West Side Boat Shop News: West Side Boat Shop Acquired by Dave The Kayaker LLC

I’m happy to announce that as of July 27, 2021, I am the new owner of West Side Boat Shop and will soon be taking these boats back into production.

They are just too good to not save.

My first version of an updated catalog will be coming later this week.

Stay tuned and follow the adventure!

Contact me at dave [at) davethekayaker~dot-com or Tel: 804.608.WSBS (9727) for more info. or to be placed on the wait list.

My interview with Doug Bushnell after acquiring West Side Boat Shop, July 27, 2021
My previous update from December 2020
Bumping into Jim and taking his West Side Boat Shop Seafarer for a test paddle
The West Side Boat Shop Wave Ultra kayak. The farthest I’ve ever driven for a boat.
The first video advertisement for West Side Boat Shop
The new West Side Boat Shop logo


  1. Bob, I still have that mold (Barracuda K-2) if you are truly interested. I know how many Doug sold and how challenging that boat would be to paddle, requiring two highly skilled paddlers, so the Bullitt K-2 just makes much more sense to keep in the catalog for most mere mortals. The Barracuda was a bit of an oddball and not too many people actually bought it after pressuring Doug into designing a tandem Thunderbolt, which is what the Barracuda is/was. And when the Thunderbolt became the Thunderbolt-X it made even less sense. I like to say it this way, Doug had some molds on the first floor of the barn because he knew he’d be building more and then there were the molds in the hayloft. The Barracuda K-2 had definitely been in the hayloft for years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Dave and good luck in your new endeavor! It’s sad to see Doug retire but glad to see his boats will live on. I’ve known Doug for a long time, been to his shop 7-8 times, each visit a joy, and had the good fortune to paddle with him once! I was fortunate enough to buy his personal Bullitt K2 last year (was foolish enough to sell my first one). In addition to the Bullitt I currently own an EFT (second one), Thunderbolt, X-Par Missile (second one). Previous boats were an XR5 downriver boat and Seafarer Sprint. Like you I absolutely love WSBS boats! Each boat a work of art in my opinion, and they paddle better than they look if that’s possible! Yup, I’m a fan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jon, send some pictures to me at dave -at~davethekayaker.com and I can help you identify the boat. Just from the fact it is ~15′ tells me it it probably a Solander, Dart XR/XR5, RPM Special, River 81/82, Leiser King, or Super Tourist.


  4. Hi,
    Glad to see the business continue. I just acquired a well used 15’ kayak and would love to restore it as best as possible. The tag on the inside is a little worse for wear so other than knowing it is a WSBS I have no idea what model I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff, thank you for the words of encouragement. I’ve got a few changes in mind, based on feedback from others and online chatter over the years. I’ve read it all. It is somewhat surreal. I used to think to myself, “If Doug did just this one thing or made just that one change then….” and now I find myself in the position to execute those exact changes. I’m getting the rest of the molds down here in VA early next week. I have no idea what the future holds but I’m pretty darn sure it is going to be fun. I’m placing an order on Turning Point Boatworks for a Delta kayak first, and then a Marauder to have as demo boats. From there it will depend on who contacts me and what they want. Joey is the right guy to help me realize my vision. We just need a few orders to validate the market for these boats to get the ball rolling. I’m truly driven by the belief that these boats designs are so good they needed to be saved and preserved.


  6. Dave, good luck with the new endeavor. I’ve had an EFT and now a Thunderbolt. Please upgrade the seating adjustments – it’s very tedious at best presently. I heard through Joey about the boats and saw the molds in his shop.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great to hear the boats will continue to be made and by a quality builder!
    I am always looking for a used WSBS wave piercer or EFT but always miss out to a quick buyer. I talked with Doug Bushnell a few times on the phone, he seemed like a nice guy!
    Good luck with your new adventure! Bob a kayaker in Maine


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