By Alex Knudtson & Peter Whiting / Photos Courtesy of Bullfrog Boats/Seattle Yachts
Seattle Yachts acquired Pacific Northwest-built Bullfrog Boats last fall; what was it about this particular brand that you found so attractive, both for you as expert brokers and for your clients?
Knudtson: I have always loved the look of Bullfrog boats. I grew up in Homer, Alaska, and the first Bullfrog I saw was a safety red, 17-foot Sport Utility on the back of a large research vessel while heading out fishing. A few years later, I got a job running that same boat. From my first ride, I was really impressed with its suitability and handling in foul weather. Whiting: And I was first introduced to Bullfrog Boats in the early 2000s when a client of ours purchased one for a boat that we had built for him. I was so impressed with them that I ended up purchasing one for myself, which I had for several years before selling it with the Northwest 45 we had built. They are all great boats but my favorite is the 11.5’ Yacht Tender.
Not all tenders are created equal. What are a few factors you recommend boaters consider when shopping for a tender?
Whiting: Size is obviously important. Buyers should be sure to purchase the correct and complementary size for the boat it will go on. But keep in mind, the primary mission of the tender, as well. Ask yourself: Is it a shore boat, a fishing and crabbing boat, or just a fun runabout? Knudtson: Exactly. For example, in the Northwest, it’s quite popular to fishing and crab from your tender, so stability and durability also play a large role. This is where the Bullfrog line shines in comparison to inflatables. It isn’t an issue to drag a loaded crab pot over the rail, or snag the side with a hook while a fish flops around.
Bullfrog Boats have long been known for their durability; what is it about the design of the line that helps these tenders stand against the rigors of the sea?
Knudtson: The solid welded aluminum semi V-hull, combined with very durable and buoyant foam filled tubes, make for a comfortable and dry ride on any adventure. Whiting: Roto-molded, foam- filled tubes, fitted to aluminum hulls: all these features make Bullfrog Boats ‘in-deflatable,’ or in other words they are virtually indestructible. Aluminum is the strongest and most durable material for hull bottoms; running up on rocky beaches or glancing off of rocks while exploring will not hurt a Bullfrog.
The Professional Series Bullfrogs have a flat floor, open design that allows for easy customization. What are some of the custom features you have helped customers install?
Whiting: Equipping them with pot pullers for crabbing and shrimping is one such example of customization we can do. We’ve also installed trolling motors to help hold position while bottom fishing. Knudtson: We also recently built a mobile marine pump-out boat with a 250-gallon holding tank and double diaphragm pump, which was a very handy feature.
>> ABOUT THE EXPERTS: Knudtson: I genuinely love boats of all shapes and sizes, and I love people. At Seattle Yachts I spend my days talking with people about boats and taking them on sea trials to help them find the perfect boat for their needs. Seattle Yachts is a team…a sort of family. We all like boats and what we do. I think boats make people smile and feel happy. Happy smiling people on boats makes for a productive and fun-filled work environment. Whiting: My favorite part of my job is working with people to help them achieve their dreams. We have a terrific team of dedicated individuals who really love what we do. Our philosophy is to take care of our people. If we do that, they will in turn take care of our customers. I think this becomes quite evident when working for or dealing with Seattle Yachts. For more information on Bullfrog Boats and on Seattle Yachts, visit: seattleyachts.com.
Bullfrog Boats inventor Craig Henderson was keen to develop a rugged, seaworthy, and unsinkable utility boat that could handle rough weather and the conditions of boating and cruising in the Pacific Northwest.
“I’d say my favorite Bullfrog is the one I’m on the water with at the time, whatever model that might be.” – Alex Knudtson
Rugged. Unsinkable. Stable.