Founded in 1934 by Oakland native Don Philbrick, Philbrick Boat Works has gained national fame for its sleek wooden power boats.

Don’s boats were not replicas of Chris Crafts or of Gar Wood’s or John Hacker’s runabouts, but his own unique vision of this classic watercraft. In his early days he was influenced by the inimitable John Hacker, who invented the runabout concept in 1901. Don was self-taught; he had no formal training, though he prowled through the small boat yards that proliferated along the levy of the Oakland Estuary before WW II. He built his first runabout in 1934 when he was 18, a Chrysler-powered 18-footer, which he sold for $2,500.

By the 1940’s Don was building raceboats, racing them himself and winning. In the 1950’s his interest in the racing scene waned, although he continued to turn out raceboats in quantity. Don continued building boats until 1966 when he decided to put all of his energies into boat repair and restoration. In 1977, encouraged by renewed interest in classic wooden speedboats and technological advances in epoxies, he decided to give boat building another try. By the 1980’s, Philbrick was producing about a dozen runabouts a year, with four boats in different stages of production at any one time.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015 when two boat builders from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington learned that Philbrick Boat Works was for sale. After visiting the shop in Oakland where Don had built and restored boats since 1946, it became clear that this was more than just buying a business – it was the opportunity to revive a brand, keep a craft alive and honor the legacy that Don built over the last 80 years. Although the business has been relocated to Port Hadlock, WA, the spirit and craftsmanship of Don continues as new mahogany runabouts are built from his original designs.


Philbrick Burgee

One sided is $25.00* +$6.80 shipping
Two sided is $40.00* +$6.80 shipping

*WA residents +9% sales tax



1956 16’ Philbrick Runabout


Purchased as a bare hull from Don Philbrick in 1956 this 16’ Runabout was finished by the current owner’s father and used as the family’s boat in Lake Tahoe for many years. In 1999, it was decided to have the boat completely restored. The restoration was started by Hurliman Boat & Repair in Penryn, CA and included new frames, a new Okume plywood bottom and new decking. Dana Philips of Classic Marine in Sacramento, CA finished the over $175,000 four year restoration. The boat took a third place in Class at the 2003 Concurs D' Elegance in Lake Tahoe and received a 2nd place in class at the 2009 Tahoe Concurs. In 2008, the boat was refinished again and an Edelbrock multi-port fuel injection was added to the 1963 Ford Thunderbird 390 Interceptor engine. The engine also has HEI ignition and everything is polished or plated. The boat has a Velvet drive transmission, which was rebuilt four years ago. All in all the drive train has less than 100 hours after the complete rebuild. The boat sits on a DHM tandem axle trailer with disc brakes and is currently located in the Sacramento area.

1963 Ford Thunderbird 390 Interceptor engine


Contact Us

  • Tel: 360-385-1969
  • Email: info@philbrickboats.com

Mailing Address

  • PO Box 1112
  • Port Hadlock, WA
  • 98339