HISTORICAL GROWTH OF THE BEAR CLASS
John Vincent, builder of POLA, hull # 8


        The Bear Class re-established itself as a One-Design Class when Nunes Brothers of Sausalito, California, the designer and builder, relased the plans and the use of their keel mold for casting the one-ton cast iron keel. The plans were available to anyone who chose to build a Bear Boat, all for 15 dollars! The keel initially cost $100.00. The enthusiasm to build or purchase a "Bear Boat" is illustrated by the following tabulation:

DateNumber of boats built
Early 30's
1939
1940-41
1942-46 (WWII)
1947-58
1975
1976 (Last Bear)
missing#22
7 (by Nunes Brothers)
3 (built by boatyards or do-it-yourself craftsmen).
11
14
31
1
1
1
----
69

 
Approx. 600 owners of the 69 bears in this above period.
 
        The Bear Class was the largest One-Design Class for many years. The entry of the Folkboat from Norway was cheaper than a commercially built Bear Boat. The Folkboat was 25 fee long and became the favorite cruising and racing class.
 
As written in a letter to Steve Barber on August 26, 2000.

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