Hubert Johnson’s famous Blackjacks


“Mr. Johnson has bequeathed much. He proved in his lifetime that there is no substitute for craftsmanship that comes from a full knowledge of one’s trade, and a desire for perfection. “(New Jersey Boating Magazine, 1950)


With two Hubert Johnson Blackjacks on ClassicBoatsNJ, I needed some information on this mysterious, yet famous figure. Fortunately, my late grandfather had the same idea. Find his full article “Hubert Stanley Johnson: 1887-1949” here.

Hubert Johnson, born 1887, was the son of Morton Johnson, who owned and operated a boat yard in Bay Head, New Jersey. While Hubert got his start at his father’s yard, it wasn’t long before he set out on his own to combine his own boat design and building experience to create Hubert S. Johnson Boat Manufacturer, INC. located right next door in Bay Head.

“In 1936 Hubert Johnson designed and started building a series of ‘Sea Skiffs’ of lap-strake construction. They ultimately became famous world-wide for their distinctive black hulls and cream-colored decks. He had nine models available ranging in size from a 41 foot ‘Double Cabin Express’ to a 24 foot ‘Sportsman’ runabout. His primary tool for marketing these boats was the New York Boat Show where he had extensive exhibits.”

In 1948, Johnson retired from boating and work at the boat yard. “He died a year later. His three children ran the company for another decade and then sold it. It continued for another four years under it’s new owners until it closed down in 1968.”

Find out more about Hubert Johnson’s famous boats Arran and Teal as well as his contribution to the WWII war effort, Johnson 45′ picket boats here: Hubert Stanley Johnson History.

Find Blackjacks for sale at our site,

FOR SALE 1960 24' Blackjack

1960 24′ Blackjack

FOR SALE 1963 24' Blackjack

1963 24′ Blackjack




  1. I am in the process Of completely rebuilding a sister ship of the Hubert Johnson skiff pictured in front of the Hubert Johnson boat works (1957, 33 ft, with the original Chrysler Crown flat head six engines). She will be in the water next year (2016). Beautiful boats (some of the construction elements could have been better, but not bad for a semi production boat.)

  2. Thats great news! Not many of these vessels remain in the country today. I would love to know where your restoration is taking place and when the progress your making. Send some pictures along! – Bill

  3. Bill – Sorry I missed your reply up to now. I ‘adopted’ the boat from John Olsen’s yard in Keyport where she had been abandon for 15 years, and had her trucked to our house in N.E. CT (200 miles). So far I have completely pulled the stem and knee at the bottom of the stem, replaced the top 24” of the stem, repaired the hood ends of all the planks and replaced the stem. Removed the upper winshield, the rear 3ft of trunk cabin top, removed the galley and head, completely replaced the main bulkhead that is the rear of the trunk cabin. Completely disassembled the foredeck, all new white oak deck beams, a 1/4ply sub-deck and relaid the original teak planking in a “TDS” fitting epoxy to create a composite deck (the original teak had been sanded to thin to stand on its own). Removed everything from the forepeak , cleaned stripped & repainted everything and re-installed it. Replaced the entire forward windshield of the trunk cabin, removed much of the interior, stripped, painted and reinstalled it. I am now in the process of installing the new curved handrails and wheelhouse windshield. I would be glad to send you pictures, …. How do I do that ?? Regards, Ned Lloyd

  4. Our 1957, 33ft Hubert Johnson sea skiff is readying for her third season back in the water. She is a very comfortable and capable boat for day trips and extended voyages. Last summer she started to make her way around the southern New England waters with trips to Block Island, Greenport, Shelter Island, Coecles Harbor and multiple trips to Mystic Seaport (where she was awarded “best owner reconstruction and restoration” at the annual Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous). She continues to move along nicely with her original Chrysler Crown 125hp flat head six engines.

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