fond memories of fun and family times.
    We thought we were something else when at the helm of our Broadwater “yacht”. Boat was named “Tony’s Tini II”
    Thanks for allowing me to post from a great time in my life!

  52. Love all these comments and memories. I too grew up on the Broadwater boats. My parents bought the 1970 25′, then moved up to the 1974 30′. I also knew or heard of the plywood make of these boats (I had heard that at one time the Coast Guard condemned them for some reason, and I thought it was because of the plywood build!) and the flat bottom-ness. We bounced around pretty good when LIS got rough! Great engines. The single screw I think was a detriment. Made it hard, especially on the 30′ with the fly bridge, to dock stern in. That was always an adventure and it was all hands on deck when my Dad was coming in to dock! I have a picture of our 30′ if anyone would like to see it. My dad became creative with throwing a line around a piling to turn us in. We were in CT, Duck Island/Pilots Point to begin then on to Branford Bruce and Johnsons (now Brewers). In ’77, having cruised LIS by power long enough, my father purchased a 36′ sailboat which we so enjoyed for many years (it was a true step up from the Broadwater in quality manufacturing.. a beautiful Bristol Sailboat). Anyway, fun reading here and thank you!

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