There's been a pretty big hole in the rowing and sailing markets when it comes to the Midwest. Whether it's availability of spare parts, easy access to new inventory of hulls and shells, poorly constructed rowing launches, or no 'boots-on-the-ground' support of the two sports, the Midwest has been overlooked. As rowing and sailing experience a massive increase in popularity nationwide through high schools, colleges, and community rowing/sailing centers, the expansion has hit this region with tremendous impact and new programs are coming online almost weekly. Meanwhile, the influx of youth sailors and rowers has brought many parents, grandparents, and older athletes back to their sports, driving further expansion of the sports.
While all of this happened, the Boatworks, LLC staff members were in the front lines of the dinghy sailing and scholastic rowing fields, and experienced the lack of supply chain support first-hand. Seeing our own programs get inundated with repair orders as programs grew, we saw how much a day of boat repairs or shopping for parts can set your team back when you're not focused 100% on programs. This presented a great opportunity for passionate, hardworking rowers and sailors with talents in boat repair and logistics to provide rowing and sailing services to the greater Midwest.
And so, Boatworks, LLC was born. We engage in grassroots development of rowing and sailing programs, with services ranging from new dinghy and parts sales, rowing launch construction, repairs, and restoration. Let us take care of all of your marine services needs, so you can focus on rowing and sailing!
An avid sailor and craftsman, Gary Disbrow grew up on the water and has built a wealth of experience in the marine business for over 30 years. Gary and his team sail through any need and are especially skilled at refurbishing fiberglass, carbon-fiber, and wooden boats, fixing motors, painting, hull finishing or any project that may need of an experienced hand. Gary made his living for many years completely rebuilding Tartan 10s and Lymans, and is widely recognized on Lake Erie as a top maritime craftsman. He oversaw the Foundry's internal boat repair operation from it's inception to 2018. He avidly races his T-10 Think Blue on the Great Lakes circuit.
Director of Operations
Alan has been involved in the sport of rowing since he has been 14 years old. An accomplished oarsman, Alan won several National Championships with North Allegheny HS in Wexford PA during his rowing career from 2004-2008. After high school, Alan rowed for the University of Washington, in Seattle WA. As a Washington Oarsman from 2008-2012, Alan won two National Championships, and an International Championship.
Alan’s coaching credentials began after his junior year of college coaching with the Corporate Rowing Program at Three Rivers Rowing Association. After college, Alan was an award winning coach at Pittsburgh Central Catholic Crew and Oakland Catholic Rowing. During Alan’s time at both programs, the teams saw heightened success at the Scholastic and National levels. Alan returned to Washington to coach under Michael Callahan as an intern assistant coach for the 2015 National Champion Washington Men’s Rowing, coaching the varsity four and assisting the freshman eight crews that each took first place at the IRA National Championships in their respective events. After his year as an intern coach, the UW Women's Rowing Head Coach Bob Ernst, hired Alan as the UW women’s second assistant coach for the 2015-2016 season. Ernst said, “This guy is a national champion and has come up through the ranks here.” “We’re really glad to have him on board. He’s very loyal and committed to Washington rowing. Loyalty and hard-working are the top characteristics you look for in any coach, and that’s Alan.” Alan coached the Varsity four to a second place finish at the NCAA National Championships in 2016.
Alan has taken this same work ethic and attitude with him while he worked for the Foundry: Community Rowing & Sailing Center as Director of Business Affairs from 2016-2018, and as the Head Rowing Coach for St. Edward High School in Lakewood Ohio from 2016-present. Alan holds a Master’s degree in Sports Management, with a concentration in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration from California University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Washington.
With all of Alan’s rowing knowledge of racing shells, launches and boats in general; Alan is an incredible asset as the Director of Operations and Rowing Services for Boatworks LLC. Alan’s passion for rowing can be seen when he coaches, races, and fixes boats that are in need of repair. The level of understanding that Alan has for the sport of rowing is truly amazing and his knowledge shows in the work that he does for his customers.
When Alan has free time, which is very rare, he loves watching sports of all kinds and going to sporting events. Alan also enjoys going to the beach, hiking and outdoor activities. In addition he loves visiting museums and historical sights.
Director of Sales
Sam is a Hampton, VA native and dinghy sailing evangelist. His passions are all things team racing and community sailing. Sam started sailing at age 14 when he got a Sunfish for his birthday, quickly falling in love and going on to start a sailing team at Hampton High School and join the Hampton Yacht Club junior race team, where he is still a member today. In college sailing, Sam was extremely active at the University of Virginia as a heavy air crew, B-division skipper, women’s team coach, Vice Commodore of the club from 2013-2015, and Commodore for 2015. On the leadership team of the UVA sailing program, Sam oversaw the expansion of the club to it's largest ever membership and participated in the only two Cavalier appearances at the Coed National Championship. Furthermore, he served as the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Assn. President, and was awarded the 2016 Purrington Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Conference.
While in college, Sam worked closely with his family and several other families in the Hampton Roads area to start Youth Sailing Virginia, a community sailing center located on the historic Fort Monroe that operates today as an epicenter of for the Mid-Atlantic and national high school sailing programs. In between working on Youth Sailing Virginia and racing at UVA, Sam spent his summers of college in Sandusky, OH running the Sandusky Sailing Club junior program. There he oversaw an extremely competitive team, built the program, and guest-coached around Lake Erie, specializing in boat tuning and crew work. In the summer before graduation, Sam additionally worked for South Shore Marine's logistics department, helping to deliver luxury powerboats to customers all over Lake Erie and beyond.
After graduation, he moved to Cleveland to work for a boutique wealth management firm, "retiring" about a year later to become the inaugural Director of Sailing at the Foundry: Community Rowing and Sailing Center. There, Sam oversaw the conversion of the Historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island into the coolest sailing center in the country, as well as starting and coaching 5 high school sailing teams and one collegiate team. Sam served as the 2018 US Team Racing Championship Regatta Chair, bringing the Hinman Trophy to downtown Cleveland for the first time.
Sam holds a B.A. of Foreign Affairs with an Economics minor from the University of Virginia. He's a US Sailing Level 2 coach, Judge-in-Training, and active volunteer race officer at both the Foundry and Edgewater Yacht Club. Sam's passion for community sailing and building the sport is unparalleled, and shines through when helping customers restore their fleets, purchase new boats, and establish fundraising plans to ensure their programs last in perpetuity.
In his limited free time, Sam enjoys riding one of his vintage road bikes, racing J/70s and dinghies, or taking his dog Stella hiking and paddleboarding