Hal Paris Letter to Jim & Susie Roberts


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Feb. 5, 2001

Dear Jim and Susan,
The article in "Passagemaker" came as a big surprise as well as your letter and all the things you are doing with the Roughwater 'clan.'

I have a lot of things I can send you as soon as I get around to it, but all the Roughwater stuff is packed away in boxes and it will take a couple of weeks for me to get to it. Last week I had some deep "Molls" type skin cancer surgery. I had two golf ball size sections taken out of my left cheek and right jaw/neck, and I�m slow to get things done.

I'm sending a picture of me and my lady friend taken last October to give you an idea of what I look like, and also a WW II record of my combat experience to give you some background.

I got out of the service and went back to college after WW II. I was 21 years old when I started flying combat in theB-24 bomber. I was recalled to active service during the Korean War and flew B-36 bombers. I was sac bomber pilot for many years and ended at a sac HQS in the ultra-secret reconnaissance division and that led to my start in the boat business-somewhere between 1960 and 1964 I was sent to the far east as task force commander for an ultra secret drone project that we used over North Vietnam and later over China from a base in Taiwan. While in Taiwan I met an A.F. major that was building a boat a C.C. Chen�s boat yard in Taipei on the Tamsui River. Chen lived over the boathouse and he�d build one or two boats at a time (all wood of course). I ended up buying the 34' Brewer Motorsailer from the major and I and I shipped it to San Francisco. Later I sold the First Motorsailer and bought another one from another American in Taipei and shipped it to Honolulu where I was stationed. Then I bought a beautiful 44' Schooner from a retired navy chief (Scotty Bloomer) and shipped it to Honolulu. I was in the "Looking Glass" airborne command post and working for CINCPCAC. All tite boats were built by Chen. In 1969, I was sent to Vietnam for my last year in the air force. I was able to get a "rest" leave to Taipei and made plans with the C.C. Chen to start building my boats on a contract basses for when I retired in 1970. I brought a plane I had purchased from Ed Monk for the 34' cruiser. I got the idea for the 34 boat and the 41 boat from an old Ed Monk catalog that I had. They were wood boats but the semi-displacement hulls where light and my thought was that the light boats would require less labor and material to build and I could sell them cheaper. I wanted to compete with the "Grand Banks." By the time I got back to the states and retired (I was 48) and I opened a small one-man office in marina Dev Rey, the first boat arrived - and I was in business. Before my first visit to Chen�s boat yard and the Brewer Motorsailer I had no contact or interest in boats. I own the boat designs and the boat molds in Taiwan. I paid for them and I have letters from Monk guaranteeing me exclusive rights to the designs, so if more boats were being built they were without my knowledge or consent.

About 1982 I sold the boat business for 200,000. And later sued to take it back due to non-payment and I won the court case. There were eight or ten boats in Chen�s yard and I arranged to sell them and that was the last time I saw Chen.

That will give you a brief outline of my experience. In 1982 I moved to Saipen and lived there for 15 years. In the early 80�s I arranged for 2 or 3 boats to be shipped to Saipen from Chen�s yard, but that was the last.

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-Jim Roberts Email   Home