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Thread: Robert Merland Tollefson ? A Most Deserving Boat Builder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    San Geronimo, CA (SF Bay)

    Robert Merland Tollefson - A Most Deserving Boat Builder

    In Respect for Robert Merland Tollefson - Tollycraft Boat Building Originator

    This sector of Tollycraft Forum lost important information; regarding Mr. Tolly, i.e. Robert Merland Tollefson.

    Not having met this marine builder genius in person, but having read and heard so much about him as well as owning one of his truly great Tollycraft Boat creations, I feel it is needed that this portion of Tollycraft Forum begin to grow again.

    Following is a Tolly Poem I wrote and provided two bound copies to Gordon Graham, one for himself and one for his personal delivery to his close friend Mr. Tollefson.

    For newbies to this forum I want to provide an extremely important link to Gordon's considerably thorough Tolly-Classified website: Therein is much Tolly Info as well as Tollycraft parts

    Here's to hoping that all areas of Tollycraft Forum regain stature. Linda and I learned volumes about our 1977 Tollycraft from assistance posted or PM'd by other Tolly owners.

    Tolly Poem

    March 9, 2009 / by Art Burtis Owner of a Tolly!
    1977 Tollycraft, 34' tri cabin with a very sunny deck, named The Office

    For: Robert Merland Tollefson
    (And All Tolly Friends)


    Tolly grew rugged in Idaho snow; from very young age having mind on the go

    Wisdom a factor runs strong in his genes; with good life to live, age builds means

    Respect and straight thought, passion for all; Tolly made living a time to stand tall

    Boats caught his attention, then attention caught fire; Tolly located his true heart's desire

    Singing and acting he played for a while; but boats for dear Tolly stayed top of the pile

    Designing and building was study he choose; the more he thought boats, the higher thoughts rose

    No matter world times of depression so full; Tolly was always ready to pull

    A mag gave him plans for boat vessel to build; soon his life needs would start to be filled

    Wars come and go, as we all know; tis people as Tolly that finish the show

    Corvette boats, buoy tenders, tugs play a part; their captains, like Tolly, steer strong from their heart

    In war-times of duress, with hope at a low; sweet ice-cream for workers helps everything flow

    Lumber and millwork made Tolly do well; but boats were his passion, that he could tell

    Sudden wind blew cross his lumber shop tour; flames liked high toward ruin for sure

    He then caught insurance, dreaming sea-tales for comfort; twas his capability, to turn ruin triumphant

    Soon there were wisps of waves in his mind; he realized for certain twas time for sea-kind

    Up lifted he felt, knowing full well; as his own boat-filled ruler, success would foretell

    So, to boat designs Tolly entered his might; feeling quite rightly Tolly boats would take flight

    He grumbled, he garnered, Tolly worked his butt off; associates gathered to make his landing soft

    With effort and smarts he planned Tolly boat toys; each meant to be friendly for all women and big boys

    Outboard then inboard, in wood and then glass; 14 then 20 then 60 foot class

    Tolly and Monk, designers dejure; made big ones and small ones, grand selections for sure

    Months turned to years with decades to follow; Tolly's great boats filled many a sea hollow

    Next thing Tolly knew a following grew tight; each asking him louder to continue his flight

    So keeping his premise of pay as you go; Tolly made commitment to let everyone know

    My Tollys are fashioned with pleasure in mind; fear not their built backbone, seaworthy you'll find

    Humming along, his boat factory built; Tolly his mates with associates felt

    Offers came in from others that build; asking Tolly to join with their boating guild

    Carefully, methodically he searched with due diligence; through all of their figures and factory significance

    Each time does he find that when all the smoke clears; they are not as they premised, their books holding smears

    So back to his shop with sea waves in mind; each time to feel comfort as he worked with like kind

    One Tolly then another rolled through the front door, it felt like forever occurring for sure

    They patted each Tolly on the rump as it passed; giving boats ingenuity, via love that could last

    First they built wood, then built with glass; as all things traverse life forms, all eventually pass

    Decades ran by, many years of success; Tolly felt sure they could sell outright, creating no mess

    So sell it he did to a group with big funds; thinking they could play Tolly, with more decades of runs

    Too soon due to items that can hobble a giant; the cost of boat building became highly defiant

    Accountants played numbers, builders they built and salesmen they sold; no matter the efforts, Tollycraft's end was foretold

    There were hiccups and belches, grand tries galore; all meant to save the once great Tolly store

    No matter how inventive, no matter how smart; no person got Tollycraft a financial restart

    Deep sadness was felt by all true believers; unfortunate conditions placed Tollycraft at hand of receivers

    Once a great effort comes to end of its line; tis best to take comfort from days of past time

    For years Robert Tollefson and friends broke new molds; of boats toward perfection as their designing unfolds

    Tolly boats changed yacht market's complexion, with many fine seamen telling great recollection

    Tolly and Monk with all of their friends; never looked back as they prospered toward Tolly boat ends

    Now that it's over, great memories galore; remember, not Tolly nor Monk are who closed the door

    Six thousand five hundred Tollys or more; came to existence to travel the shore

    For keeping them going and in good repair, tis a fellow named Gordon whose always right there

    Great structure, design and rugged sea worthy; make all Tolly owners quite ready to survey

    Tolly's true meaning at end of this show; a meaning deep seated, a reason to know

    On travel, the Tollys for all owners' pleasure; a life of sea views toward great fun and leisure

    A century from now when we here are gone; there will be classic prized Tollys motoring on

    Great results from Tolly's system is so simple to see; good endeavors are empowered by the operative word WE!

    Mr. Tollefson. One great boat builder!

    Boats Forever!

    Of necessity and for simplicity, floating devices were utilized by humans for transportation purposes long before the wheel was devised.

    Via human ingenuity, intelligent boat designs became the natural outcropping.

    Of necessity and for pleasure, floating devices that carry all manner of items will continue to be one of the most often used and intricately designed transportation devices.

    Of pleasure, power boating and sail boating will always remain as one of the best recreational devices ever available, bar none!

    By design, Tollycraft will always be a renowned name in boats.

    THE END!
    Last edited by Art Burtis; 04-16-2017 at 09:21 AM.

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