Boaters benefit when like-minded, family-run companies combine forces, and the small boat equivalent of that has happened in the Pacific Northwest.

It was recently announced that Gig Harbor Boat Works acquired Duckworks Boat Builders Supply as a sister company at the beginning of 2022.

Gig Harbor Boat Works builds fiberglass rowing and sailing boats inspired by designs from the age of working sail. It was founded by Dave Robertson in the garage behind his house in the late 1970s, incorporated in 1987, and since then has grown into one of the premier small-boat builders in North America. It is now managed by Dave’s youngest daughter, Katie Malik, and his son-in-law Falk Bock (married to oldest daughter Jessica).

Headquartered in Port Townsend, Duckworks Boat Builders Supply is an online store that caters to at-home boat builders. Essentially, the companies are two sides of the same small-craft coin.

“Gig Harbor Boat Works has a reputation for high quality boats, excellent customer service, and an enthusiasm for small craft boat design that has gotten us where we are today. Duckworks has a very similar story, so there’s a very natural fit between the two companies,” Katie says.

“As a custom boat builder, Gig Harbor Boat Works has always been very much a one-boat-at-a-time company so we never had need for an online store. But we’re now seeing such a high level of demand for both our boats and other standalone products like our forward facing rowing system that it makes sense for us to scale up into e-commerce. We can learn a lot from Duckworks and the way they’ve set up a successful online storefront and warehouse operation. It’s exciting to see how these two businesses will learn from and help each other in coming years as they continue to grow.”

Gig Harbor Boat Works intends to keep Duckworks running in the same tradition of family-run roots and customer-focus that has made it successful until now, while also enabling the company to continue to grow and flourish as more and more people around the world discover the joy of building their own boats. 

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