A Profile of Gert Jan van Leest's 37
As you might know I am a Dutchman, with a love for Bertram.
This started when I was younger and did a lot of regatta sailing in the Med. That’s where I first fell in love with the beautiful lines of the Bertram 31. A couple years later I bought one from 1974 in the States and shipped it to our facility in the Netherlands. I took it apart completely and rebuilt it to last another 40 years. For my holidays, I shipped her to the Med every year!
The first year I did this I went to St Tropez, knowing that a former Bertram dealer was located there. I went towards his pier and an older man started waving at me, this was Pascal Villenova. He was extremely enthusiastic about the work I did on the boat and asked me if the 'Island Girl' was for sale. "Nope" was the answer! He told me that whenever I was in St Tropez, I had to park the boat at his dock and I would never have to pay for it. After three years doing so and every year the same question, I traded her for a 37 Bertram 'Out of the Blue'. I had to do so with the kids getting bigger!
So there I was, proud owner of a 1992 Bertram 37. Again, I shipped it to my shipyard and took the most of the interior out and renewed it. I took everything that was attached on the DD 6v92 ‘s off, left the blocks in and renewed and cleaned all parts. Additonally, I tripped the outside, took out the aft windows, put teak on the cockpit floor and the swim platform, teak cover boards on the gunwales. I did a complete paint job on the outside, made a settee on the aft deck, added an ice maker and an extra fridge outside!
When the boat was finished, I shipped her back to the Med and we had a couple of marvellous summers on her! On the last day of my holiday, I sold her to a Swiss guy and now I am going to look for my next project!