By Marjorie Woodfin
Pilot staff writer
Fisherman Jim Elliot saw a need for a boat repair shop in Brookings, so he came out of semi-retirement and opened one in October 2007.
Elliott, 37, owner of The Boat Shop in Brookings, had been semi-retired, traveling full time, for about five years when he and his wife Melissa moved to Brookings.
They had been traveling since Elliott sold his delivery business in Redding, Calif., making both long and short stops in Brookings, when they decided to make a permanent move.
"We came about five years ago with a tent trailer for a weekend to visit my wife's parents at Beachfront RV Park, where they spent vacations, and we began visiting Brookings twice a year," he said.
On that first visit, Jim bought a small boat for $100, planning to fix it up for fishing. But he couldn't wait to fish.
"A week later, I bought a boat for $3,000 that I could jump into and fish," he said. "I fished in that boat for a year or two and then purchased my current 25-foot boat, Crabman."
Jim and Melissa considered themselves semi-retired because they continued to run their Cozy Critters business over the Internet, selling dog collars designed by Melissa.
That business started when Melissa made a collar for their puppy. Her friends and neighbors liked it so much they asked her to make collars for them. The Elliotts began selling the collars at festivals and shows. Their clientele has expanded exponentially over the Internet, and they now distribute the collars to 25 different countries.
As for The Boat Shop, Jim said, "It was tough to get boat work done here, and I thought the town could use a really good boat shop."
Apparently he was correct, because the shop has been busy since the day he opened the doors. "The morning we opened the shop, a trailer was parked at the door waiting for repairs," he said.
He has two excellent repairmen working in the shop: Erin Egesdahl, who has been a boat and diesel mechanic all of his life; and Joe Titensor, who is a certified Mercury Mercruiser technician.
In addition, Jim has a Brookings-Harbor High School junior Ryan Francis, who works two hours a day. Elliot has told Ryan that he will send him to technical school if he chooses to come back to Brookings to work.
The Boat Shop is a full service marine repair facility, with a complete stock of parts and accessories. They also sell motors, and large and small boats.
"We have up-to-date computerized diagnostic equipment," Jim said. "And we have the only place in the area where the boat work is done indoors in a locked, controlled facility."
The move to a more permanent personal abode will soon be complete when Jim and Melissa move into the home they have recently leased up the hill on McVay Creek.
"We love this community," Jim said. The people are just fabulous, and I want to extend my appreciation to everyone who has supported our business,"
He invites fishermen and boat lovers to stop at his shop, 321 Pacific Ave, or give him a call, (541) 412-7400. He looks forward to helping the local fishermen keep their boats in the water and can provide mobile service.