Van HelkerBoatshed Port Townsend
About Van Helker
Run by the longtime boater and former professional mariner Van Helker, Boatshed Port Townsend is positioned to represent boats around the Olympic Peninsula - including Port Angeles, Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow, Kingston, Poulsbo, and Bremerton.
Being avid boaters, Van’s parents, Scott and Lisa (founders of Waterline Boats and Helmsman Trawlers), started Van out boating at an early age. Later, right out of college Van spent a winter working on a commercial crab boat in the Bering Sea before joining the NOAA Corps as a commissioned officer.
As a NOAA Corps officer Van trained at the US Merchant Marine Academy before working as a deck officer aboard R/V Gordon Gunter, a research vessel based out of the Gulf of Mexico. Through his sea time Van earned a USCG 1600-ton 3rd mate license. Van also had the benefit of obtaining the G.I. Bill benefit, which he used to earn a MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, graduating in 2021.
Following NOAA, Van continued his on-the-water career by starting Fjordlux Oyster Farm on Hood Canal with his wife, Alice, and joining the Helmsman Trawlers team in 2018. With Helmsman Trawlers Van has learned the ins-and-outs of building, commissioning, and supporting owners of these fine trawler yachts, and the oyster farm has helped fine-tune his small boat handling skills.
In 2020 Van started with Waterline Boats and Boatshed Port Townsend. Through this he has supported the purchase and sale of a variety of vessels to date, including a classic Willard 47 Dover Pilothouse and some really neat trawler-conversations, to late model Jeanneaus, Ranger Tugs, and Nordic Tugs.
Van is passionate about being in the water in boats of all types, and helping people achieve their own boating adventure goals.