Suzanne Altenberger and Phil Bolger stopped down the dock a couple of days ago to talk about Phil’s boat design which came to life in the Robin Jean. What they told me was that the men that built the boat were not boat builders but by building it to the level of finish that it has been completed to was nothing short of heroic.
Weather you like the design or not is really a question of use and economy and how import they are to the individual. I won’t speak to the flaws that many fishermen continue to rant about in my office but of the things that Suzanne explained to me in a lenghty conversation that seem to make sense. Suzanne told me that similar boats equipped with a 60 hp engine would be capable of 20mph. That’s pretty impressive. She also spoke to the ease of construction from the design in which she claims ordinary men can build in a small space and that you don’t need to be a boat builder to build it due to it’s simple design. Whether you like the looks of the Robin Jean or not you can’t argue with the fact that a couple of men built it that were not boat builders and the finish is pretty damn nice.
The smallish deck space was an option as there are plans for the same boat with the cabin pushed forward which would allow for much more working space. I will post the plans for the same boat with a bigger deck later this week with the video.
Look for the video of Suzanne Altenberger giving us a detailed explanation of the plan later in the week. I appreciate her and Phil coming down to share first hand what she considers the pluses of the design. So the men who built this boat should be congratulated for building a boat from a set of plans who had never built a boat before. That’s quite an accomplishment! I wouldn’t step foot on a boat I ever built. To say that carpentry is my weak spot would be the understatement of the year. Kudos to them.