Perhaps it was his Norsk heritage, or perhaps just the evening walks past a wooden boat shop in Gig Harbor where a 15 foot Whitehall was being constructed in the store front window, but somehow it became a driving force in Dave's life to build a Whitehall rowing/sailing boat. One tradition has it that the name "Whitehall" comes from the Whitehall district in New York Harbor during the days that Schooners sailed the oceans. Merchants needed fast but stable rowing vessels to head out and meet the incoming Schooners in order to secure the contracts with the vessel for supplies and, well, women, when the boat got to port.
The name "Nisse" comes from Scandinavian folklore about the local household elves that protected and helped the household, but were also known to be temperamental and mischievous as well. We have seen much of the good side of Nisse, and promised ourselves to never provoke the temperamental side of this little elf..
On a more serious side, "Nisse" is Dave's rendition of a boat designed by Richard Kolin and published in the book "Building Catherine", a Woodenboat Book publication. From start to finish it was the most interesting building project that Dave has ever undertaken, his children also joined in the fun to make this a wonderful family project.
One of the major design decisions Dave made while building Nisse was to caulk all of the lapped joints with a marine grade underwater caulking. This enables Nisse to be stored dry, yet to be launched and take on no water.
The true beauty of this classic design can only be experienced when you lay into the oars with a partner and watch a wake form behind the boat. There are not many rowing boats that can give you that experience.