“My dad used to say “you don’t find a boat – a boat finds you”.
Island Girl, Bertram 20′
Interview with the Captain — Mark Ulian
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Bertram?
As a kid spending summers on West Bay in Osterville, Bertram’s were aplenty – especially the open cockpit (Moppie) 20s and 31s.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model?
I was actually looking for a 70s Mako that I could restore.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
My dad used to say “you don’t find a boat – a boat finds you”. That was certainly the case with his Crosby built 1914 Wianno Senior “Tirza” that he restored, sailed, and raced on the Cape for 50 years. If I’m not mistaken, there was a fresh foot of snow on the ground when Chris Hood called in 2006 to say he had taken a Bertram 20 on trade at the end of the season and did I want to see it. As I trudged through the snow and climbed through the shrink-wrap window – I knew my boat had just found me.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
Technically, functionally, and aesthetically, she’s in original condition, just as she came off the line. That in of itself has been no small undertaking. Hull design and engineering ingenuity notwithstanding, the original manufacturing required the use of 1960s technology – albeit cutting edge at that time. Over the years I’ve rebuilt the Mercruiser 3.7L & Holly 4-barrel carburetor, added electronic ignition, and replaced all surrounding systems: outdrive housing & lower unit, gas-tank, fresh-water & salt-water cooling, stator & voltage regulator, electronics, seats & frames etc. along with complete Awlgrip stem to stern. Next-up, swim platform.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
Dick Bertram and Ray Hunt worked out the hull design, weight distribution, tolerances and balance to interact perfectly with ocean water creating an unmatched ride in a 20-foot boat. An extension of the ocean beneath, she moves through the water effortlessly, turns like a gyro, and creates a unique sensation that is both thrilling and soothing at the same time.
Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
Richard Ulian – Osterville, Cape Cod.
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
Corinthian Yacht Club; BoatUS
What boats have you previously owned?
Wianno Senior, 13 foot Boston Whaler (family boats)
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
Manchester Harbor for dinner & boat watching, Sand Dollar, Kettle Cove, & West Beach, Gloucester Harbor, Samson’s Isle (when I take her to the Cape).
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Parts and a good mechanic that wants the challenge of maintaining a piece of nautical history.
Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
Jack Carney from Annisquam River Arts for Awlgrip, Tanner Lane at Mobile Marine for mechanics.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Bertram like yours?
Like many boaters, the reason I continue to maintain the boat is that it is simply the best riding 20-foot boat, and in my opinion best looking. If you want to turn a key and don’t care how you get there, buy another boat.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
My wife is from Trinidad & Tobago.
CHECK IT OUT
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Island Girl!