Having grown up around Camano Island in Washington’s northern Puget Sound, Jim Lindell built his first boat at age 18. As a young man working in Alaskan fisheries, he quickly realized many commercial fishing boats couldn’t stand up to the rigors of the North Pacific.
Using fiberglassing skills he’d picked up at the GlassPly Boat Company in Everett, Washington, he built his own 42-foot gillnetter. That caught the attention of the local commercial fishermen, which quickly turned him from a fisherman into a fulltime boat builder. “Jim Lindell built a bulletproof, strong tank of a gillnetter,” says Frank O’Neil, Lindell Yachts’ chief revenue officer. Lindell’s buddies saw his boat was stronger and lighter and getting him out to the fishing grounds quicker, so they started ordering their boats from him.
Lindell would build 50 custom gillnetters before turning his attention to recreational boats. He created the Skagit Orcas, the 36-foot Lindell Sport Fisher and, in the early 2000s, the Oceansport Roamers.
Brian Kott, a Tacoma surgeon, bought one of Lindell’s Oceansports in 2012 and worked out a deal with Lindell to create a new line of recreational sport utility yachts, the Lindell Yachts Adventure 42 and 46. With reverse-rake windshields and aggressive profiles that evoke a shark about to take a bite out of its prey, the boats are capable of 40 knots with twin Volvo IPS propulsion. The 42’s cockpit is big and the 46’s cockpit—a stretched version of the 42’s—is massive. “It’s like a dance hall,” O’Neil says. “You can set up a table for 12, and with a Seakeeper you can set a wineglass on the table and not worry about it.”
The 42 and 46 were designed by Lindell and Kott. “Jim used to draw his boats on the back of a napkin,” says O’Neil. But in 2016, Lindell sold the business to Kott and moved to the Sea of Cortez. He still has a house on Camano Island and continues to advise the company, but for its first outboard-powered model, the 38, Lindell Yachts turned to naval architect Greg Marshall, who’s designed everything from utilitarian work boats to the San Juan 38 and 48 and the Westport 112 and 130.
The 38, with twin Yamaha 425-hp outboards and a 700-gallon tank, tops out at 40 knots. Triple Yamaha 425s take her up to 54 knots. At a 26-knot cruise the 38 burns less than a gallon per mile, giving it a range that can get her from La Conner, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska, a trip of about 900 miles, on a single tank. “The range is really what I think is one of our advantages,” O’Neil says.
The 38 has two staterooms, each with its own queen bed, a single head with shower, and teak cabinetry throughout the interior. The hulls are vacuum-infused. There is no wood in the hull, the deck, the house or the house cap. The standard price of a 38 is $776,000.
Lindell is a semi-custom builder that entertains a lot of custom requests. The company is putting a tuna tower on one 38, which will chase yellowfin and bluefin in Baja.
The company is in the process of expanding its operations. In 2019 it moved finishing work to Burlington, Washington. For now, the hulls continue to be built on Camano Island, but that operation will eventually be moved to Burlington as well. There are plans to add 48- and 54-foot models, and Lindell Yachts wants to put Mercury’s 600-hp engines on its boats. “We’re anxious to get our hands on those,” O’Neil says.
The East Coast is also on O’Neil’s mind. A Lindell 46 is currently under construction for a customer in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. O’Neil points out that the boats are available with full AC as an option for those who want to run out to Bimini or other southern locales. “You can have 16,000 Btu on top and 12,000 Btu down below,” he says. “You can hang out in hot weather, and with triples you can get there at 60-plus mph.”
Lindell Yachts created the 38 to fill a gap in the market. “It’s a hardcore fishing boat, and a comfortable family boat,” O’Neill says. “It’s an all-around adventure explorer kind of boat. If you’re in stormy weather and rough seas, you can go fast with good fuel economy, and you can go farther than our competition.”
Draft (engines down): 2’0”
Fuel: 700 gals.
Water: 147 gals.
Power: (2) 425-hp Yamahas
This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue.