There are those who can create and those who have vision for the creation. Dick Bertram possessed both of those qualities.
On a rough-weather day 57 years ago, the renowned sailor and yacht-brokerage firm owner witnessed a 23-foot, deep-V boat demolishing nasty sea conditions. He was not a boatbuilder, but he saw the craft’s potential and asked, “What if?”
The yachtsman’s curiosity led him to locate the designer, C. Raymond Hunt. Hunt soon drafted a 30-footer that Bertram built out of wood. The craft was named Moppie — Bertram’s wife’s nickname. In 1960, he raced the boat in the now-famous Miami to Nassau event, where his newly designed vessel crushed the competition.
By the time Moppie completed the race, throngs of enthusiasts wanted a boat just like her. So he became a boatbuilder, and the Bertram 31 was born. By 1971, 1,000 Bertrams were built. Today, countless models up to 80 feet in length ply the seas, and that 31 still enjoys a cult-like following.