After leaving their Long Island home in 1947, Franklin and Ennis Merritt purchased a 10 acre track of land on the Intracoastal Waterway in Pompano Beach, Florida. In 1948 Merritt Boat and Engine Works was born. The boatyard was set up primarily to maintain the Merritt's charter boats, in addition to other charter and drift boats in the area. The yard began building boats in 1955. The Merritt's sons, Buddy and Allen became involved, with buddy running the boat building division and Allen overseeing and administering the business.

Soon after Buddy’s passing in 1971, a third generation Merritt took over the managing of the boatyard. Roy, the son of Allen and Millie Merritt had worked in the yard since his early teens. Today Roy Merritt runs the day-to-day operations at Merritt's.

The 37 Footers

An avid fisherman, Buddy Merritt built what he perceived to be the perfect fishing boat. The first of his 37-footers were totally lacking the luxuries taken for granted today. They were built for one purpose: to raise and catch fish. In all, 13 of these famed 37-footers were built, and 12 survive to this day (one was lost to fire caused by stray fireworks while the boat was out of the water in a boat yard).

The Merritt 37 and the Rybovich 36 pioneered a style that gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s with an open deckhouse (no bulkhead aft) and a flying bridge. Ryco Marine hull #6 imitated this style in 1991 with its launch of a 38-foot dayboat, Wildcat.

Hull construction was typically strip planked with 1"x2" Yellow Cedar fastened to Mahogany frames and stringers.

Thirteen 37 Merritts Were Built from 1955-1967

Merritt Boat Works