You don’t see the word artisan associated with pleasure boats very often, but that is the exact word that fits the Caribiana Sea Skiff being manufactured in Foley, Alabama. 

Caribiana, now in its fourth generation, has a new group of investors who are breathing life into the “eye-catching” 23-foot runabout. They will soon expand on the 200-plus beautiful skiffs that have been sold from San Diego to Canada to Cape Cod since the boat was first produced. On a beautiful day, you will likely spot a Caribiana around the Scenic 98 Coastal area. Even among thousands of other boats, they are distinctive and stylish and demand attention. 

The brainchild of Lynn Rabren, who brought the iconic Caribbean island-hopping skiff from Trinidad to the United States more than twenty-five years ago, and modernized the wooden hull to fiberglass creating a pleasure craft for the sophisticated boat owner. “Lynn did a wonderful job building this boat and brand,” says Elmer Barnett, one of the new investors. “I fell in love immediately.” 

Fast forward to 2022, when the current team purchased Caribiana and made plans for a new manufacturing facility in Foley, Alabama. The first new Caribiana Sea Skiff should be delivered by the end of the year with a few design tweaks from the original. Melanie Martin of Melanie Martin Interiors in Orange Beach will get Hull No. 1. 

She will also be involved with the fabric selection and matching of interior accessories. “Customer input is important,” says Paul Galusha, another investor. “And what better customer to get input from than an interior designer?” 

Each Caribiana has a custom-colored hull with high-grade wood trim finishes and rope inlay rub rails, giving the boat a classic look with modern function and durability. The graceful lapstrake hulls have a high, sleek prominent bow that gently sweeps back toward the transom giving the Caribiana an elegant look on the water and the ability to slice through waves. 

Its Caribbean heritage of island hopping cannot be denied. The new Caribiana Maracas has a modern helm that fits well with side seats that are a bit more forward than previous models. There is a table option in the middle of the console for picnics and such. The matching bimini top offers protection from the sun and rain. 

The white Suzuki 60, or the optional white Suzuki 90, will take you where you want to go with style and dependability. “It's been fun putting the team together,” says Elmer. “Everyone involved has a 10-plus-year relationship with Caribiana. We are friends and business partners. The company foundation is strong.” 

Where will Caribianas be sold?? I asked. “All over. We get calls every week from Cape Cod, Charleston, Savannah, and all up the Eastern Seaboard.” The 23’ Maracas can currently be ordered directly from the company. Plans include a 31’ model based on the 23’ and later on, a 34’ fishing platform. 

Joe Alan Sexton, a very early investor, says he can’t wait to experience the Caribiana with his wife and two kids. “It’s a work of art,” he says. “I see us pulling up to a beach or a sandbar and having a great day on the water. One of my friends plans to use his as a tender on his 72’ Viking. What a great way to go ashore in the Bahamas!” 

What’s not to like about that? They truly are one of the most beautiful boats on the water today. Just seeing one makes you feel like you’re in the Caribbean! Please visit their website at or email Joe Alan Sexton at for more information.

Jul 12, 2023
People & Business Profiles

Join Our Community

Sign up below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter

* indicates required

More from 

People & Business Profiles


View All