Dave Robertson is the Founder, President, and primary boat builder of the company. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. His love for building things and for boating began at an early age. Always drawn to workshops, garages, and anywhere a project was underway, his mom always knew where to find him as he tagged along with his dad when he went to work in his shop. The more tools, parts, and mechanical gizmos, then the happier he was. He built his first boat, a hydroplane, at the age 13 to race around in Morrow Bay on family vacations. They also vacationed on Vancouver Island every summer where he spent a lot of time mucking around on the docks and harbors.
After meeting his wife, Janet, at college (they are both University of Puget Sound graduates), and building his first house in Gig Harbor, it was time to get back into his boat building hobby. Their first project after they were married in 1974 was to build their first sailboat together, a 17′ Glen-L design boat kit. They became familiar with many harbors around Puget Sound and a few beautiful northwest lakes.
After restoring several old wooden sailboats, Dave’s urge to build something struck again in 1977, so they bought an unfinished Mercator 30 and made a beautiful cruiser out of it. They quickly needed a dinghy to compliment the traditional look of their sailboat. Not finding many beautiful yet lightweight fiberglass dinghies, they decided to build their own, so Gig Harbor Boat Works was born. Their goal was to build quality, yet affordable yacht tenders that would row, sail, and track well across the Strait of Juan de Fuca when towed behind a sailing yacht. The Robertsons have been building graceful rowboats and day-sailors ever since. Production is currently at approximately 100 boats per year. Boats have been shipped all over the United States, Canada, and to other parts of the world.
Dave and Janet have two grown daughters, Jessica and Katie, who have spent many summer vacations cruising in the San Juan Islands. They have helped part time doing office work, and designing and maintaining our websites, www.ghboats.com, and www.forwardfacingrowingsystem.com. Sons-in-law Falk Bock and Joe Malik have also joined in the family effort. Falk is a capable boat builder, while Joe helps out with special projects and sales.
Besides building boats, Dave also is rebuilding the family’s 1932 Chevy from the inside out as well as a 1956 Ford Ranchwagon. He also builds bows for his other hobby, archery. Janet, the office manager and bookkeeper is an English Handbell ringer and enjoys quilting and gardening. They also have an Australian Blue Heeler named Daisy.