A Profile of Bob Norton Jr’s 31
To the left is my 1964 soft top Bertram 31 Express Cruiser, now named Dalmatian.
I purchased the boat in Newburyport, Massachusetts, then trailered it to Connecticut this spring.
It was in CT where the bottom was stripped, barrier coated, painted, water line stripe added, cabin cove stripe changed to red, walk-through transom door added, gin pole added, and a new Raymarine electronics package was added. The boat has 230hp Yanmars - at 2,400 rpm it cruises at 18 kts, WOT 3,400 will do 27 kts. Sips fuel - 7.6 gph at 2,400rpm/18kts.
The Dalmatian is a breed of dog originally bread to run long distances alongside horses and coaches to protect the horses from danger. Running hard, in all kinds of weather, being extremely loyal to their keepers, are several of the traits that are very similar to the Bertram brand. It also helps that my best friend is a 4 year old Dalmatian, Booster. As a Past Chief and having completed 30 years as a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, the Dalmatian (both dog and boat) are great fits.
The Soft Top Express Cruiser is unique among the 31 line - most being flybridge models. While visibility may be a bit compromised, the Express makes it much easier for the operator to single handle when necessary, be a part of the crew during fishing/cruising, and has a lower center of gravity making it seem even more stable than its flybridge siblings.
This 1964 model has a few more items to be refurbished/replaced, and it will rank up there among the spectacular examples of the fine boat 31 Bertrams are known to be. Dalmatian will now spend its summers docked in Essex, CT, cruising the CT, RI and MA shorelines/islands.