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Glen-L Design Featured  on NCIS and Other Popular Shows…

This is how the boat started out


If you’ve been watching NCIS starring Mark Harmon as Special Agent Jethro, you are aware that he was building a boat in his basement during the first two seasons. It turns out that he supposedly completed the boat and it ended up being blown up in one episode. The finished boat wasn’t even close to what he started building.

Nice looking frames for a boat that is way above Ziva’s head

How do we know? Because the boat he was building is a Glen-L Design, the Amigo. Our Shop Foreman, Allyn, made the frames for the show and that is what was shown in the series as described below. We always wondered how Jethro was going to get a 22 foot boat out of his basement! You can see the process of building these frames here.

Hmmm, definitely a different boat! Guess they thought they could fool us…


The set people called us at some point and asked if we knew where they could find a completed Amigo sailboat to use in one of the episodes.

We know of several that are completed, even one that is local, but we think the builder sailed away into the sunset–seriously, he used to stop in our office frequently while he was building and last we heard, he was off in his sailboat!


The finished boat is just a bit different than the Amigo!

So, I guess they just substituted a small sailboat hoping no one would notice. The photo below is an example of what the finished Glen-L Amigo might look like. Quite different from what the finished boat on the series looked like!




Before the series began, we received a call from Paramount Studios asking if we could make a Frame Kit for the Amigo to be used in the upcoming CBS TV series, “Navy-NCIS”. We don’t normally make custom Frame Kits and the Amigo is particularly problematic because several pieces are to be laminated in place from thin veneers. This is not a practical method for production in our shop. This was further complicated by the fact that they needed it “next Friday”. After a discussion with George Tuers, Prop Master, we agreed to make a kit using sawn pieces and a few other changes that would give them the look they needed and allow us to have the kit ready in a week.

The Amigo Frame Kit is not the first TV star produced by Glen-L. When the series “Roseanne” started, Dan was building a boat in his garage. The frames he was working on were for the Kona Kai (“we want the biggest Frame Kit you have”). They did not use all the frames and gradually the boat project faded out of the series.

Because we are close to Hollywood, we are frequently contacted by film and commercial makers looking for props. Glen-L Frame Kits have appeared in TV commercials and movies, but we frequently only hear about them after the fact. The Thunderbolt was supposedly used both as a completed boat and as a model in one of the early James Bond movies… they blew up the model. Two separate production companies bought Frame Kits for a Christmas credit card commercial. The commercial showed a father and son working on the boat. In the end you could have missed the frames if you blinked.

There was a series with Robert Urich called “Crossroads”, which featured a father and son traveling across the country on a motorcycle. One of the first episodes was about an old man they met who was building a boat in his barn. The boat was the Lord Nelson, built by Ned Smith of Flowery Branch, Georgia. Then there was the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial with the Delta Q… I’m sure there were many more, but I am writing this from memory and that’s all I can remember.

Just a little bit of Glen-L history that we thought you might find interesting. Get started on your boat building project today-who knows, maybe you can finish your boat before Jethro!


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