by Guest Columnist Lee Rust
When it comes to building a boat, we all might ask ourselves whether we
want to create an object of affection or a vehicle in which to take a
If an object, then the more time and materials, fittings and expensive
finishes we apply the better, because those things are the measure of our
devotion to the boat.
If a vehicle, then the more cargo carried, fish caught, or places visited
the better, because these things are the measure of the voyage, and any
extra time and materials spent on the boat are wasted.
Phil Bolger's designs balance these two purposes. They are functional,
economical, practical, elegant, and sometimes even beautiful objects, yet
they will carry you where you want to go and do what you want to do within
the limits of each design parameter.
Indeed, Phil Bolger's designs are so varied, imaginative and economical
that anything seems possible. This is very dangerous to the professional
dreamers among us. You could end up spending an entire lifetime browsing
and modelling and planning to build one or more of Phil's boats, because
just as soon as you're settled on one design, a more interesting or
ingenious plan comes along to infatuate you all over again.
This is fine if all you want to do is dream about boatbuilding or just sit
back and admire the designs. As long as Mr. Bolger is around, there will
be always be another one on the drawing board.
However, if you want to build a boat and then go somewhere and do
something in it, at some point you have to put down the book, turn off the
computer, forget about the ultimate Bolger boat and put together the one
you've already got the plans for.
Each one of Bolgers' designs is a challenge for us to get out of our heads
and onto the water. That's what it's all about, because none of us
has all the time in the world.
Lee Rust lives in Rochester, New York