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Skipjack Boat Builder Jack Cole Passes On

Jack Cole, Skipjack boats, passed away on February 23, 2018.  We join the entire Skipjack family, including Irene and his two sons, Jack, Jr. and Jeff Cole, in honoring this legend and his contribution to boating during his lifetime.

A close friend and fellow Tuna Club member, Carl Lund, who has also passed away, introduced me to Jack Cole in Avalon in the mid-seventies. By that time, Cole had established himself as one of a select few successful boat designers with his “Skipjack” boats.

After that introduction, Cole and I discovered that we shared common interests in many things, including but not limited to boating. Our paths crossed often as we both had homes away from home in Buena Vista, BCS, where we were neighbors. Of course, the fishing brought us even closer as we fished both Baja and Southern California where once again, our paths crossed.

By that time, Skipjack had grown to its peak. Cole was operating out of a 48,000-square foot office and production facility which accommodated more boats at different stages of construction. Even with a workforce approaching 50, Skipjack was unable keep up with the demand.

His enthusiasm in life was refreshing. Like other boat builders I have known, he was always certain his next boat would be his best; that remained a constant until the day he died.

I will never forget that twinkle in his eye as he unrolled a blueprint while proclaiming, “You gotta’ see this new boat I’m working on. It’s fantastic!”

His “Skipjack” brand is a remarkable legacy to a man who truly loved boating.  Jack Cole will be missed.

His Memorial will be held on May 5, 2018. Further information will be posted when available

Check out Gary’s article series on Skipjack boats and the man behind it all.

Skipjack – Taking It to the Limit

Skipjack- Taking it to the Limit, Part 2

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Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.