In the Boat Shop: Summer 2021

We invite you to peruse the current projects in our shop. Please contact Great Bear Boatworks if one of these designs catches your eye or you have another design in mind that you would like us to build for you or with you.


Note that these images reflect the project in process and will be updated as the build progresses. Once the boat is completed, a full gallery will be posted online under the "Boats" tab.

Interior cleaned up and epoxy coated.jpg

Guillemot: 13' Rowing and Sailing Dinghy


Designed by Iain Oughtred, the Guillemot has timeless lines and the sweet aesthetic of a traditionally built lapstrake hull. With firm bilges and a proud, vertical stem, this small boat can carry a lot of weight and handle moderate seas with ease. Yet she is light on the water and rows and sails with efficiency and grace. 


Stretched to just over 13' from the design length of 11'6" and built using the glued-lapstrake technique, this specific boat will be a row-only dinghy to serve as the gateway for family adventures of the aquatic and marine kind on the protected waters around Vancouver Island.


At just over 100 pounds in weight, she can just as easily be car-topped as transported on a light, small-boat, aluminum trailer. For those in the Intermountain West, the Guillemot or her larger cousin, the Acorn 15, would make sweet day sailors or rowing boats in which to explore the countless mountain reservoirs and lakes. Just be sure to save time at the put-in ramp for the affectionate onlookers.

Visit the Guillemot Build Gallery


Savo 575S: 19' Finnish Rowing Shell


Designed by Ruud van Veelen of Puuvenepiste in Finland, the Savo 575S open water single rowing shell is a slightly shorter, lighter version of the 650D4. Light, fast, and beautiful, the Savo is changing the way that American wooden boat builders are thinking about effective, performance-oriented rowing craft. 


At just under 19' long, 49" wide, and weighing 85 pounds, the Savo 575S cruises easily at 4.5 to 5 knots and can reach speeds of almost 9 knots when sprinting. With plenty of volume and storage space for gear, great maneuverability, and the versatility of a car-toppable shell, the Savo 575S is perfect for competitive rowing as well as recreational day trips or extended adventures.

Visit the Savo 575S Build Gallery


New Boat Barn

After several years of building boats in a 450 square foot basement room, we have taken the step to build a dedicated shop. At just over 1900 square feet between a main floor and loft, the new building allows for more efficient, safe, and ergonomic work spaces. We are poised to be able to build larger boats (such as the Aroha!) and have multiple projects on the go at the same time. We are also excited that this space will make it more plausible for future clients to contribute meaningfully to their boat's build if they so choose.

Building the new shop has taken time and has been the result of countless hours of work by family, friends, and neighbors. There is still a long tick-list of tasks that need to be completed before we are done, but we are extremely grateful for all of the support we have received in the process. We moved in this winter and are building hull #1 for the new shop - a Savo 575S. It is such a treat to have the space!