Why Full Circle?

Willy Phillips, Owner

The first boat I named Full Circle was a boat I found abandoned in the marsh up Bath Creek. It was built by an old boat builder from Pamlico Beach, Wilson Foster, who could build a skiff in a day, and a deadrise in a week.

The boat had been abandoned because it was worn out and not worth the effort to repair. I was short on money so I replaced stem, transom, bottom boards, and put in a new air cooled Briggs & Stratton cast iron 9 hp, and made it into a crab boat.

The Briggs and Stratton had no clutch so when you cranked her up she went. I used that boat for a couple of years trot lining for crabs in Bath Creek.

Then I built the second boat named Full Circle.  She was all juniper with a deep deadrise in the entry and a flat skiff run aft. She had a 25hp Evinrude, and then a 40 hp Mariner.

On the Pamlico I would trot line for crabs in the morning and keep the small crabs (no laws then) for my eel pots in the afternoon. The eels would be sold and some kept to be salted for my crab trotline for the next morning. That’s one full circle–crabs for eels, eels for crabs.

When fishing crab pots, the boats turned in a circle over the pots, because we pulled by hand, and remember my boat didn’t have neutral, so that’s the second full circle.

But the third and most important had to deal with the circle of life in which I was privileged to participate.. There was a song when I was coming up called “Will the Circle be Unbroken”, combining the southern rockabilly of the time with the old blue grass masters.

It was this translation to life that helped inspire the name Full Circle:  taking the experience and practical wisdom of the older fishermen and boat builders to make a successful career out of fishing.

As regards to the business, one of our core philosophies is that by keeping people connected to their food source they will pay more attention to the health of the resource upon which that food depends..

So water quality/habitat issues become more than an abstraction, they are a measure of the richness that nature can provide.

Full Circle Crab Company employs 10-20 local people, buys from 100 fishermen over the year, supplies food to thousands of locals and tourists alike, and slips in the not so subtle connection to our responsibilities to be a good neighbor, and to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

The circle of life – may it ever be full.

Willy Phillips, Owner
Full Circle Crab Company and Seafood Market

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