Paul Mann Papers, PC.5355


Paul Mann Papers, PC.5355


Paul Mann is a Dare County native who operated a yacht building business, Paul Mann Custom Boats, in Manns Harbor, North Carolina, from 1988 to 2020. The Paul Mann Papers, 1988-2019, contains materials related the Paul Mann Custom Boats. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs of the various boats designed by Mann, often including interior and exterior shots, as well as blueprints and promotional materials.

Descriptive Summary

Paul Mann Papers
Call Number
Mann, Paul
2.300 cubic feet
Outer Banks History Center

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Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research. Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact the Outer Banks History Center for more information.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by the United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying these materials.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], PC.5355, Paul Mann Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The Paul Mann Papers, 1988-2019, contains materials related the Paul Mann Custom Boats. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs mounted on foam core of the various boats designed by Mann, often including interior and exterior shots. Most of these photographs were originally housed in large composite frames, which were dismantled to facilitate storage and access. Included are images of several charter fishing groups and their catches alongside Mann's first boat, the Mad Hatter, in 1988, as well as snapshots of each phase of the construction process of the boat Prime Time in 1998-1999. In addition to photographs, the collection includes a small number of blueprints, copies of several boating magazines featuring articles about Mann and his shop, and promotional materials distributed by Mann Custom Boats.

Arrangement Note

Photographs are arranged chronologically according to the year each boat was built. Other materials are arranged alphabetically.


Paul Mann grew up in Dare County and served as a mate on charter boats as a young man. When he was 20, he obtained a captain's license and opened an offshore fishing business. He also dabbled in boatbuilding and, in his spare time, assisted local builders Buddy Canady, Sunny Briggs, and Omie Tillett in building their boats. He decided to open his own boat building company, Mann Boat Works (later renamed Paul Mann Custom Boats), in 1988, specializing in sportfishing boats. He built a large manufacturing facility on his family's ancestral land in Manns Harbor. He was known for his custom yacht designs, which he constructed using the traditional wood plank-on-frame method. Mann personally oversaw the construction of each boat his company built, and his specialized process and craftsmanship meant that the company only built about 40-50 boats in its 30-plus-year existence. His wife, Robin Mann, ran the business with him. Mann decided to retire in 2020 to focus on his health and sold his business.

Contents of the Collection

1. Advertisements, 2003-2008

2. Articles and Promotion [3 folders], 2005-2019

3. Awards, 2005-2016

4. Brochures, 2003-2005

5. Media Disc, 2006

6. Oversize Materials (Blueprints, Advertisements, and Photographs), 1990s-2000s

7. Photographs, 1988-2016

Mad Hatter, 53', 1988
Image Box 1
Grand Slam, 53', 1990
Image Box 1
Tarheel, 55', 1991
Image Box 1
Magic Marlin, 58', 1995
Image Box 1
Quintiki, 60', 1997
Image Box 1
Sniper, 56', 1998
Image Box 1
Prime Time, 57', 1998-1999
Image Box 1
DeeLarryus, 63', 2001
Image Box 1
Clean Livin', 58', 2002
Image Box 1
Poor Girl, 65', 2003
Image Box 1
Izzer, 68', 2004
Image Box 1
Hunter, 65', 2005
Image Box 1
Line Dancer, 62', 2005
Image Box 2
Phat Mann, 65', 2006
Image Box 2
D.A. Sea, 65', 2007
Image Box 2
Ann Warrick, 78', 2008
Image Box 2
Qualifier, 56', 2009
Image Box 3
Reel Relief (Chesapeake Boats), 42', 2009
Image Box 3
Royal Flush, 66', 2009
Image Box 3
Georgia Girl, 81', 2011
Image Box 3
Alina, 58', 2012
Image Box 3
Lisa K., 67', 2013
Image Box 4
Caught Up, 60', 2016
Image Box 4

Subject Headings

  • Boatbuilders--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Boatbuilding--North Carolina--Dare County
  • Yachts--Design and construction--North Carolina
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Paul and Robin Mann, May 2021.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Samantha Crisp, July 2022.