Phil Bolger-is gone....

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, May 26, 2009.

  1. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I just last week received his plans in the mail---- for a Gloucester Gull. Always had great respect for his work. Sad to see him gone.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Bummer. He was an original thinker.
  4. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

  5. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    Well that is the end of an era. The man lived and died on his own terms.
    A life well lived by my reckoning.
  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    May he rest in peace. He was a true innovator

    As I read the Sailing Anarchy reference, this section caught my attention as an unknown project he was perusing;

    "This reality emerged amidst an intriguing series of consultancies for US Navy, and increasing pro-bono work (1750+hrs) in an effort to prepare the Gloucester commercial fishing fleet for the age of $5.-+/gal. - The relationship with Navy has just recently been refreshed again in a warm and productive encounter with our client/patron, a Division Director at NAVSEA. - On the 'Low-Carbon' fisheries-project he recently has had opportunity to personally present the policy-proposal to Congressman John Tierney's respectful and encouraging reception, with key policy-advisors in both U.S. Senator's offices studying the proposal as well. He did take great comfort in the trust and support expressed by 40 local professional fishermen of all tribes and fisheries, a select number of shore-side stake-holders, and the continued encouragement by New England's Conservation Law Foundation. But after well over six emotionally exhausting years his efforts had yet to find constructive reflection in catalyzing jobs- and tax-base-generating marine-industrial local and state public policy for his ailing home-port, America's oldest Seaport of Gloucester."
  7. Einarr
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    Einarr New Member

  8. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    I like that he used his brain to take a look at a wide spectrum of potentials. There will be eternal arguments regarding his box period, love it or hate it. But it really bothers me that a guy who let his design work do the bulk of the talking, took his life in a purely grandstand fashion by blowing a fist-sized hole in his head in the backyard and leaving a genuine bloody, brain scattered mess as his last expression.

    I rather think that the process demonstrates a very large degree of non control and that makes me very sad.
  9. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    yipster designer

    a great man, what can i say, his spirit lives on
  10. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I think Phil's influence is difficult to exaggerate.

    I count him as every bit as important as Nat Herrshoff (I don't have his name spelling, sorry).

    Nat moved sail boat design toward the direction of high tech materials and techniques, with absolute speed performance almost always being the prime goal. During his time, that was the way boat design probably needed to go.

    Phil moved it in the opposite direction. Which, IMHO, was the way it needed to go in his time.

    Before I heard of him, I almost never saw a sail rig on a larger boat that wasn't a jib headed sloop. The mono culture of those days was not only boring, but distressing as well. Especially now that the irrationality of it is so well known. Occasionally a gaff rig would be seen, but it was a matter of faith that it was so inferior to the jib headed rig that it should not be considered under any circumstances.

    Other rigs, such as the dipping lug, the standing lug, and the balance lug, that don't require tall masts and time consuming to set up stays and shrouds, where never seen on anything bigger than, say, 10 ft.

    Phil changed that more than any body else I know of.

    He also altered the idea that anything that didn't have a round bottom could not be sea worthy.

    Though he is gone, he leaves a grand wake. Other designers are continuing his work.

    The tree is gone, but there are green shoots everywhere.

    But still, I will miss him.

  11. Sean Herron
    Joined: May 2004
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    Sean Herron Senior Member

    Damn It...


    Bolger has left a legacy of thought that will not die - kids for generations will continue to go to their libraries and get turned on by his many books of designs...

    Not to mention Harold Payson and his books too...

    Think I will have a drink - damn...

    I did not realize that he took his own life - sorry...

    Having control and a last bit of personal faculty to make a decision for yourself is dignified - I never want to be a plugged in guinea pig for medical researchers...

    So - here is to Phil Bolger - and all the great thoughts that he has left for generations to come..

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