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Thread: bolger genius

  1. #1
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    Default bolger genius

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    I've saied his fold up schooner, now that's genius. There's something about a reductionist boat designer I like…….

  3. #3
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    It is not how WELL the dancing troll dances... it's just amazing he dances at all.

    Bolger was a genius.

    Despite my oft-stated aversion to the 'can't we just' approach... his genius allowed him to take that tack and, amazing often, turn out something worthwhile. He also left a lot of half-finished drawings behind, which didn't pan out. But failure is the handmaiden of that joyously, curiously, childishly open approach.

    So I applaud his Baby Box Boat 'Tortoise', and esp. the inspiration he thus provided for later iterations of the same concept. I'd call it a 'half success' as drawn.

    The 'Puddle Duck Racer' smooths off the casting marks, gives it a bit more thought, and turns it into an actual, functional, boat at 8'. I've yet to get aboard the 12' version - Storer's 'Oz Goose'... but all indications are that it's a distinct improvement also, simply because of the added length.

    It continues to amaze me that something that looks like a child's sandbox, or a masonry mixing trough, can function as a boat... and function well.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Nevertheless, I could never love his designs.
    Functional, yes, but oh so ugly to look at.
    I need sweeping lines and gentle curves.

    I now brace myself for the backlash...
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Nevertheless, I could never love his designs.
    Functional, yes, but oh so ugly to look at.
    I need sweeping lines and gentle curves.

    I now brace myself for the backlash...
    My only pushback is that - if you only know Bolger for his BoxBoats... you're missing out.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Nevertheless, I could never love his designs.
    Functional, yes, but oh so ugly to look at.
    I need sweeping lines and gentle curves.

    I now brace myself for the backlash...
    5946C3A4-474C-4D64-A3FD-21FD272611F3.jpeg
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    What Pless is showing off is a glued-lapstrake version of Chebacco.


    Here's Spur II. A boat I always rather thought I'd like to have for my morning row.

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default

    Bolger Spartina



    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Just because a boat is ugly, doesn't mean it can't sail.

    Just because a boat can sail, doesn't mean it has to be pretty.

    Just because a designer can turn out a really pretty boat, doesn't mean he can't turn out something ugly.

    Just because a designer is famous, doesn't mean that all his designs are pretty.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Bolger Fantail Launch



    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Gotta give the Dark Side some exposure, too:

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Gotta give the Dark Side some exposure, too:



    Izzat OLDSHOE?

    To me ... it is a fine looking vessel; purposeful, not elegant; but, fine nonetheless.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Oops, I really stepped in it!
    I usually associate his designs with the boxy boats.
    My bad.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Oops, I really stepped in it!
    I usually associate his designs with the boxy boats.
    My bad.
    399428B1-A2FE-4C82-827E-590A81E52CA7.jpg
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Oops, I really stepped in it!
    I usually associate his designs with the boxy boats.
    My bad.
    Nobody knows everything about everything. Isn't it fun to find out more?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    And like the OZ goose and PDracer, you get a lot of designs influenced by Bolger. I am rather fond of CLC's "Autumn Leaves"

    Autumn Leaves Render - 2 - Thumb.jpg
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    I nearly bought a Birdwatcher. For WX here's one with a junk sail


  20. #20
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Iíve had a shot at buying a Chebacco on two different occasions, but couldnít get there with enough money in time for either one.

    Jeff C

  21. #21
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Not every design is to everyone's taste. Mr. Bolger designed some boats that I think are beautiful, and some that I think are... purposeful. But the ability to be good at designs ranging from replica sqare-riggers to classic small sailing craft to economical powerboats to 'box-boats' is a rare gift. The man was as prolific as he was skilled.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Nevertheless, I could never love his designs.
    Functional, yes, but oh so ugly to look at.
    I need sweeping lines and gentle curves.

    I now brace myself for the backlash...
    There are a few pics of his Moccasin design out of the water. She has a stunning shape.
    He's drawn a heap of others that are really beautiful, its sad in some respects that his enduring legacy is for the most part the "boxes" when some of the others are wonderfully curvaceous.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Phil had died by the time I was able to think of a newly built boat. Had he been alive then, I'd have commissioned him to design something that would fit in a 55'x10' box (or a bit smaller), draw less than 2',

    and be pretty.

    I'm sure he'd have astounded me.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Nobody knows everything about everything. Isn't it fun to find out more?
    Posting without thinking is a stupid thing to do, but that's just what I did.
    If I'd given it one moment's thought, I would have remembered some of his 'curvy designs' or the fact that he designed the replica of HMS Rose, a ship I consider beautiful and have seen both under sail on Long Island Sound and at dock in Port Jefferson, N.Y.
    My sincere apologies to Mr. Bolger's legacy for just limiting him to his 'boxy boats'.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    I miss him, and I didn't even know him.

    I had written him a couple of times regarding my building of models, and although he didn't know me, he wrote very complete answers to my questions.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Am fortunate to have owned and extensively cruised two of Phil Bolger's boats, a Dovekie and her larger "sister" a Shearwater. Together they consumed a span of 30 years. Both of those boats are quite handsome, neither being anything like a "box". Am also fortunate to have met Phil Bolger once and enjoyed a short conversation.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Izzat OLDSHOE?

    To me ... it is a fine looking vessel; purposeful, not elegant; but, fine nonetheless.

    Kevin
    I would've guessed Micro--is that right?

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  28. #28
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Just because a boat is ugly, doesn't mean it can't sail.

    Just because a boat can sail, doesn't mean it has to be pretty.

    Just because a designer can turn out a really pretty boat, doesn't mean he can't turn out something ugly.

    Just because a designer is famous, doesn't mean that all his designs are pretty.
    That sure works for musicians...

