Tom Gordon Returns to Hell's Bay Boatworks
Shallow-water skiff builder Tom Gordon, who left Hell’s Bay four years ago when the company began to falter, has rejoined the team, bringing with him the two Waterman models (16′ and 18′) which he had licensed and been building under the Gordon Boatworks brand. Gordon has long been known among skiff builders for his meticulous attention to detail.
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Hell’s Bay and Gordon Boatworks create winning merger
Tom Gordon returns home to Hell’s Bay to combine efforts
TITUSVILLE, Fla., — Hell’s Bay Boatworks is bringing back veteran fishing boat builder Tom Gordon, plus two of its classic and popular shallow-water performance skiffs with those currently produced by Gordon Boatworks, in a merger of the two companies.
Hell’s Bay Boatworks’ President Chris Peterson, who two years ago bought the decade-old company and has been rebuilding its proud heritage, made the announcement.
All of Gordon Boatworks models and intellectual property will be moving from its Oak Hill, Fla., location with Tom Gordon, to the Hell’s Bay facility in Titusville.
No purchase price was disclosed.
“We’re very excited about joining together these two shallow-water fishing industry leaders,” said Peterson. “Gordon Boatworks has a loyal following among anglers, boaters and guides around the world.” Gordon has been in the fiberglass industry since 1989 and began his career in the shallow water skiff market with Hell’s Bay in 1999.
Peterson said almost four years ago, with Hell’s Bay in a major transition, Gordon, then Hell’s Bay’s plant manager, left the company and successfully started Gordon Boatworks. “He licensed the two popular Waterman (16′ and 18”) models from Hell’s Bay. Both are very reliable fishing boats and proven designs. Gordon Boatworks also worked with Hell’s Bay’s co-founder Flip Pallot in launching a new design called the Ambush that has proven a popular seller.
“Because he knew boats, the character of the people needed to build them, and because the product was so good Tom became very successful,” Peterson reflected. “The Waterman models are popular in all of the Southern coastal states, as well as the Bahamas, Mexico and several other foreign countries where shallow and back-country fly and light tackle fishing is popular. Hell’s Bay considered Gordon Boatworks the only legitimate competition for a truly technical poling skiff.
“With Hell’s Bay and Gordon Boatworks producing skiffs in separate facilities within 30 minutes of each other, it just makes a lot of sense to consolidate the operations into one company in one location. Tom’s boat building career was launched at Hell’s Bay and he wants to be a part of what was created here, and what in the early years of Hell’s Bay Tom helped design,” Peterson said.
Hell’s Bay recently introduced its newest design in February at the Miami International Boat Show; an 18′ skiff Hell’s Bay calls the Boca Grande. By incorporating the models of Gordon Boatworks, Hell’s Bay will now have 11 models of shallow-water skiffs in the 14′ to 18′ range. “We certainly have the ideal skiff for every type of shallow water fishery now at Hells’ Bay Boatworks,” commented Tom Gordon. “It will be exciting to offer such a depth of product to the fishing enthusiast.”
Hell’s Bay Boatworks is located at 1520 Chaffee Drive in Titusville. The web site is hellsbayboatworks.com. To contact Peterson or Gordon call 321-383-8223 or via e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected], respectively.
Pete Johnson, Johnson Communications, Inc.
e-mail: [email protected]