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Bob Adair, Designer and Artist

(Mar. 29, 1940-Aug.1, 2023)

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June 28, 1971 - A jet boat that could be right out of Star Wars, except this boat was drawn six years before Star Wars came out! This concept would emerge the next year as the Conqueror, but it would have different graphics and interior.

September 8, 1971 - Another jet boat along the Conqueror line, but with a bold, deep red color scheme.

August 14, 1973 - A tri-hull outboard with bold red deck and side graphics and a grey and wood-grain interior.

August 20, 1973 - A model 135 outboard with teak accents and woodgrain dash. The 135 signified the maximum horsepower for the boat.

October 25, 1977 - A gorgeous steel-blue bowrider with luxurious white tufted upholstery

January 18, 1979 - A classic bowrider with earthtone trim and richly tufted interior.

January 30, 1979 - Two different exterior treatments for a bowrider with a walk-through windshield.

February 20, 1979 - Cockpit treatment for a bowrider: the first of several views and options for the same boat.

March 2, 1979 - Engine cover and aft seat upholstery with round tufting buttons for the V-drive bowrider.

March 2, 1979 - Bow upholstery treatment for the same bost, with round tufting buttons.

April 4, 1979 - Engine cover and aft seat upholstery treatment with rectangular tufting buttons.

April 4, 1979 - Bow seating area with rectangular tufting design.

April 6, 1979 - Various seating upholstery options for Chrysler execs to consider.

1979 - Tuck and roll upholstery concept with tufted highlights.

1979 - Aft 3/4 view of a richly wood-grained interior with cream and brown upholstery.



  An eye for design

Bob Adair designed Chrysler cars early in his career, but by around 1970, he moved to Chrysler's boat manufacturing division, which had found its home in Plano, TX, just north of Dallas. There, he and other designers created renderings and concepts for new boats, giving Chrysler execs the detailed vision of interior and exterior designs prior to production decisions. Just a few months before his passing, Bob decided to donate a selection of his designs from the 1970s to the Wooden Boat Association. We scanned the originals and share them with you here. The originals now reside at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.

Bob applied his artistic talent to his own boat restorations while he was a WBA member, including his custom fishing/personal recreation Chrysler boat, and together with friend and colleague, Lew White, a Yellow Jacket resto-mod, a restoration of a Willis racer, and the construction from plans of a sailing dinghy.

Bob also designed the Yellow Jacket Benches that the WBA built from old Yellow Jacket transom blanks for the benefit of the stadium renovation at Denison, TX High School. Here we see Bob, at left, with Lew White, unveiling the first Yellow Jacket Bench at the WBA Banquet in 2013.

In addition, he created a template that enabled the WBA to build its own Yellow Jacket "Flote-n-Ride" laminated birch seat springs.

We are grateful for Bob's many contributions to our club, and we will miss him dearly. Fair winds and following seas, Bob!