Glacier Boats of Alaska was founded by owner Brian Dixon in 2006 as a self-proprietership, then incorporated as an Alaskan LLC in 2007. Brian Dixon is a professional electrical and computer engineer with both master's and bachelor's degrees in engineering. Prior to the formation of Glacier Boats, with ideas towards starting a boat design and manufacturing company, Brian completed most of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology School of Yacht and Boat Design program - but dropped out when studies were switching to professional composite mold-based manufacturing and the design of sail boats - his focus at the time was on the design of welded aluminum high-speed planing hulls.
Under the watchful eye of Dave Gerr (Gerr Marine) and Westlawn, the Great Alaskan was originally designed for a part of the Westlawn curriculum, inspired by several of Stephen Pollard's designs (Specialty Marine), by Renn Tolman's series of boat designs (Tolman Skiffs), and by ideas of exploring and camping in southeast Alaska in a comfortable and seaworthy boat. Having decided not to pursue professional boat manufacturing as planned earlier, Brian decided to finish the detailed design of the Great Alaskan so that it could be built by amateurs - and with help from friend Renn Tolman, the boat's mechanical design was hammered out and the production of drawings and construction manuals completed.
Once the boat design and plans had been completed, Brian had the boat's mechanical attributes reviewed by a mechanical engineering friend, and the boat design 'design checked' by Naval Architect John Simpson in British Columbia, Canada ( J. Simpson Ltd). Once these due diligence efforts were completed and the design approved by all, it was offered to the public. The first boat was built by Adrian P in Gresham, Oregon - and was a great success, proving itself on the Columbia River, crossing the world-reknowned 4-mile wide and 1-mile long Columbia River bar into the ocean, and out on the ocean itself. In Adrian's words, "The bar scared me to death at times, but the Great Alaskan proved to be very safe and seaworthy, getting us home safe, sound, and dry every time!". Since then, the Great Alaskan has been built all over the world - Sweden, Italy, Germany, Australia, Alaska and across the United States. It's success and reputation continues to grow every year.
Brian Dixon has now relocated from Knik, Alaska to Star, Idaho and as a consequence, Glacier Boats of Alaska LLC has now been dissolved in favor of a new Idaho-based LLC, Black Pine Technologies LLC, which will also do business as (dba) legally-assumed business names Glacier Boats of Alaska (no 'LLC' on the name) and Digiboats.
Brian is working on several more boat designs that will soon be made available to the public - to be offered through his new business, DigiBoats, where he will also offer sales for other people's boat designs and plans, primarily in digital-download format (PDF, eBook, etc). Additionally, Digiboats will be offering several other services such as 2D and 3D CAD services, conversion of drawings and designs to electronic format, and the production of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) drawings to enable the manufacturing of boat kits.
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