Founded in 1986, Gig Harbor Boat Works (GHBW) builds fiberglass rowboats and sailing dinghies from 8-17 feet in length. As the daughter of founder Dave Robertson (now retired), Katie grew up around small craft boats, and subsequently worked behind the scenes of the f
amily business for over 20 years. She stepped up to the role of general manager in 2021, and now manages both GHBW and sister-company Duckworks Boat Builders Supply.
Katie was recently appointed to the Boat Show Committee.
As a new Boat Show Committee member, what are your observations?
I‘ve only been to two Boat Show Committee meetings so far, but one thing is already abundantly clear —this organization actually cares about serving its members. I love seeing all the work that has already gone into the marketing of the show and making it appealing to a broader audience of new attendees and future boat owners.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I felt embraced as a part of the committee. My contributions to the conversation, and new ideas I suggested for show marketing and content, were warmly and enthusiastically received. Having served on other nonprofit boards and committees, I know that isn’t always the case.
Personal boating history?
Pretty much my entire childhood was spent on the beaches of Puget Sound, rowing and sailing whatever the “boat of the day” was that my folks wanted to take out. My current boat is a Gig Harbor Boat Works 10′ Navigator sailing dinghy. It’s my little cartoppable rowing/sailing companion!
What’s your idea of a perfect day on the water?
My favorite aspect of boating is getting back into the rhythm of the natural world. So I like to combine rowing/sailing with camping, fishing, and crabbing so I can fully immerse myself in the environment. I’m just as happy doing a little row out to Blake Island to camp out for the night as I am taking a multi-day sailing cruise with family in the Sea of Cortez.
What are some fun things NMTA members might be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a former reality TV star in Sweden! And I’m an opera singer around town; folks who frequent Tacoma Opera productions would probably recognize me from d
ozens of shows I’ve done there.
What do you like to do when not boating?
Yoga, gardening, cooking, reading, hiking, skiing, archery… I have a ridiculous number of hobbies.