Photo: The Bertram 20, Sea For Three Plus Stacey.

I was a two Bertram boat owner for a little while.

My dad back bought a 1968 20-foot Bertram Bahia Mar in 1973 when I was four years old. That's when my love for Bertrams started. The name of our boat was Sea For Three. My sister was born in 1978 so we needed to change the name to Sea For Three Plus Stacey.

We took that boat everywhere, caught lots of fish and never worried that we would not get home in any rough seas or weather conditions. We installed many engines over the years but the original straight six motor was getting harder and harder to find parts for, so we finally decided to glass in some new mounts and drop a Chevy V8 into the engine compartment and it barely fit. What a difference that made! We didn’t think a Bertram could ride any better but it did and it would top out at 50 MPH, it was awesome.


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Photo: The Bertram 20, Sea For Three Plus Stacey.


In 2012 I purchased a 1986 28 FBC in pretty nice shape. It did need a little work, including a new fuel tank. I rebuilt both motors and also redesigned and replaced both inner engine beds while the engines were out, and also changed how the sea strainers were mounted to the bilge floor. They are now nicely located on the rear bulkhead.

My new boat is called Lunch Money, as my wife is a lunch lady. Talk about a great boat and a totally different animal compared to the little 20 footer I was used to.


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Photo: The Bertram 28, Lunch Money.

It was amazing that no matter where I would go I would always have people coming up to me and asking when I redid the boat. I would tell them that it was 44 year-old gel coat and they could not believe how good it still shined. I sold my 20 Bahia Mar in 2014 to another Bertram owner nearby. He is also now a two Bertram owner and he loves the boat.

My family and I love our new 28 FBC. 2016 was my first full season with the boat and can’t wait to make new memories with it!

Michael Gruner