How to Rebuild a Once-Sunk Boat Into an Adventure Surf Craft

Surfer Trevor Gordon & filmmaker Ian Durkin set out for remote coastal British Columbia to surf waves from a boat brought back to life


Words by Ian Durkin. Photograhy by Jeremy Koreski unless otherwise noted.

Trevor Gordon’s got a pretty cool thing going on in Santa Barbara. He lives on a sailboat with his wife Maddie and can paddle from his home to the local surf spot. He’s also always scheming up new projects.

Over the years I’ve worked on a bunch of videos with him—from building a camper for his truck from scratch, trying out a slew of finless boards, exploring Baja with a dinghy to a fictitious surf gang that only surfs party wave style. They’ve all been pretty scrappy and really fun to make together. This last one though, we had been talking about for over a year now.


Trevor wanted to build a boat and take it on a trip for the maiden voyage. It sounded simple in theory, but also really ambitious. I’ve never built anything of that scale, but Trevor was confident. Then again, I also wasn’t doing any of the building, so I didn’t really have anything to worry about. Six months later, we had the opportunity to work with Danner, Taylor Stitch, St. Archer brewing, and Feral wetsuits, so Trevor started building.

I was in Brooklyn for the summer and our friend and photo/DP extraordinaire Erin Feinblatt filmed the progress of the build in Santa Barbara. I would get these text updates from Trevor and Erin throughout the summer… it sounded really dusty, hot and itchy but Trevor friggin’ did it. He built a boat. A beautiful and really fast one at that.

"It sounded really dusty, hot and itchy but Trevor friggin’ did it. He built a boat. A beautiful and really fast one at that."


By the time I came out to Santa Barbara in late Fall, all that was left was basically getting the motor, electrical and finishing stuff dialed, which entailed some late night gas syphoning. After a week of that, we were headed north.

Trevor, his friend Tosh, and I had a blast the whole time, and our friend Jeremy Koreski gave us much needed local knowledge of coastal BC and helped with filming and taking photos. Overall, it was one of the more memorable and involved projects I’ve been on from start to finish and I’m psyched to finally share the video




Process: From Lot Lizard to Camel Ready to Ride

Related articles
Laru Beya Collective Is Breaking Barriers for Black Surfers in NYC
The Laru Beya Collective Is Paving the Way for a Diverse New Generation of Surfers

With love, gratitude, and respect for the ocean and community, Laru Beya Collective is helping young Brown and Black surfers reclaim the waves

Stay in a Treehouse & Surf One Bali's Longest Wave at Lost Lindenberg
Stay in a Treehouse & Surf One of Bali's Longest Waves at Lost Lindenberg

This unique island resort offers guests treehouse digs, plant-based meals, black sand beaches, and access to world-class surf

The 11 Best Men's Boardshorts, According to Actual Surfers
The 11 Best Men's Boardshorts for Surfing

Ideal for surfing, beaching, and transitioning through town, these board shorts will earn you chafe-free style points in and out of the water

The True Story of Island X, a Secret Surf Location in the Bering Sea
The Epic True Story Behind a Secret Surf Expedition Off the Shores of Russia

Photographer Mark McInnis shares images from a top-secret surf expedition to a remote Alaskan island, and his new book, half a decade in the making

The 9 Best Women's Swimsuits & Bikinis for Surfing, Tested
The 9 Best Women's Swimsuits Actually Designed for Surfing

Through trial and (a lot of) error, these are the best surf swimsuits that are comfortable, flattering, and actually stay on your body

New Book "Surfer Magazine: 1960-2020" Chronicles 60 Years of Culture
Surfing’s Now-Extinct Print Mag Gets a Worthy Retrospective in New Hardcover Book

With more than 300 pages of photos and journalism, the book is a visual homage to surf culture's leading publication, which prematurely closed in 2020

More articles
How to Rebuild a Once-Sunk Boat Into an Adventure Surf Craft

Gallery Mode


Jeremy Koreski, Erin Feinblatt, Donnie Hedden

Back to article
☮️ Welcome to Field Mag

Get the best new gear, dreamy cabins, and epic adventure photography delivered to your inbox each week with Field Mag newsletters

Click Here to Subscribe
☮️  Welcome to Field Mag