The [Philadelphia] Sunday Bulletin, April 12, 1959
Boating by Carl Sheppard
is indeed a rarity in these times of confused values. For one thing,
he builds a boat that looks like a boat. For another, he won’t trade
one iota of his customary loving workmanship for all the profits
of mass output. The elsewhere almighty dollar has no
more power over Adams two-boat production line than over Shelleys
muse, da Vincis brush. Boat building is Adams life,
and he does it to a single standard - perfection.
Assisted only by his son, Alvin, Adams proceeds at a speed commensurate
with artistry to compose symphonies in cedar, oak, teak and mahogany.
His pace leaves customers tearing their hair, but their reward is
a creation of graceful strength and matchless performance.
As far back as the Prohibition era, Adams fame had reached
the rum runners, who came to him seeking the first big lapstrake
seaskiffs which wouldn’t leak despite the pounding they suffered
at blazing speeds through moonlit Jersey inlets.
In the years since then dozens of charter skippers, whose 30 and
40-footers must stand a year-round offshore grind, and scores of
yachtsmen hunting the ultimate in strength and handling ease, have
seen their dreams take shape under Adams magic touch.
Each craft must be a masterpiece of her type before the big doors
at the rear of the plant are pushed back and she slides down the
ways into the placid Nacote, to add one more member to the charmed
circle of skippers who will never be quite happy without an Adams
You might think this would be a proud moment for Adams, too, but
its really a sad one. I well recall the August afternoon in
1947 when my first Adams sport fisherman lay beside the Nacote’s
grassy bank, while the finishing touches were applied to her graceful
sideshields. Compared with this greyhound, all other 25 footers
I had ever seen faded into insignificance.
I could hardly wait to put her through the paces, but Adams was
reluctant to let her go. He kept pottering about, finding things
to do to her. Finally, when the parting could be put off no longer,
he confesses that every time a boat left his shop it was like losing
a member of his family. He leafed through an album of his boats,
including a blank page for the new member.
It was quite a family. Included were many of the best
known charter craft along the coast, some of which I had fished
from myself in the years past. All were still going strong, and
most of them are today, too, like those old soldiers who never die.
It takes a lot to kill an Adams boat.
Carl Sheppard, Boating Editor
The [Philadelphia] Sunday Bulletin 1959