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Featured

ADVENTURES

November’s Skipper of the Month: David Boyer

This month’s Skipper of the Month is David Boyer, a long-time member of the NW Explorations family. David and his wife Anita have joined us on our Mother Goose Alaska Flotilla, as well as taken individual charter trips on Patos, Alaskan Dream, Inception, and Sarah Brooks.

David is also in the final stages of purchasing the 58′ Kadey-Krogen, Spectra, from our brokerage fleet which will be added to our charter fleet (congrats!).

1. Tell us about yourself.

Eighteen years ago, our first born—having finished school in Kansas—announced her plans to move to Gig Harbor, WA. Our annual family visits went from days to weeks as Anita and I grew to appreciate summer on Puget Sound.

Over time, I developed business interests in Seattle, centered around building envelope performance and energy efficient design.  That gave us reason to extend our stays even longer.  Anita and I purchased a summer home and then, six years ago, moved from Kansas City to Gig Harbor full time.

While that move was meant to give me the opportunity to start “winding down,” I still commute back and forth to my Kansas-based companies every month.

I’m President and CEO of PROSOCO, an 80-year-old company that produces specialty products used by the construction industry.  But what I’d learned from business partners in Seattle ignited a new passion, which sparked the creation of Rosetta, a specialty building envelope testing company, and Build SMART,  a startup that designs and prefabricates energy efficient, modular wall panels.

So much for “winding down. . .”

Today, time spent in my home office is filled with conference calls and e-mails. That leaves less time than I would like to spend on the water, but I’m working on it.

Left to right: Troy and Lori-Ann Gonzales, Anita and David Boyer

Anita and I have four children and four grandsons.  Our oldest, Christina, and youngest, Jacob live nearby.  Christina and her husband are parents to our youngest grandson, Emry.

Daughter number two, Rosie, lives in Fort Lauderdale with her husband and three sons. We’re conspiring to get them moved up to the Pacific Northwest in the near future.

That leaves daughter number three, Meghan, who has deep roots in Kansas . . . but looks forward to summer visits in Puget Sound.

2. What’s your boating background?

Both Anita and I grew up in the Midwest—her in Colorado and me in Kansas.  Anita spent time with her best friend Lori-Ann water skiing in Colorado and Wyoming.  I spent summers at my grandfather’s cabin on the Lake of the Ozarks.  Back then, a boat of more than 25 feet was considered a BIG boat.

The first course we took to learn about saltwater boating was 10 years ago in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I’d found a one man, one boat operation advertised in PassageMaker magazine. The captain met us at the airport and, over the next five days, introduced us to life on the water—Florida style. We learned a lot, but the biggest take away from that and subsequent east coast charters was that cruising the intercoastal waterway is not our kind of boating.

Since then, we’ve chartered on the west coast of Florida and a number of times here in the Pacific Northwest.

3. How did you get connected with NW Explorations?

We chartered a Selene from a different company in Bellingham; while there, we took note of the neighboring dock filled with Grand Banks trawlers. Our previous experience chartering a Grand Banks off the gulf coast in Florida caused me to check out the website for NW Explorations. Since that day, we’ve chartered Patos, Alaskan Dream, Inception, and Sarah Brooks. We can’t imagine chartering anywhere else.

4. What boat(s) do you own?

“Captain Emry” piloting Nauti Otter in South Puget Sound.

In 2013 we purchased a 33′ Back Cove, which we keep in a covered slip in Gig Harbor.  We use Nauti Otter to cruise Puget Sound with occasional forays into the San Juans. She easily cruises at 18 knots and is reasonably comfortable for two or three nights out.

In 2015 we purchased a 22.5′ Grady White for fishing. Sadly, the Grady—Anita has named her “Betty”—gets far too little use. We keep Betty on a lift outside our back door on Hale’s Passage just south of Gig Harbor.

Very soon we’ll mark our first big step to a more formidable boat. We’re in the final stages of purchasing Spectra, a 58′ Kadey-Krogen pilothouse trawler being marketed by NW Explorations. When the transaction is complete, we’ll re-name her Nauti Otter 2 and begin preparing her for entry into the 2018 NW Explorations charter fleet.

5. What are your favorite boating spots?

Sunset on Sucia Island.
  • Sucia Island, WA: the sunsets are incredible.
  • Roche Harbor, WA: for dock walking and tradition.
  • Port Townsend, WA: a funky trip to the past.
  • Victoria Harbor, BC: like being in Europe.
  • Olympia, WA: great farmer’s market.
  • West coast of Vancouver, BC: rugged beauty and wildlife galore.
  • Sequim, WA: most scenic marina (John Wayne Marina).
  • Gig Harbor, WA’s Devoted Kiss Café—best breakfast in Puget Sound.
John Wayne Marina – Sequim, Washington

6. What was your favorite boat excursion and why?

Traveling around the outside of Vancouver Island to Ketchikan on Leg 1 of the Mother Goose Alaska Flotilla. Even during the more challenging legs, the support from Brian and Rich in the lead boat inspired confidence and made for a great trip.

7. What are the best locations for spotting wildlife?

On the water. One of our longest and most intimate encounters with a pod of Orcas was directly west of Seattle off Bainbridge Island. Just us and a passing ferry. We spent 20 minutes being escorted by a southbound pod of Orcas en route to our home port of Gig Harbor.

8. If you could give one piece of advice to fellow boaters, what would it be?

Boat more, work less.

9. Have you ever had any perilous journeys? How did you get out of them?

Cruising west out of Victoria up the outside of Vancouver Island we hit a fog bank that gave new meaning to the term, “driving blind.”  Seas were rough and the horizon was nowhere to be found. The combination of AIS, regular communication with other flotilla boats, and a functioning radar got everyone safely to the next anchorage.

10. Anything else you’d like to add?

We feel like our boating stories are just beginning. Catch us again in a few years.


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