Q&A with Bertram Product Development Manager: Tommy Thompson
In this edition of the Bertram Master Class Series posting every Wednesday, Anglers Journal Editor-at-Large John Brownlee posed a few questions to Capt. Tommy Thompson, Bertram’s Product Development Manager. During our Bertram 35 Sneak Peek Weekend, Bertram CEO Peter Truslow, described Tommy as the “voice of the customer” alluding to his continuous outreach to our customers as he helps guide the next generation of Bertrams. See what he has to say about the new Bertram 35 and other new products.
JB: Tommy, please tell us a little about your history with Bertram.
TT: I started running boats for Richard Bertram Yachts back in the mid 90’s. Mostly just jockeying boats around at first, but ended up managing all the boats that RBY sold…a company captain if you will. That obviously included running the boats from right across the street at Bertram and most fondly involved running the RBY Demo Bertram.
JB: The all-new Bertram 35 has arrived to rave reviews. It resembles the iconic 31 Bertram, one of the most revered boats ever built, but it’s a much more modern design. What design and construction differences differentiate the two boats?
TT: What’s modern is the building technics, materials and the tooling. Basically today’s technology and some really complex molds that go together to form that iconic shape, but make it as solid as it needs to be to be a Bertram.
JB: A 58-footer is coming next: Can you give us a brief description about the technology that will go into that all-new model?
TT: First and foremost, it will have the spirit and DNA of the old 54…then of course we’ll make it cool. I’ve got to leave it there, so I don’t give too much away.
JB: How much of the previous Bertram spirit you mention will you retain (i.e. Deep-V hulls, stepped sheer, etc.), and how much will be changed?
TT: Michael Peters has heard Susan Davids and I say over and over again ….It has to ride like a Bertram. Otherwise it’s still in the early stages, so I’m going to let MPYD do their thing, but yes, like the preliminary drawings suggest it will stand out in a crowd and you will know it is a Bertram from a distance.
JB: Can you give us a hint as to what future models we might expect to see down the road?
TT: Bertram will cover the range, so you can naturally fill in the blanks around the 35 and the 58, but I think it’s important to say, we are not in a hurry to get there….That’s hard for me to say, because I am a very impatient person, but we know that we need to focus on what we are doing now and do it right.
JB: Finally, what Bertram model from the past is your favorite?
TT:I hate to use the phrase, but I did cut my teeth in Sport fishing on the Bertram 54 and the 60 and like almost everyone I always stare at the 31’s still on the water.……ooohhh ok…a 60, 1999, first called Moody Blue, now called Screaming Eagle in Barbados.
JB: Thanks, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!