Our favorite days here at the shop are the ones where we get to greet a customer who is coming to pick up their long-awaited new boat.  After a long decision process around which boat to buy, choosing different options, placing the order and waiting until it’s their turn for construction, there’s nothing like seeing a customer’s eyes light up when they finally see the boat they’ve been dreaming of.  It’s one of the most rewarding parts of this job that makes all our work worthwhile… and yet only a small percentage of our boats are picked up in person.

For everyone who lives outside of our area and isn’t able to come to the shop in person, we put a great deal of care into our crating and shipping process to ensure that the boat arrives safely at its new home, and the customer has that same great moment when they first set eyes on their boat… even if we don’t get to experience it with them.  Every boat we ship arrives in a sturdy, custom-built crate that gently secures the boat and protects it from any adverse events that may happen during shipping.  

Recently one of our customers, Tom Earnhardt, was nice enough to send us some photos of what the arrival and unboxing looks like from a customer’s perspective, receiving and opening up their long-awaited package.  Tom is an avid outdoorsman, as well as the writer, host and co-producer of public TV’s “Exploring North Carolina,” an Emmy-nominated series that has been on the air for 15 years.  Earnhardt also has written two other books – “Fly Fishing the Tidewater” and “Boats for Fishermen”… so he knows his stuff! 

We were tickled pick to read his letter and see his photos… the look on his face speaks for itself!

To John and the Crew at Gig Harbor Boat Works:


Last week “my ship came in”, and I couldn’t be more pleased. The 14-foot Whitehall was more than worth the wait. It is absolutely beautiful, light as a feather, and handles like a dream. That only additional expense I’ve incurred so far is for Motrin! In four days on water I’ve found muscles I haven’t used in years:-). Sore but very happy…


The attention to detail, and craftsmanship is apparent in every phase of construction, and in every inch of the boat. I’ve also found the 8-foot spoon-blade wooden oars to be ideal for my needs. I’ll keep you posted as I use this Whitehall in North Carolina waters and across the Southeast.


Many thanks!


Tom Earnhardt
Raleigh, NC


The proud owner with his newly-received crate

Unboxing the top

Oooh, theres a pretty boat in here!

From the side, you can see the padding that shields the boat from the sides of the crate itself.

On the trailer and ready to go!

New home!

with the local welcoming committee