The Gibson houseboat legacy has entered into the next chapter of its life as the once family-owner company has been passed on to another family of boating enthusiasts. In March (2017), Kelly and Pam Cawthorne, along with their son Shane and his wife Danielle, purchased the rights to manufacture Gibson fiberglass houseboats.

Gibson boats was started by William C. Brummett in 1968, through Brummett’s houseboating experience back much further than that. By 1990, the company had built more than 6,000 boats and that number just kept increasing until the company was hit hard by the 2008 recession.

Even though they went out of business in 2013, you would still be hard-pressed today to find a houseboat marina that didn’t have at least a few Gibsons floating among the slips. For more than 40 years, Gibson Boats produced a hybrid cross between a houseboat and a cabin cruiser and thanks to the Cawthornes from South Dakota, the Gibson tradition and boating legacy will live on.

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