Robin Jean- Phil Bolger Boat Design Pics By Paul Frontiero

Here are some more pics that Paul Frontiero took of The Phil Bolger Boat Designed Robin Jean-


  • Greetings,
    upfront I.D. is in order: We design boats, only build a few small ones to break nails and get paint in the hair; architect vs contractor… This design is our #679. That means there were 678 before this one since the late 1940s. Or on average just around a dozen per year – 5′ Dinghies to 450-tons three-masted square-rigger.

    Good to see so many heart-felt expressions of congratulations and Gloiucester-Pride to both Gloucester-based owner and -builder on this occasion of her launch. Both decided quiety well over a year ago to stop rumor-mongering and complaining about the future of our working waterfront and got on with actually going to work in a West-Gloucester barn to built from scratch this light inshore working craft. She was built by a contractor and his fisherman brother. Both have never build any boat to this size. We admire ROBIN JEAN’s clean finish and fair lines. She looks better yet in 3-D than she ever did on paper. This is the first working craft of that length built in Gloucester in say two decades. Built by private initiative, with persistence and purpose. This is a novice effort. Any rivals to this accomplishment ?!

    They chose the ‘Yacht’-layout to also be able to take her on extended coastal-cruises if time and weather allows, or just on Interstate jaunts to good fishing behind a mid-size pick-up; at 6′ chine-width she’ll happily ride between the wheels of a regular 96-inch single-axle trailer.
    On the same hull, the ‘Lobsterboat’ version would have double-plus length working cockpit abaft a tight and dry 1+1 wheelhouse and porta-potti cuddy. 30+ 2×3 traps would fit well.
    What high center-of-gravity ? Five near-sisterships have been successful in MI, FL, TN, DE etc. Delaware Bay is nastier than Ipswich Bay in wind against tide over very shallow waters. But no flying bridge, tuna-tower, or even high heels on this one. The plans show two large pumps in shallow wells at the after end of that cockpit; tied up we’d have a simple tarp strung from the house-top to the end of the cockpit to keep rain/snow out of it.
    In any working craft, the crew’s low center-of-gravity helps body stay steadier. And standing this deep in the boat it will be very hard to end up in the water, whether jigging or lobstering.
    Working-boats since earliest days in Gloucester were like this, and with good reason.
    6’6″ long cockpit allows two cots in the cockpit for four-some overnighting.
    Plans also show 3x27gals tanks surrounding the outboard-well plus solid-foam floatation built-in around the tanks to float engine powerhead clear of any ‘breaking seas’ in the cockpit(!?). As designed she should have fully built-in a solid full-length collar of hard buoyancy-foam with more in her roof and as part of her Vee-nose bow. By design she should stay at the surface with full breach of hull-skins; friend of ours was part of Boston Whaler foam-coring R&D work 40-years ago, so this thinking is at least as old as that. You don’t hear of Whalers drowning.
    Outboard-location allows no-acrobatics-access to prop to unwind polyline and worse. With practice you should be able to pull the prop while she is afloat at the marina or out there if necessary; we’d carry extra cotterpins and keep the hub well-slathered with ‘Never-Seize’.
    MI near-sistership did low 20s kts with 75HP HONDA. DE version did 20mph with 50HP with two aboard. ROBIN JEAN was designed with 90 HP four-stroke max. in mind. We look forward to her overall performance figures.
    With slightly different stern-shape for most efficient displacement-speed of just over 7kts – she’d happily purr along with a large-prop 25HP outboard sipping thimbles of fuel tending to inshore traps, lines and nets.
    Perfect low-cost hardware for new-comer or sensible old hand less interested in speed but rather economic survival when fuel-cost zooms up again and access to the resource remains limited.
    Line-art and commentary for ROBIN JEAN is available for study by those serious about this ‘entry-level’ model.
    Next size up would indeed be an inboard diesel type for inshore-and-offshore fishing, measuring 40’x9’x60HP for 8kts carrying 7000+lbs of iced fish in dedicated insulated holds, or about 60 3×2′ traps.
    The photos of ROBIN JEAN show full State registration and Fishing Permit number on her sides.
    There is no accounting for having ‘Bananas’ on the brain looking at these photos…
    Complements to Paul Frontiero for the nice shots capturing “Robin Jean” in late winter light.
    Let’s hear for Super Dave and Robin Jean. Phil Bolger & Susanne Altenburger


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