- To Dennis, Tim, Les and others who have communicated personally, and those
We have the brass installed fore and aft on the boat. I manufactured
mahogany bases and joins for the brass. Boy this is really nice with these
touches. I did not bring the brass full length as seen in the drawings. I
am also putting the finish on the foam core roof, also my addition. I am
using hatteras off white for the topsides above the red hull and the
combination is great. The swim platform is installed at the transom. This
too is changed and beefed up from the plans. I installed a cross bar that
impacts the prop in the down position. The prop is stopped of course and
the engine raised. The engine is used to hold the ladder in place rather
I have run the boat in high winds and we are really impressed at the
outstanding smooth ride we get. I still can never really be sure when it
is planing as it just gets faster and there is no transition as with most
motor boats. I suppose this is true of long a skinny boat?????? To say I
am impressed with it is an understatement. As to beauty, it is a credit to
the designer. I have people stopping all the time just to comment, take
pictures or yell great things. And I am at the very end of a navigable
water way. I think it maintains a plane at 3000 rpm, and this is plenty
fast enough. I have had several people contact me about building the
Topaz. It is a lot of work and is certainly not a cheap boat to build, but
one worthy of the effort. The finished product is worth the effort
however. We, my wife and I are very happy with her at this point. Brad
- 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!