KODIAK — Dan Farsovitch developed a love for boats at a young age. He grew up in Akhiok and frequently watched his grandfather build wooden boats by hand.
“I was pretty intrigued with that,” he said. “When I was working in a cannery I started out as a helper with the carpenters. They liked me, so they started teaching me the trade.”
Today, Farsovitch runs Eagle Rock Boat Repair, a company that repairs and restores wooden vessels.
Farsovitch started working in the boat repair business in 1973 with Columbia Wards Fisheries in Alaska and Washington. He performed maintenance and repair work on wooden boats for 22 years, then branched out to start his own company in 1995.
This is the second year that Eagle Rock Boat Repair has come up to Kodiak for the summer.
Having grown up on Kodiak Island, Farsovitch knew his company would be able to fill a need for wooden boat repairs. Eagle Rock typically works on about eight wooden boats each summer in Kodiak.
“It’s time consuming,” Farsovitch said. “But before I came up here, our summertime was our slow time. We chose to work up here and it worked out good, so we came up again this year.”
Eagle Rock performs a wide variety of services including planking, skegs, stern logs, lifts, caulking, bottom work and replacements. The business also does interior and exterior work on cabins.
When he’s not working in Kodiak, Farsovitch works in Anacortes, Wash. His regular clientele includes power scows built for the Army by the Maritime Shipyard around 1939. He performs maintenance and repairs on 20 to 25 power scows each year.
Farsovitch’s business is a family affair. His wife Reinette, sons Ryan and Trevor, and grandson Sean also work at the business.
His sons grew up watching him work on boats, so it was natural for them to learn the skills.
“Dad was doing it, and they were whittling on the little ones while I was working on the big boats,” Farsovitch said.
His sons are skilled in all phases of wooden boat repair and his grandson is in charge of caulking the boats.
His wife doesn’t work on the boats themselves, but she does play an important supporting role. Reinette Farsovitch is the business’s bookkeeper.
“I figured I’d be involved in some way because of Dan’s love of wooden boats and the fact that he’s been messing with them since he was a little kid when his grandpa made them,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d get quite this involved.”
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com