Saturday, October 4, 2014
Bolger Cat Yawl " Romp"
20 years ago my wife Rachel , our young daughters Kalessin, Lillian and I sailed into St Augustine Florida and anchored off the town marina. We had just sailed up from the Bahamas and were looking for a quite town with some nice architecture , a good school and a place to live at anchor. 20 years ago this was a simple town. The schools were good and for Kalessins first year of school it was a short walk from the anchorage. We could use the marina dock to tie up our dinghy, get showers, do laundry , secure our bycycles and all for $115.00 a month. A nice deal.
I got a job right away at Luhrs Mainship in their R&D dept building boat plugs. Every thing was within biking distance. This was when I first spotted the Romp in my creek roaming evenings.
I had watched one of these boats get part way built years before in Key Largo at Blue Fin marina by a guy named John Connelly if I remember right. He got the hull stripped up and the deck on and then the project ended and he and the boat dissapeared.
I have never sailed on a Romp but this hull is similar to Bolgers other design the Mannatee. Both have firm bilges with long straight keels. The Mannatee "Alert" tracked very well . I felt that in going to weather the mizzen played a roll in keeping this boat on course by dialing in the weather helm. I did not like the way Alert felt at sea in tacking and so forth with this long straight keel hull shape. Was kinda like sailing a huge Whitehull dinghy in regard to the bow being deep and no rocker to the long keel.
Of course Jim Melcher sailed the Alert across the North Atlantic to Ireland single handed at the age of 74 and took her through out the canals of Europe over many years logging over 55,000 miles over there. This does not include the sea miles he put in her sailing in the Pacific , and Caribbean seas.
My guess another 40,000 or so miles.
It all comes back to... People sail boats , not boats sail people.
So to all you Bolger dreamers .... Here's the Original Romp waiting for you to rescue her and take her away from her most likly death.
The owner said he wanted $15,000.00 three years ago. Romp has some rot in the deck. The mainmast is made of fiberglass. The hull is cored with Airex or Kledgecell and glassed over well.
The interior is classic Bolger, that means all small single bunks so no sleeping with your better half.
I don't think Bolger was into snuggling.
Lots of open space to fill in with lockers and stuff to go afar.
This is way cheaper than building . The ballast alone is worth a third of the price.
So someone get going !!!!!