  29. #29
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    I've designed and built 3 Bolgeresque boats, a 10 ft punt, and 2 canoes, 15' and 18'. They work quite well -- in some aspects better than a round-bilged boat.

    But I only learned to do this by building his 8' Elegant Punt first; and the main lesson it taught me was... curves! That's right -- curves, from box-boats!

    To make a hard-chined boat behave well in the water it must have the right amount of rocker and beam. If the designer gets this wrong, then the boat handles like either a rocking-horse or a barge.

    waiting for the train 2.jpg

    dinghy cape chin (2).jpg

    plywood canoe.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  30. #30
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Honestly, I don't detect all that much difference in performance between my boxy Bolger boat:

    box boat.jpg

    And my oh-so-curvy current ride:

    DSCN3310 cropped.jpg

    Frankly, when top speed for the faster boat is somewhere around 6 knots, and over 5 knots for the slower boat, how much does it matter, really? (Yes, I know speed is only one measure of performance...)

    As far as cost per mile, or enjoyment per $$$ (especially when you consider both cost in $$$ and cost in building time), the simple boxy boat wins hands down. In many ways, it's the FAR better value.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  31. #31
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    For some (certainly not all), aesthetics holds as much importance as does propulsive efficiency and economic considerations. While certainly not the case with the vast majority of my current clients (a beautiful commercial lobster fishing boat is one that maneuvers well and holds lots of lobster traps), I have done a fair amount of work for clients who want to have their heart to beat a bit faster as they walk down the wharf and see their achingly pretty boat waiting to taken out. I do not begrudge the folks who can eschew classic good looks for lower cost at no expense to performance, but my personal tastes tend to side with that guy or girl who gets almost as much enjoyment from looking at their perfect boat as from sailing it. For a builder it is often the same; the extra hours taken, and the extra skills to be learned, in creating a classically beautiful boat is a price willingly paid for an object that is aesthetically pleasing, a testament to their craftsmanship. I have had the rare opportunity to work with some really gifted boatbuilders who feel this way, and those are among the most pleasing times of my career. But such attitudes, considerations, and cost in time and treasure are not necessary to make a useful boat. There is room in this great wide world for Bolger Boxes as well as wineglass-sterned perfect lapstrake Whitehalls to exist, and no need for one end of the spectrum to disparage the other end. Pick the aesthetic that best suits your needs and go out and enjoy yourselves.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    For some (certainly not all), aesthetics holds as much importance as does propulsive efficiency and economic considerations. While certainly not the case with the vast majority of my current clients (a beautiful commercial lobster fishing boat is one that maneuvers well and holds lots of lobster traps), I have done a fair amount of work for clients who want to have their heart to beat a bit faster as they walk down the wharf and see their achingly pretty boat waiting to taken out. I do not begrudge the folks who can eschew classic good looks for lower cost at no expense to performance, but my personal tastes tend to side with that guy or girl who gets almost as much enjoyment from looking at their perfect boat as from sailing it. For a builder it is often the same; the extra hours taken, and the extra skills to be learned, in creating a classically beautiful boat is a price willingly paid for an object that is aesthetically pleasing, a testament to their craftsmanship. I have had the rare opportunity to work with some really gifted boatbuilders who feel this way, and those are among the most pleasing times of my career. But such attitudes, considerations, and cost in time and treasure are not necessary to make a useful boat. There is room in this great wide world for Bolger Boxes as well as wineglass-sterned perfect lapstrake Whitehalls to exist, and no need for one end of the spectrum to disparage the other end. Pick the aesthetic that best suits your needs and go out and enjoy yourselves.
    Yep. I totally agree. I have at least one foot in each camp. Sometimes more than one!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  33. #33
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    At one time I really wanted to try a Junk rig in my Dovekie, but ultimately decided it would put too much weight aloft compared top the leg-o-mutton sprit rig she was designed with. At the time I was soaking up as much junk lore as I could find, even buying a used copy of Junks And Sampans Of The Yangtze at a WoodenBoat Show.

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    I nearly bought a Birdwatcher. For WX here's one with a junk sail


  34. #34
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    For some (certainly not all), aesthetics holds as much importance as does propulsive efficiency and economic considerations. While certainly not the case with the vast majority of my current clients (a beautiful commercial lobster fishing boat is one that maneuvers well and holds lots of lobster traps), I have done a fair amount of work for clients who want to have their heart to beat a bit faster as they walk down the wharf and see their achingly pretty boat waiting to taken out. I do not begrudge the folks who can eschew classic good looks for lower cost at no expense to performance, but my personal tastes tend to side with that guy or girl who gets almost as much enjoyment from looking at their perfect boat as from sailing it. For a builder it is often the same; the extra hours taken, and the extra skills to be learned, in creating a classically beautiful boat is a price willingly paid for an object that is aesthetically pleasing, a testament to their craftsmanship. I have had the rare opportunity to work with some really gifted boatbuilders who feel this way, and those are among the most pleasing times of my career. But such attitudes, considerations, and cost in time and treasure are not necessary to make a useful boat. There is room in this great wide world for Bolger Boxes as well as wineglass-sterned perfect lapstrake Whitehalls to exist, and no need for one end of the spectrum to disparage the other end. Pick the aesthetic that best suits your needs and go out and enjoy yourselves.
    Nicely stated.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  35. #35
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    Default Re: bolger genius

    I always thought Bolger's Bobcat was a beautiful little boat. It basically is a hard chine version of the elegant Beetle Cat. I copied the aft hull sections when I "designed" my catboat. The forward hull sections had to be changed to accommodate the tumble home profile I wanted for my bow. I also scaled the 12x6 Bobcat to a 14x7 hull so that could build the biggest boat possible in my shop space.

    IMG_0955.jpg

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