Carter Craft Company Startup & History of Operations
- James L. Carter started the company in 1951 in Parker, Florida, which is a suburb of Panama City. James was a wood worker and cabinet maker by trade. He started with 12' and 14' wood fishing boats and graduated to 14' runabouts.
- Tom Bingham purchased the operation in 1952, and formed Carter Craft Corporation, and owned it till closing in 1969. James Carter served as a consultant and boat designer and was the inspiration for many of the designs.
- Carter Craft started to produce 12' and 14' fishing boats during early production. During the mid 1950's they produced 14', 16' and 18' mahogany molded plywood runabouts. In the mid 1960's they produced a line of fiberglass boats which never really caught on, They also produced a number on inboard-outboard 20' models at the end of production. Production lasted through the point when the company went out of business in 1969. The earliest runabouts were molded mahogany plywood, but they also experimented with U.S. Rubber Royalite hulls for some of their boats. Tom Bingham estimated that the company built 30,000 boats from 1951 through 1969.
- Carter Craft was the largest builder of molded mahogany plywood boats in the 1950's and early 60's. The boats were featured in the Evinrude Outboard Motor ads during the 1950's, and used during the water ski shows at Cypress Gardens.