San Diego Maritime Museum Store

At an "Author's autograph session" of the new book "BUILDING KETTENBURGS"  in San diego at the Maritime Museum on the 17th. 


Author Mark Allen, shown here on the left, spent countless hours with the Kettenburg family, former yard staff, current and former Kettenburg boat owners, and various collections of Kettenburg material such as business records, sailing publications, yacht club records and more in order to compile the needed background for the breakthrough book “BUILDING KETTENBURGS: Premier Boats Designed and Built in Southern California”

 Tom Kettenburg, a college history major with a career in banking, contributed heavily to the research and gathering of information about the Kettenburg yard and family.  Much of his research work enabled the book BUILDING KETTENBURGS to be written.  Today he serves as a principal contact point between this website and Kettenburg owners in their search for background information about individual boats during their construction.


In addition to family and staff many current Kettenburg owners contributed to author Mark Allen’s research efforts.  Here, Neil Atwood and his sailing colleague Patrice Kilroy (KIALOA) are caught on camera in a conversation with Jean Kettenburg Miller (George Jr’s daughter off camera).  Neil restored PCC #1 EULALIE and sails her frequently near his home in Puget Sound.


 A Kettenburg Boat Works staffer from 1964 to 1988, Gary Prior, worked in the Chandlery.  The Kettenburg company became a major presence in the supply stream of marine parts and materials to each and every boat yard on the west coast and even world wide.  Thanks to the efforts of people like Don alongside Bill Kettenburg the company became the model to be duplicated by West Marine, Port Supply, and others in later years.



Bill Kettenburg, shown here putting his autograph to a copy of BUILDING KETTENBURGS, spent hours with author Mark Allen, the research material, and family members helping to craft the “behind the scenes” understanding and narrative that makes the book such a potent historical document.



The San Diego Maritime Museum, in cooperation with Mystic Seaport in Maine, tapped author Mark Allen to research and pen this important book about a significant West Coast boatbuilding heritage.  In BUILDING KETTENBURGS we finally have a book that can sit side by side with the many historic records of East Coast icons in the sailing/boatbuilding world.  Mark’s research and writing style makes the history of this significant yard come to life and contextually relevant.



One of the many Kettenburg yard employees interviewed for BUILDING KETTENBURGS was Bud Caldwell.  Still sailing and surfboarding in his 90s Bud Caldwell, along with Charlie Underwood and others is a principal figure in the innovation and integrity which characterizes each and every Kettenburg.


 George Kettenburg Jr’s son, Bill, signs his autograph. 


Kettenburg Boat Works partner in ownership, Morgan Miller, puts his “john Henry” on the flyleaf of the historic publication about the Kettenburg yard.