ByChristopher GatesANDMike Floorwalker/March 18, 2020 9:48 to be EDT/Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 1:33 afternoon EDT
Like most of the NCIS crew, note Harmon"s Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a quirky dude. He lives by a set of self-made rules, which consists of nuggets prefer "Don"t ever accept one apology from someone that just sucker-punched you" and also "Never go almost everywhere without a knife." he likes to organize impromptu meetings in the elevator. He resents contemporary electronics, sleeps top top his couch rather of in his understand bedroom, and builds watercrafts in his spare time.

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Not just any boats, either. As committed NCIS pan know, Gibbs can often be found in his basement working away top top full-sized sailboats, occasionally with a baseball video game playing in the background. The doesn"t use power tools, yet instead assembles each wooden craft through hand. That doesn"t necessarily sail them. He simply likes do them. Gibbs" boat-building habit was part of the very first episode of the show, and also it has ongoing throughout that is 17-season run (interestingly, Harmon is likewise an completed woodworker, although that doesn"t build watercrafts himself).

Over NCIS" lengthy run,Gibbs has developed at least five watercrafts that we know of. According to NCIS, Gibbs made three vessels before the display began, functioned on another from periods one v six, and has worked on at the very least one an ext since. In plenty of ways, Gibbs" watercrafts are favor extra members of the NCIS cast. No, castle don"t aid Gibbs and the rest of NCIS" star-studded actors solve mysteries, but it wouldn"t it is in NCIS there is no them.


Obviously, the watercrafts in Gibbs" basement are really important come the character. On NCIS, Gibbs is a fairly straight-laced guy, and boat-building seems to be among the couple of ways the he relaxes. Woodworking is one intimate, meditative activity, and Gibbs" choice of pastime offers a many of understanding into the character.

But Gibbs" link to his boats goes deeper than a only hobby. See, Gibbs has a habit that naming each of his boats after someone close to him, frequently with terrible results. Sure, naming among his boats after his 2nd wife, Diane, seemed like a sweet gesture in ~ the time. ~ the marriage fell apart, though, Gibbs only had actually one choice: He had actually to burn the boat to the ground.

The boat that Gibbs was building during the an initial six seasons of NCIS was a particularly personal project for the Navy special agent, together it was named after Gibbs" daughter, Kelly. In NCIS lore, Kelly and also her mother, Gibbs" very first wife, Shannon, were eliminated in a vehicle accident after your driver was shot by a drug dealer.

The Kelly was an alleged to be a tribute to Gibbs" so late daughter, but ended up meeting a grisly fate that its own. In the season seven episode "Outlaws and also In-Laws," the Kelly — i beg your pardon Gibbs perfect off-screen and gave to his mentor, Michael Franks — was found drifting in ~ sea with two dead bodies on board. An ominous sign for sure, however thankfully, the NCIS crew was on the case.


NCIS is a display full that mysteries — together a procedural, there"s a new case to solve every week — yet one in specific has vexed fans since the an extremely beginning: just how does Gibbs obtain his enormous sailboats the end of his basement? As far as we"ve seen, there"s just one door come the secret workshop, and it"s not nearly large enough for a full-sized watercraft to fit through.

For his part, Gibbs appears to like maintaining everyone in the dark. Once one character asked Gibbs just how he it s okay the boats outside, Gibbs quipped, "Break the bottle," express the comparable (but easily-solved) mystery about just how model ships obtain in bottles. An additional time, Gibbs referenced knocking out a wall surface and structure a ramp, however the logistics of remove an underground wall surface remain unexplained. Occasionally, Gibbs answer questions around his boats with his signature steely stare. Intimidating? Yes. Informative? not so much.

As a result, fans have begun coming up with their very own theories. There"s some evidence that Gibbs builds his watercrafts in pieces and takes them external for final assembly (the Kelly"s hull is being built in seasons one, two, and also three, while work on the cabin starts in season four), however even those smaller chunks wouldn"t fit v Gibbs" basement door. One wall of Gibbs" basement isn"t ever shown, definition there can be an opening we"ve never ever seen, although the would need to be awfully big.

The one point we do know? NCIS more than likely won"t let us in top top the truth. Only one various other character, the fan-favorite forensic scientist Abby Sciuto, has figured out the mystery — and, prefer Gibbs, she refuses come tell.


Officially, the Kelly to be a Glen-L Amigo, a 22-foot sailboat that Glen-L defines as "a heavy watercraft capable of major long-distance offshore and seaside cruising."

According come Glen-L, NCIS" producers reached out to Glen-L directly around featuring the Amigo top top the show yet required a an extremely quick turnaround time. That brought about a flurry that negotiations in between Glen-L and the NCIS manufacturing crew, at some point resulting in the loose vessel featured in NCIS" beforehand seasons. However, when it was time because that the Kelly to collection sail, production couldn"t find a finished Amigo come film, so they swapped in a different form of boat and also hoped fans wouldn"t notice.

Later, Gibbs began working ~ above a Glen-L Barrelback, which isn"t a sailboat however a wood motorboat. In the 2014 NCIS episode "Honor your Father," it"s revealed that Gibbs and his father made a tiny Barrelback named Chickadee as soon as Gibbs to be still a child. ~ Gibbs" dad passed away, the NCIS investigator secured plans for a similar boat and also quickly gained to work, proceeding Gibbs" legacy of making use of his watercrafts to respect members that his family.


All the this says a question: will NCIS fans ever before get to watch Gibbs sail away, perhaps into retirement, ~ above the watercraft he built? Well, Gibbs (and Harmon) are acquiring on in years, and also operating in a demanding, stressful project for fairly some time. In the season 16 episode "Lost Time," Gibbs addressed the opportunity of retirement through his therapist — and he didn"t seem also psyched about the idea.

"What"s your end game, anyway?" the therapist want to know. "If no prison or retirement, then how do you desire all this to finish for you? once will friend ever be able to say, mission accomplished?" Gibbs had actually no answer; he just responded that he owed too lot to his team come depart. Harmon, though, has sung a different tune.

In an interview every the way back in 2010, the star said, "From the start here, I always thought that part of his way in taking care of his team is to prepare them for a time once he"s no here. So, I can see a time absolutely in the future where they take it the task over and also they relocate on, and also Gibbs it s okay on his boat and also sails away" (via CheatSheet).

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That would absolutely be a fitting end to one iconic character — let"s just hope his team doesn"t mean Gibbs, prior to he sails off right into the sunset, come let on regarding exactly exactly how the hell he gained the watercraft out the his basement. We have actually a emotion that"s simply something the they, and NCIS" fans, will need to keep top top wondering.