CAB Yachts is a small, unique custom yacht design/ build practice located in Pensacola, Florida. We have designed watercraft to 41’ in length and are currently busy planning and building up our line of semi- custom models from 12’ to 37’ in length. We know how to build wooden boats correctly so they will last and we are the Antique & Classic Chris-Craft specialists in the South East U.S. - 5200 bottoms and hulls, restoration, refit, and planking. We build hulls that are sealed with moisture regulating technology that maintains durability for decades!
Officially founding the business in 2010, Charles A. Bodree Jr. had developed the concept for the business years earlier as his love of boats began at an early age. Raised on the water along the Gulf Coast, Charles’ father was an avid yachtsman, designer, and builder who encouraged his son’s love of all things maritime and creative. By age 10, Charles was designing and building boats of his own. Charles was fortunate to grow up in a family with classic boats, so his understanding and respect for the classics runs deep. To date, Charles has designed some two dozen skiffs and yachts from 8 feet to 41 feet in length and now Charles is able to offer discerning clients a “boutique-like” experience in a yacht design build commission. In addition, Charles brings extensive knowledge of materials integration to the company and years of experience in fine carpentry and marine finishes and repair.
Charles holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University and with more than 20 years in the Architecture profession, he has acquired a unique insight into the design and construction of beautiful watercraft. In addition, Charles owned & operated a custom design/ build practice for more than 5 years and he has received multiple awards for excellence in the design of objects, fine art, graphics, and architecture over the past 32 years.
Re-fits, re-power, remanufacturing, refinishing.
Yes, we do it all! Re-fits, re-power, remanufacturing, restoration, refinishing and custom design/ build/ installs from interiors to unique furniture and accessories. We specialize in new custom construction, and we also enjoy making an existing classic or antique watercraft look great as well. We offer full restoration services from seasonal varnish and paint to cleaning and prep work, engine work, custom trailer work, chroming and finish solutions, and more...
What makes our boats so good? the design and the construction!
At CAB Yachts, our boats begin with an idea about a yachting experience. From the first sketches to the final construction drawings, our yachts are definitely influenced by the mid- century modern classics, but they feature very contemporary power plants, systems, and interiors. We do, however, offer complete vintage mechanical systems for the Gentleman’s Racer Series- 250 & 290 single and twin screws for the yachtsman who demands the authentic look, sound, and feel of a true vintage race boat. We incorporate CAD based systems to develop the designs and prepare for the construction of every aspect of every boat we produce.
We incorporate CNC technology to produce exact, precise frames and parts, then all joints bedded in 3M 5200 and all components are fastened with silicone bronze fasteners. We DO NOT use 100% solids resinous epoxies! We know better and we wont use them on our boats or your wooden boat project, even if you pay us to! Simply put, we know better! Hard 100% solids resin epoxies do not move at the same rate of wood and will always fail. We guarantee it! When they fail, water will enter the crack and find wood- this starts a deterioration process that we have spent countless hours trying to repair. Its not a good way to invest in a classic boat and its not the kind of short- term yachting product that we pride ourselves in designing and building everyday. Our boats last! By this we mean that the boats will continue to perform without plank or frame failure for decades if maintained properly, simply because our construction methods control moisture and movement.
The 5200 construction methodology creates a rigid and yet flexible (on a micro scale) construction, that wont fail under normal stresses. In fact, the 5200 construction concept reinforces the old truism about wooden boats as "soft, quiet rides" because the rubber construction allows the impact forces traveling through the hull to dissipate evenly. Something other composite or hard resins constructions types don't account for. Next, after all framing and planking is finished, all the wood is saturated with Smith’s CPES. This sealing procedure ensures that the moisture content of the wood will be regulated and never go beyond 25%- the threshold for rot spore incubation. Smiths is only about 55% solids and it penetrates to chemically bond to the cellulose fibers producing a long life sealant that remains flexible. In addition, the treatment creates a stronger chemical bond with paints and varnish to produce finishes that last for years - not just one season.
plank on frame with battens. It's old school and it works!
Regardless of what boat builders today might tell you, “plank on frame” construction is still the best method for building a wooden boat. The concept is very simple, and in its most modern derivation, has been used with great success for over decades. But times have changed- at least the technology has changed. Years ago, there were no sealants to keep the MC(moisture content) in check. Still later, in the mid 20th century, there were chemicals developed specifically for MC control in wood, but the problem was the technology. The sealants of years ago, did not last very long and so the wood eventually would start to absorb water when the boats were not maintained correctly. With that water intrusion, came multiple problems- plank swelling, finish shedding, fastener deterioration and movement. Today, the technology exist to allow the simple effective “plank on frame” methodology to work the way the boatwright’s of years ago knew that it could.
Most custom builders today have given up on “plank on frame” construction. We find that unfortunate. Instead, most are building with some derivative of “composite” construction, or some other variant. Basically, they all mean something very similar, which is to say that they combine hard 100% solids resins between layers of wood or other material to form a thicker finished material. Either way, wood and hard resins DO NOT MIX! At least not for long! As the resinous epoxy sheets age and off-gas, the resins lose strength and become more brittle. Separation will eventually occur because the two bonded materials inherently respond to forces differently. When the boat hull racks and sags through movement over the water, the hard resin loses its grip and cracks or rips the surface of the wood. The result is system failure.
Still other custom builders use ALL resins reinforced with fiberglass cloth. To them, keep on! We do not compete with them because our product is in a completely different category. A CAB Yachts boat will be around for decades and provide plenty of quality time on the water, and it will be the classic, thoughtfully designed, vintage inspired yacht that is not meant to be the “first on the fishing hole”, but rather THE ONE that gets you out and back in true wooden boat soft ride and classic styling- with a true modern edge! Our yachts create memories that go beyond a weekend tournament and reside in family ownership that lasts for generations- because CAB Yachts are heirlooms.