L & H Boats
ichard Garlington passed his experience to some young boatbuilders, including Glenn Muller, an avid New Jersey fisherman who worked on commercial boats in New England before attending the Florida Institute of Technology. He worked as a carpenter under Garlington and, as a backyard project, built his own 30-foot sailboat. After living aboard with his wife in the Bahamas for a year, the couple faced dwindling finances that led Muller back to Garlington, where his experience in wood and fiberglass kept him busy.
In the early 1990s, customer John Meyer wanted to build his perfect 33-foot sportfish. Muller signed a three-year contract with Meyer’s company, L&H Boats. Word of mouth led to sales: L&H is now on hull No. 36 of the 33-footer. Meyer eventually sold the company to Muller, who today juggles building new boats with restoring classics, including Bertrams.
“L& H had the first walkaround; now everyone has them,” Muller says. “The 33 makes you feel like you’re in a bigger boat, and the cost of operation is remarkable, with diesel engines using less than a gallon of [fuel] per hour. We only build one or two boats a year, and there is no rushing or cutting corners.”
Muller has made mechanical and electrical improvements, but there is no infusion or vacuum-bagging. The hulls are hand-laid using vinylester resins. “We don’t build an ultralight boat. It runs better as a heavier boat. It’s more stable,” he says.
A 43-footer is in the works as the latest 33 is readied for delivery, but L&H is flexible and has even done a one-off 17½-foot flats boat. “It doesn’t make us a lot of money, but we do a couple of big custom projects, renovations and keep building the 33,” Muller says. R
L&H’s 33-footer was born of a client’s desire for the perfect sportfish.
The Gamefisherman 46 comes from a yard that does custom builds to 65 feet.
This 19-foot bronze statue helps Stuart fly the flag as the Sailfish Capital of the World.