Dave LeClercq

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A prolific boat builder who for decades built boats for the Alaska fishing fleet has died in the Seattle area. Dave LeClercq was 93.

The Seattle Times reports LeClercq died June 6 in the Seattle suburb of Mercer Island.

He built fishing boats in Seattle after World War II, specializing in wood gill-netters and purse seiners.

The timing was right, with Bristol Bay fishermen moving to power boats, and Commercial Marine Construction was soon building 70 boats or more a year.

"The price of fish was high. Everybody needed boats," said William Garden, a friend and naval architect who worked with LeClercq.

LeClercq was "high-energy, a natural, an excellent production man," Garden said.

A son, Sam LeClercq, tells The Times his father built loyalty among his fishermen clients by flying to Alaska and fixing his boats at Bristol Bay ports.

A nephew, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen, said his uncle's work ethic was amazing but adds, "he had a great sense of humor. And he did many little things to take care of the guys who worked for him."

Garden remembers LeClercq sending longtime crew members $10,000 checks later in life as a thank you.

LeClercq is survived by four children, Nick and Sam, both of Seattle; Susan Dills of Spokane; and Toni Marie LeClercq of Ketchum, Idaho.

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