Fern Carter and Ernest Poland, Sr. are planking NANCY RUTH, one of Fern’s first boats and one he’d keep, naming her for his daughters. Ernest Poland came from a family of boat builders. Fern first acquired boat building skills by working alongside Ernest until Ernest started his own business, Poland Boats.
Carter boats were built for sturdiness. While the mechanics of the boats changed over time, the design remained pretty much the same. Fiberglass lobster boats gained popularity in the 1980s. “Fiberglass platforms are hard on your legs and feet,” says boat builder Ronnie Poland, “so some lobstermen put wooden platforms on their fiberglass boats. Some older guys are going back to wooden boats.”