"You Can Build A Better Boat Than You Can Buy"  
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Boat Designing Process


Jerry is the owner of Common Sense Boats. He has been in the boating industry in one form or another since 1968. Jerry grew up on the Oregon coast and at the age of 14 built his own boat. He spent his teen years sailing, building small sail boats and fishing. Jerry worked in boat yards, up and down the west coast, building boats from 10' to 100'. During this time he started designing boats when he found that what was available did not meet his needs, or when he got the feeling he could do better. In one of Jerry's boat related jobs he was a fishing guide.

The experience led to the Fisherman's Launch series of skiffs. Up until the time he developed these boats, there was not a skiff that lived up to his expectations. Because he is a designer/user, Jerry kept tweaking these designs until they met his needs as a user. Once these skiffs met Jerry's criteria, we feel they are the best there is. Period. Another of Jerry's passions is sea kayaking. He built several commercially available kayak kits, and while he found these to be good boats, he felt he could do better. So once again the designer went to work and developed a line of kayaks.

Then he developed a line of canoes, that met his criteria. He has done custom building of boats, designing custom boats for other people and also has designed a barge to move small equipment etc, for a fellow in Alaska, that also would be ideal to use as a platform for a house boat.


He built his first boat when he was 10, designed and built another boat before he was 11. By the time he was 30 he had designed and built more than 30 boats, not including the Moth designs for which he was known, and had focused on what was to become his forte: shoal draft boat design. During WWll, he was lead man on yacht conversions to patrol boats and also built air-sea rescue boats there. Following the war, he built boats on his own for himself and by demand. He ran The Bertram Boatyard for 10 years. After leaving he built another series of boats.

Bailey specialized in shallow draft cruising boats. It is significant that CSB only offers one Warren Bailey designed, The Flyaway. This is because Warren feels that this is his best design ever, and the best possible design for a home built shallow cruising sailboat. We at CSB agree.


While he was world renowned, Phil Bolger has resisted the temptation to design only fancy yachts for gentlemen of means and has turned part of his considerable talent to the task of designing boats for the home builder. Bolger designed these boats for the home builder who has limited time, experience & resources. Bolger has published many books about his designs. While most are out of print, they are available in most public libraries.


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