The New Moppie?

Original bridge of the 31 Moppie, below, and the new 35 Bertram above

Original bridge of the 31 Moppie, below, and the new 35 Bertram above

I’ve now worked 20 consecutive Fort Lauderdale boat shows. I have gone home with one shoe, I’ve gone home with old beat up shoes, but I’ve never gotten an upgrade! Anyway on Saturday night at the show, I walked around barefoot for two hours till everyone was gone to see what shoes were left over. To my surprise there was a shiny new and upgraded version of my shoes. My apologies to the poor guy that woke up to my old shoes the next morning. I am thinking our proximity to the cocktail barge may have been a factor.

No. 1 Question from the three fall boat shows so far: “Is that the new Moppie?” The answer is …well… sort of, but you need the background story. According to Morgan Bertram, his Mother Pauline was bit of a Tomboy growing up and her nickname was Moppie, a name given to her by her grandfather for her sometimes frazzled hair during her childhood. That term of endearment became the name for all Dick Bertram’s race boats and over the years has been used by the Bertram team to name the first boat or the demo boat of any model. Eventually there were of course a few boats that were actual Moppies; a model that was an open boat with just a windshield and a helm forward.

One of the six variations of the 31 was a Moppie, and then through the years there have been a few more like the 20 and 25 Moppies early on and then the 36 and 46 Moppies in the early 1990’s. So no, the new Bertram 35 is really not a new Moppie, but rather it is THE new Moppie. Oh who am I kidding. There are 55 years’ worth of people that see the silhouette of the 31 Flybridge (and now the 35) on the horizon and the first word that comes to mind is… Moppie!

No. 2 Question asked: “Are you going to build a fishing version?” Make no mistake, what was at the shows this year is at its heart an offshore fishing machine, so I was a little offended by the notion, but I get it. We built the first Bertram 35 in the heart of picnic boat country, Maine, and it ultimately is outfitted to go to Italy to be a day boat, so if the shoe fits (nailed it)!

If all goes well, and someone doesn’t convince us they need it more than we do, the above rendering with outriggers will be our next demo boat and will be running around next summer doing a lot more than just the cocktail circuit. Same boat, I promise, but dressed down a little for an easy boat to clean and maintain, and dressed up a lot in the way of a standard transom live well and of course a tower or hardtop and outriggers.

Either version… Trust me it’s a Bertram!

– Tommy Thompson

Categories: Boating