by Guest Columnist Lee Rust

Building Dreams

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 voyage.

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