Gig Harbor Boat Works Expands Operations Into New Facility
Since our founding in 1986, Gig Harbor Boat Works has built thousands of boats in our humble two-room boatshop on Peacock Hill, about half a mile up from the picturesque Gig Harbor waterfront. Back in the old days when we built only one boat at a time, there was plenty of space to build our boats in the back room, and display our demo models in the front room.
Since we’ve been discovered nationwide over the past few years, and increased our production to meet growing demand, our little shop is now busting at the seams. Boats in progress, demo boats, and finished customer boats have created a winding labyrinth that changes daily! If you’ve visited us in the past couple of years, you’ve likely squeezed your way through the obstacle course of boats in the showroom to see everything there is to offer.
An unstaged photo from last spring, with 12 boats in the building at one time (and even more outside).
Not to mention we also have a Tacoma production shop where our fiberglass hulls are manufactured. Since they’re now building twice as many hulls, they are maxed out on space too. Twice as many boats means twice as many trips out to Tacoma to pick up bare hulls to bring back to Gig Harbor, so managing that has become quite the headache.
For years now, it’s been a dream of ours to bring both sides of our production team together under one roof.
IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve found a new location with enough space to expand and combine our operations under one roof! As the crow flies, our new production facility is in less than 1/2 mile away from our original Peacock Hill shop. The assembly shop that occupied the back half of our building has already moved into the new facility. The fiberglass shop will be following this winter, once all their necessary equipment is installed.
The new location also has office space, so our admin team finally has some elbow room. There is a dedicated space to prepare outgoing shipments so our order fulfillment processes can be more efficient and accurate. We also have some warehouse space, where we want to keep a small inventory of stock boats available for those who don’t have the time to wait for a custom order. (You can get a first glimpse of that here on our New In Stock page!)
Updated Showroom and Delivery Center
The sales & marketing crew will stay at the original location. If you’re coming to see us, make sure you go to the same place you always have! With assembly happening elsewhere, our original building can now be reimagined as a fully customer-focused space. We’ll have more spacious displays so you can see the boats better, see samples of colors and options available, and browse a curated collection of related accessories, gear and gifts that you can purchase onsite or online.
That said, we know that there’s nothing quite like walking into a boatshop and watching people create beautiful boats with their own two hands. Once we get everything fully up and running in the new facility, we want to offer regularly scheduled “factory tours” so you can have opportunities to see where the boatbuilding magic happens.
Creating Unforgettable Experiences on the Water
The goal of Gig Harbor Boat Works’ expansion is to help more people find the right rowboat or sailboat for whatever activity, cruise, or adventure they are looking for. We want to help people connect with, recreate on, and understand better the worlds oceans, rivers, and lakes, through personal experience. Whether that is finding the right tender for a larger cruising vessel, or providing a sailing/rowing dinghy specifically for exploration and fun, GHBW has a variety of boats that are built to provide years of reliable service.
2023 marks the first year that we have sold more boats to out-of-state than in-state customers. Our growth is fueled by our ability to deliver timeless, fun, and practical boats to an ever-growing audience. The sailing and rowing boats we build allow owners to enjoy and experience the water in a sustainable way. Many of our customers this year expressed a desire to explore with minimal impact on the environment. This category of eco-conscious boaters is growing as more people want to simultaneously explore and protect their local waters. Getting out on the water and having fun is at the core of everything we do at Gig Harbor Boat Works.
Case in point, a recent dive outing by the Kothlow-Parlette family in their 14′ Whitehall. The family that dives together, thrives together!
“The best place to find inspiration is time spent with family and underwater.” – @t_kothlow
(Don’t miss the stunning dive photos in their full Instagram post that this photo came from.)
Thank YOU for making this expansion possible!
We’re delighted that our boats are getting out there to more people across the country so that more people can experience the unique pleasures that a classic rowboat or sailing dinghy can offer. You are the reason that we’re able to grow, and keep building boats that bring so much joy to others. It’s a good feeling to make a living by building something that puts so much JOY out there in the world.
Here’s to warm, safe, and happy holidays wherever you are. Thank you.