Welcome! Here in the Pacific Northwest, Winter has arrived with driving rain as the storms sweep in off the Pacific Ocean. We have been keeping warm by building boats for your winter trips South. Nothing like sanding out a rubrail to warm you right up! It’s been a lot wetter than normal with the coast being pounded and I-5 being flooded for a week, but luckily our shop stayed dry We are busily preparing for the Annual Seattle Boat Show as you’ll read below and we hope to see you there. We had a great time this Thanksgiving with our family and we hope you did too. Happy Holidays! See you at the show!

New Melonseed!

After some feedback from our Melonseed customers, we have decided to modify the hull and the interior of our great Melonseed. Customers have desired just a little more room for their knees under the oars, and a little more freeboard without creating more windage. That’s a hard modification but we are up to it.

The specific change was to raise the seat rails and the sheer at the center of the boat by 1 1/2 inches. That may not sound like much but it gives you just enough more room to stroke without having to totally flaten your knees on the recovery and pull.

The raising of the seat rails allowed us to smooth out the transition of the stern sheets to the side seats. In addition we have yet another modification to this wonderful boat to return it to it’s roots. Take a long look at the photos and see if you can tell what we are up to.


A clear photo showing the extra freeboard.


Same beautiful Transom with custom wood rub rail.


Looking aft at the new stern sheets layout.


Now what could that be?


What’s this??


Hmmm some sort of doodle at the cafe?

Now what are Dave, Joey and Falk up to? You’ll have to come back in January to see the full photos, or come on down to the boat show where we will have our newest boat on display.

If this boat sounds like just the boat you’ve been hunting for, give us a call and you can be the first owner of a very custom Melonseed! Contact Us!


Well we have been following Erden on his website, who has been rowing right at the equator in the Pacific Ocean. He’s wondering if the wind and currents will let him cross. It’s been very frustrating for him but we can tell that he’s determined to push on come what may. On the positive side his equipment and food seem to be holding up.

As you read Erden’s logs you can see that he’s very dedicated but seems to miss human company. It’s also amazing the wilingness of the birds to trust him enough to sleep on his boat. There have been a number which appear to have been glad of a chance to land and rest a night or so.

You can follow his trip here http://www.around-n-over.org


The map of Erden’s progress, or lack there of.


One of Erden’s new boat buddies.


A shot of our sliding seat rig. You can see that it’s still in pretty good shape after all this rowing and rain.

We are vicariously enjoying Erden’s trip and welcome his regular updates. If you enjoy them as much as we do, be sure to sign up for the notifications on his website.

If you can afford to give a donation to his trip, we are sure that it will be very much appreciated. Perhaps even more than one more present under the tree, a card with a donation note.

We will continue to provide updates in our newsletters as we receive updates from Erden.

Roz Savage Rows the Pacific!

Roz Savage dropped into town Mid November and so we made a date to hoist a few cold ones and swap stories. She brought along Brad Vickers from Oar Northwest. So we heard stories from both trips.

Not many of you may know this but the Oar Northwest team underestimated the amount of food they would need. Day 10 or so they had to discuss how they were going to make it on reduced rations, or would they chance that they would be able to break the record by two weeks and eat full rations? You can imagine the heat that discussion generated. In the end they voted to reduce the rations on the off chance that the weather would hold them back. Fortunately for the crew this was the right choice, for while they set the American record the weather conspired to keep them from breaking the 100 year old record. Well our hats are off to them.

Roz assured us that the seat rig we custom built for her boat for the Pacific trip was working great. She told us her fears of losing her boat after having to abandon it off the California coast. Roz filled us in with some of her training tricks (hard work, that’s not a big secret) and that she joined the San Fransisco chapter of the Boot Camp training. Up at 5am to be yelled at by a big guy to get going! Roz said that for the Atlantic trip she may have overtrained and started the row injured. Overtraining is always a worry for endurance athletes. Sometimes more, is not better.


This is the group at Hales AleHouse. That’s Roz on the right, our webmaster in the center, and Brad Vickers on the left.

Roz seems to be a bit at loose ends until spring of next year. We heard about plans to go dog sledding, visit friends, gather more information on equipment for better communication at sea. If you need a motivational speaker, you should give her a call. We bet your team will become energized after listening to her stories about how she has been able to put together these adventures. We have also heard rumors that she may come up to Seattle for the Boat show. We’ll let you know if those plans firm up.

You can of course go directly to her website and sign up for updates. And as we hear from Roz we will add stuff to our newsletters. Roz Savage Rows the Pacific

From our Mailbag

Our Mailbag again has been overflowing this fall so we’re sure you will enjoy reading about these adventures as much as we have.


Hello Dave,

Greetings from Grand Turk. A couple of years ago you built a Navigator dinghy for me. I am very pleased with the boat and I apologize for the delay in writing to you. I have been busy and the weather hasn’t been the greatest. Now I have used it enough to give a meaningful review.

I should immediately say that doing business with your Company was a pleasure: the boat was delivered to the Turks & Caicos Islands in perfect condition. The crate was a little work of art; all the accessories I had ordered were there and the boat was built exactly as requested. The fact that we communicated mainly by e-mail makes all this even more remarkable.

The Navigator is a wonderful little boat. I keep it in my yard, forty yards from the shore, and I can launch it in five minutes, alone, using a little dolly. It’s the perfect vessel for one; it rows wonderfully. The flotation collars (which you insisted I buy) make the boat ultra-stable, and I think are a must: the negative consequences of the boat weighing only 75 lbs are completely eliminated. With the collars, the boat carries four persons snorkeling with incredible ease, and if needed, it can also handle a little chop.

The 12 V electric motor performs adequately. With two batteries, if I run it at ¾ speed, I get several hours of autonomy. Of course, an electric motor has zero torque, so navigating against the sea is not a memorable experience. It takes me an hour and a half to get to my favorite spearfishing spot. But the simplicity of operation and the low-tech qualities of the system outweigh my need for more power. I am happy as it is. The boat would do wonders with a 2 HP four.stroke.

Here are a few pictures of my beautiful Ciumachella and her captain (the last one is just to make you hungry!).

Thank you very much and best wishes to all of you at Gig Harbor Boat Works.


Alex G.


On the dolly (my little cat Teodato supervises the operation).


Rigging Cumachella.


The motor is mounted when the boat is in the water.


Final inspection.


We are ready!


A wonderful catch to crown a wonderful day.

Wow! All we can say is that we wish we could deliver our boats personally and stay and test them out in these beautiful waters!

So that’s all the news for now. We hope to hear from you soon. We’ll be busy working on our next newsletter as well as your boats. So if email is slow, please call.