Remembering Bob Allen

Raven Radio’s KCAW-FM in Sitka says Bob Allen’s life is a “classic Alaskan story.” Bob, who started both Allen Marine and Alaskan Dream Cruises, died March 2, 2020 in Sitka. He was 83. KCAW-FM chatted with Bob’s son Rob Allen about his father’s life and legacy.

This piece was posted March 3, 2020 on KCAW-FM’s website by the station’s news director, Robert Woolsey. 

Bob Allen, 1936-2020: Entrepreneur, boat builder, and storyteller had little fear of failure


When Bob’s father first came to the Alaska Territory from California he worked on sternwheeler riverboats operated by the railroad companies. Bob joined him as a teenager when the family settled in Nenana.

“You were on your own. You really were out in the middle of nowhere, and you had to take care of yourself and the community,” his son, Rob, told KCAW-FM of his dad’s ingenuity and work ethic. “And so I think he just got used to doing things.”

“If something needed to be done, you just had to take care of it yourself. He talked about that, when he talked about growing up there. He had a fish wheel, because he had dogs. A dog team. And he had to use the fish wheel to catch dog salmon to dry for the dog team for their food for the winter. Of course, he had a skiff with an outboard, and those outboards were a little more temperamental in those days. He said you had to work on it for two hours to get one hour of running out of it. And he always preferred to go upriver, because then he could at least drift home when the outboard inevitably broke down.”

Scenic Sunset in Southeast Alaska

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