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Davis Boats

Manteo, North Carolina

H. Vernon Davis and his brother, Ralph Davis, designed and built boats in Manteo, North Carolina. Both were interested in boat racing and specialized in E-Class championship runabouts. For his efforts, Vernon Davis was named by the American Power Boat Association as man of the year in 1996. Besides boat-building, he continued operating the family business started by his father, the Carson W. Davis Store, later the Davis Clothing Store. He died in 2006 (May 9, 2006 Virginian-Pilot; May 8, 2006 Outer Banks Sentinel). Boat-building was a family tradition, his grandfather and great-grandfather both built work and fishing boats (The Outer Banks, Anthony Bailey).

A photo of the boat-building operation is available at this link.

Ralph W. Davis placed second in the Sept. 4, 1939 Margate-Longport Regatta free-for-all race in Margate, New Jersey driving "Miss Manteo II", a 225 cu. in. class inboard boat (Sept 4, 1939 New York Times). This boat was made by the Ventnor Boat Works of Ventnor, New Jersey. Miss Manteo I, driven by H. A. Greef, won the National 225 and the John Charles Thomas Trophy in 1936 (Dec. 27, 1936 New York Times). H. A. Grief also placed third driving Miss Manteo II in the 225 Hydroplane class at the Miles River Regatta on August 7, 1936 in St. Michaels, Maryland (August 8, 1936 New York Times). William E. Gatewood of Norfolk, VA was also found listed a driver of Miss Manteo II. Driving the boat in the 1939 Absecon Island motor boat race during the Atlantic City Memorial Day, he won the Judge Emil Auerbach Memorial Trophy but suffered a broken vertebrae in the race.

Model Information

Davis Boats in Use

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