Boat Shop

Here is a history of the construction of our new facility. It took three years of wrestling with the City Department of Planning and Development. Apparently we are sitting on a liquification zone which means all kinds of nasty things if you want to build a new building there.

27 responses

26 02 2010
Karl Bischoff

So here is the lot as we bought it. The house was going to be an Asian deli, but they never applied for a permit and gave up on the idea. I needed someplace where people wouldn’t mind the smell and noise associated with building a boat. I got it in spades here. As you can see, I’m standing on railroad tracks… very active… and all the cement trucks use this road as a short cut to their plant. Speaking of plants, the Seattle DPD originally wanted me to plant “street trees” along the front of the building. I said “have you ever driven by this lot? Nothing could or does grow anywhere near it… it’s VERY industrial”. I offered to install plastic ficus, but they demurred.

The original house

2 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

So the first thing to do — after a year or two of wrangling the metal building contractor, engineers, city code and permit people, subcontracts, etc. — was to tear down the existing buildings. My buddy Steve and I did it manually. It was actually kinda fun de-constructing a house. It filled two giant dumpsters.

4 05 2010

I remember swinging by when it looked like this… Darn, if the baby hadn’t been screaming in the car I would have loved to have helped…

11 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

For reasons outside anyone’s understanding, it took seven inspections until the City was satisfied with my temporary power pole. They even insisted on the little deck so people could stand on it to plug something in. I was tempted to have a bbq on the 4th of July there.

Temp power

11 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

Then it was on to demo’ing the concrete pad, excavating down four feet, packing two feet of gravel, placing 14,000 pounds of rebar, and installing some plumbing…

11 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

OK… Let’s pour the foundation that could hold a hi-rise condo project. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about the phrase “liquification zone”. Two feet thick, 14,000 lbs of rebar.

12 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

Frame it, baby

12 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

Then wrap it…

12 03 2010
Karl Bischoff

And inside…

16 03 2010

It’s official!


6 04 2010
Karl Bischoff

All ready for the move-in. After the equipment is in, I just have to wire them and run the dust collection ducting. Then put in the wood floor where the boat will be.

11 04 2010
Karl Bischoff

Moving Day! Thanks so much for the extra hands from buddies Steve, Travis and Brian. Two loads and a special thanks to Budget Rent-a-truck for the Lift Gate


14 04 2010
Brian Killgore

Your shop looks fantastic. I can’t believe what you started out with. Clearly you have got that “vision” thing down! Congrats!

14 04 2010
Karl Bischoff

More like “bull headed” than visionary. I don’t like giving up.

16 04 2010
Tom McLinden

That’s a lot more building than I was envisioning! Congrats on finally getting the boatworks up and running. Look forward to seeing progress on the new rig!

21 05 2010
Rick Landesberg


I am totally impressed….


25 06 2010
Ken Hintz

I just stopped in to see what a couple of old farts looked like. You guys haven’t changed much. Great to see you’re up to no good. Looks like you keep wanting to build studios. Nice building. Hi to Leslie!

10 07 2010

Hello Karl. I love the new shop. Amazing! Certainly sized to the need. I just wanted to add that I was enjoying the opening celebration pictures and noticed that the last 20 pictures had broken links (Red X’s). FYI.

Thanks, Dean

28 07 2010
Nate Rosario

Great vision and follow through….. very inspiring indeed. keep up the good work.

28 04 2011
Daniel Skira

Fantastic work, I am really impressed.
It is so nice to see all theses happy friends of yours.
I wish you the best for your Schooner.
You seams to be a men of a lot of talents. Dealing with the authorities successfully is one of them!!

15 10 2011
Bill Pickard

So where’s some pictures of a boat being built!

15 10 2011
Karl Bischoff

Check out the section call Bish: The Build. It is fairly uptodate. I am about to attach the lead ballast keel. I will get a shot of it next week.

22 09 2013
David Miller

I can hear the theme song from Gilligan’s island while I look at that very,very nice shop. Perfect.

22 09 2013
Karl Bischoff

Except it’s a three decade tour, rather than a three hour tour (building time at least)

21 04 2014
Karl Bischoff

All the photos of the shop opening party have disappeared, so I am putting them back up. These are not new photos… from 5/24/2010

Leslie and Ginger

14 05 2014
bob browning

From Orlando, of all places, finally had time to go through your web site. Great job! You remind me of Gibbs on NCIS, although you probably have no idea who that is! Except your project is much more interesting. For 10 years, he has been sanding the same piece of plank in his basement.

14 05 2014
Karl Bischoff

When I first started this build, a few people called me Jethro. I was hoping they were referring to Gibbs, and not the Beverly Hillbillies.

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