A great honor for a great designer: Lifetime Achievement Award for Phil Bolger

It is as simple as this: say what you want about appearances, if you like messing about in small boats you have to regard Phil Bolger as a true boat design genius. And it isn’t like all of his work tilts to the purely practical. He did the Gloucester Light Dory. Period. Full Stop. ’nuff said. That alone is cause for celebration. That fact that it is one of 700 designs, many of which are both friendly for homebuilding and quite pretty. By the way, we greatly admire him here at Chine bLog.

Osprey, the Gloucester Light Dory I built

We were thus very happy to see, courtesy of WoodenBoat’s RudderPosts blog, that the WoodenBoat Show honored him this past year with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Abso-fricken-lutely! Bolger's Light SchoonerThey ought to just name the darn things after him. Here is a man who approached so many projects with a fresh eye but sensible foundation. I have read that true creativity is achieved not by pulling wacky ideas out of thin air, but by starting form existing items and changing one or two dimensions to achieve something new. That, to me, is Bolger’s hallmark – taking classic themes and re-crafting forms that are simpler (to build and to use) yet still retain the classic ancestry. Look no further than his Light Schooner for another example. Congrats, Phil – much deserved.

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