The Albury Brothers Boatbuilding Company started creating boats on Man-O-War Cay in the Abacos in 1952, when Willard Albury founded the operation with his father and brother. The family’s round-bottom wooden vessels with wave-slicing bows soon became well-known for being seakindly. Albury grew to become such an in-demand builder that Jeff Lichterman wasn’t willing to go on the two-year waiting list when he wanted an Albury Brothers boat. Lichterman made the family an offer they couldn’t refuse: Let him build their boats in the United States on a larger scale, and they would get a royalty. After more than 350 boats in 13 years, the formula has proved a success. And even today, an Albury Brothers boat, now built in fiberglass, retains that round-bottom hull that runs softly across the sea. Below is Lichterman’s take on the history of how the brand evolved from then until now, with buyers still looking for more to come.
I had been going to the Abacos since the ’80s as a yachtsman. I appreciated their boats out there and wanted to get one, and the waiting line was long. They built in wood until 1985, when the madera tree became depleted and they switched to fiberglass.
They had a great reputation for their ride and quality, and I thought there’d be a larger opportunity for their boats, but they’re limited in the size of their island, and their materials and labor availability.
In 2003, I suggested a mutually beneficial relationship where they let me build their boats in the States with the exact same materials and lamination — the exact same boat — to make it available to more people. They get control over us from a quality and product-integrity standpoint.
One of our biggest segments is being towed behind sport-fishermen and trawlers. A lot of our boats are used as tenders.