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The Shipyard

Est. 1753

The Shipyard at Hobcaw

The Shipyard is located on approximately eight acres of historic former shipbuilding grounds, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The desirable location is in the well-established Hobcaw community, just a ten minutes’ drive from downtown Charleston.  The site offers the opportunity to live in a private, natural setting on deep water with abundant wildlife and tremendous views of the Wando River and Hobcaw Creek.  Pritchard Lake, a three-acre private lake, is located to the west and offers homeowners spectacular sunsets over spring-fed freshwater.  To the east is the seven-acre Redfish Lake, named for its plentiful redfish, though tarpon have been known to inhabit its tidal saltwater.  The Shipyard is a boaters paradise, with over 140 feet of commercial quality deepwater dock and each homeowner will have an assigned slip.  A rare amenity in the area, the dock offers water, power, on-site storage, and a granite fish-cleaning sink just a short ramp from shore.  The site boasts more than 65 live oaks, some of which are more than 300 years old.  Homes at The Shipyard will use natural materials and finishes, and landscaping that focuses on naturalistic design, ensuring that new development blends into the existing landscape.  The Shipyard’s private lots create a natural, secluded enclave within a highly desirable, established neighborhood.
The Shipyard in Mount Pleasant, SC

The History

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Pritchard Shipyard (1778-1831), the rich maritime history of the property
known today as The Shipyard begins in 1681. The original tract was granted to a Barbadian colonist, Colonel John Godfrey who then sold the property to his friend Captain Richard Dearsley. In 1701 Dearsley’s son, Major George Dearsley, a shipbuilder, purchased the tract for its ideal deepwater location and resources for building tall ships. Plus, legend has it that the shipyard needed to be built outside of Charleston because the owners could not keep the workers out of the pubs in the city.

Prominent shipwrights, Stewart and Rose, later purchased the operation in 1753 and began building their gold-standard ships. Their business flourished selling to Begbie and Manson in 1769, who further expanded the enterprise before Paul Pritchard acquired it in 1778. Pritchard’s Shipyard was the largest shipyard in colonial South Carolina. Paul’s son, William, a.k.a. “Hobcaw Bill,” closed the shipyard in 1831 as the local economy turned to more profitable agricultural endeavors.

Many notable ships launched from the property, including what is considered the epitome of South Carolina-built ships, the Heart of Oak (1763). Other history-making vessels included the Liberty (1767), the Magna Carta (1770), the Fair American (1776) and the Unanimity (1794).

Beginning in 1989, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology conducted a survey and excavation at the site, unearthing thousands of artifacts and details that tell the story of The Shipyard. The excavation led to the discovery that a live oak had grown through an original brick structure. While the treasured live oak was removed, its maritime provenance lives on. Through the state’s cooperative agreement with the Navy, the tree’s wood was supplied for the Navy’s historic ships reconstruction program and was installed in the restored hull of the USS Constitution and other historic vessels. The legacy of Pritchard’s Shipyard will continue to live on whether in the USS Constitution, the family cemetery in the heart of Mount Pleasant where lies the remains of Paul Pritchard, new discoveries of artifacts on the property, and now with The Shipyard, as this one-of-a kind community is created.

The Shipyard Aerial Site Plan

The Site

The Shipyard is a simple, yet elegant pocket neighborhood in the heart of the well-established Hobcaw community.  The current owners are commited to preserving its natural beauty and history.  They have engaged Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative, a planning firm that is a national leader in traditional town planning, to help design the community.  The vision for The Shipyard has been carefully crafted to create a strong sense of community while ensuring privacy and tranquaility.  The homes have been artfully places to guarantee all lots have premium secluded back porch views of and access to the water including the fresh and saltwater ponds as well as Hobcaw Creek and the marshes surrounding it.  The Shipyard will remain low density, offering only four new home sites in addition to the owner’s home on the property.

The Site Plan

Each lot will have a dedicated, deepwater boat slip.  The Shipyard is centered around the Shipwrights Commons, a pocket park that is designed with gathering in mind.  Swaying sweetgrass, a small plaza with a fountain and a lawn will become The Shipyard’s meeting place when friends want to get together.  Proposed house plans are available upon request.  Lots include:

The Architecture

We have held on to certain patterns of building that are the basic building blocks of any comfortable and wellbuilt
home that relates to the local context of the Lowcountry. These defining characteristics respond to the hot, humid climate by promoting air circulation, shading and natural cooling. Raised foundations provide an opportunity for parking and storage. One- and two-story porches create shade and provide additional outdoor living space. Tall windows maximize the amount of air allowed inside, and high ceilings allow more space for warm air to rise, keeping the lower portions of the room cooler. We encourage owners to incorporate sustainable materials and systems into their design whenever possible. Local building materials like stucco and clapboard siding can be used for the wall materials. Finally, to pay homage to the shipbuilding history of the site, our sample plans have sparingly incorporated nautical elements and ornamentation in the design of the homes. All of this beautiful architecture will be nestled into a landscape designed with low impact and natural aesthetic as its top priorities.

Video of the Property

For more information, please contact listing agent Jimmy Dye at 843.452.6482 or