Monday, November 30, 2020

He dreamed a dream boat

Bob Brown (yellow jacket) and crew member return from the Marco Christmas Boat Parade on the Intruder 21 that crossed the Atlantic. Inset: Ralph Brown points out the plan for a 78 foot ocean racer. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Bob Brown (yellow jacket) and crew member return from the Marco Christmas Boat Parade on the Intruder 21 that crossed the Atlantic. Inset: Ralph Brown points out the plan for a 78 foot ocean racer. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Capt. Carl Kelly

“Some boats can handle a chop. Some boats can run skinny. Some boats can’t do either. We like to think our boat can do both.” Ralph Brown spoke of the boats his company, Dream Boats Global, will produce. His brother, Bob, will be an integral part of the company. But Brown wasn’t selling his boats so much as he was selling his company. He was meeting at Marco Island Yacht Club with a small group of potential stock holders.

Dream Boats is a new company that will build and sell a line of boats based on a new design concept. Brown hopes to begin building boats to sell this coming spring, but he needs financial backing to get to that point.

Several years ago, Ralph was fishing with a friend. They ran the boat aground and destroyed a motor. Ralph said, “I can build a better boat.” So, Ralph Brown and his brother, Bob, began working on their dream. Ralph said they built 17 boats before they got the design right.

Their design enables the boat to run safely, to run in a few inches of water, to maintain stability in rough seas, and to run fast with very low fuel consumption. The design incorporates principles from two patents Ralph Brown holds and a third that is pending. Ralph Brown noted they build the boats with a Kevlar hull. “We want a boat you can slam into a rock and not worry about it,” he said.

When they had perfected the design, the Brown brothers decided to prove they had what they said they had. So, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a 21 foot flats boat of their design. Leaving Tampa, Florida they traveled 8,312 miles around the North Atlantic, through heavy seas and high winds, past Nova Scotia, Greenland, and Iceland to finish their odyssey in Germany.

They set the world’s record for the longest oceanic crossing in a flats boat. And they proved their claim that they have the most seaworthy, and therefore, the safest boat of any manufacturer. “It’s the hull design that makes it work,” Bob explained.

They have developed designs to build everything from the 21 foot boat up to a 78 foot ocean going racer with which they hope to win a global circumnavigation race and set that record, as well.

The Browns plan to build their Dream Boats in southwest Florida. Intruder 21 with a 115 horsepower outboard and a trailer will sell for about $30,000. Dream Boats will offer lifetime boat warrantees to the original owners and manufacturer’s warranties on the motors.

Since they were on Marco at the time of the Christmas Boat Parade they decorated I Am Second, the Intruder 21 that set the Oceanic crossing record, and participated in the parade, living out the dream every day everywhere.

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