Our founder, Jim Lindell, was building boats by age 15. As a freshman in high school on Washington’s Camano Island in the early 1960s, he spent his days in the school’s wood shop constructing fiberglass runabouts with friends, occasionally taking the driver’s ed car up to La Conner’s booming boatyard district for supplies. His grandfather was a machinist who built and repaired propellors, so Jim always had new equipment to experiment with. He had a dozen boat builds under his belt before graduation.
Like many young men, Jim’s love for water and watercraft soon drew him inescapably north to the Last Frontier. He began commercial salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska but found himself disappointed in the poorly-built boats of the time—flimsy plywood hulls that struggled to navigate the treacherous tides and weather. In the offseason, he set about creating a solution. The result was a 42-foot gillnetter he named “Gold Rush,” a revolutionary design that sliced rough seas unlike any other rig in the fleet. Jim's sleek new vessel turned a lot of captains heads as he blazed past them.
The next winter, he built another boat for a friend. The winter after that, he built two more. Before long, Jim was being hailed as the master boat builder of the Northwest commercial fishing community, and there was a waiting list to buy one of his first-class vessels. His boats became known as the Rolls-Royces of the Southeast fisheries. Jim's reputation for quality and over-engineered performance eventually dictated that he take up boat building year round.
Jim built more than 50 gillnetters, all of which are still in service today and valued substantially higher than when they were built. He continued working on the forefront of fiberglass technology, but eventually his interests shifted. He had a dream for his ideal Puget Sound sportfishing boat—so he designed it and made it. The Skagit Orca was born.
Yet again, Jim’s personal interests drove his business building boats. He followed the Orca with his first 36-foot Lindell Sport Fisher. In 2000 he partnered with Ron Meng of Island Marine Center to design and build the Ocean Sport Roamer 30. As one of very few people with the skill and knowledge to do so, Jim extended the back deck of that model to create the now well-known Ocean Sport Roamer 33. Like all of Jim’s work, the Ocean Sport was a combination of supreme form and function.
In 2016, Jim partnered with Brian Kott, a boating enthusiast and businessman, to create a new line of sport-utility yachts. Once again matching supreme state-of-the-art build quality with form and function, Lindell Yachts are created for extreme ocean adventure and fishing, with the fit and finish of a luxury cruising vessel. Like all of Jim’s boats, these can be customized to suit the needs and desires of each individual boater to create their ideal vessel.
Who among us hasn’t visualized their dream boat? When Jim Lindell had those daydreams, he brought them to life—for his own interests and the broader boating world. We’re carrying forward that legacy of Alaska commercial fishing ruggedness paired with Puget Sound elegance to make the highest quality ocean cruising vessels on the water.