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  • Bruce Hallman
    Oct 26, 2006
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      Can you tell me about the topaz?

      Topaz is a design sold by Phil Bolger, essentially a shallow draft
      double ended outboard runabout, mostly out of plywood.

      I think that three have been built in the 'enclosed cabin' version,
      and I am the first to build in the 'open runabout' version. I think
      it could be built with MDO plywood, (without fiberglass), making it
      somewhat 'disposable', but with a boat this big (31ft) there is some
      justification towards spending the $/time to build it more
      substantially w/plywood/epoxy/fiberglass composite.

      Some photos of a Topaz build here:


      I used a different quicker technique for the bottom build, with no
      'table', Silicon Bronze nails instead of screws, and I was happy with
      the time saved.

      Presently, I am partially done, doing interior fitout (most recently,
      the 'faux-teak' floorboard planking between the seats and in the
      cockpit) plus painting of the underseat compartments. Two weeks ago,
      I installed the narrow curved midship top deck strake (20ft x 6"
      tilted and curved), for which I used Free!ship to calculate the
      layout. Handy software!
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