MORE THOUGHTS ON BOB SMITH
I was very sad to learn of the passing of Bob Smith. I first met Bob when I visited the Lehman facility in the company of John Newton in the mid-1960s. At the time, I was working at American Marine in Hong Kong and this was my first visit to the U.S. We used large numbers of Lehman engines in our boats and they were standard in the Grand Banks when they were introduced in 1963. I had been expecting a huge factory and was surprised to find a modest warehouse in which Lehman engines were being assembled by a handful of people using engines from Ford of Dagenham in the U.K., heat exchangers from Sendure, pumps from Jabsco, custom exhaust manifolds and other components from different sources. I remember thinking at the time what a neat idea it was simply to buy parts from all these different vendors and just assemble them into a product with your name on it. It was a lesson I never forgot.
The last time I met Bob was at a TrawlerFest in Anacortes a few years back when we exchanged the kind of news that old geezers exchange. I thought then that this was another great idea: to provide know-how and parts to owners of the literally hundreds of Lehman engines which are out there. A truly invaluable service which has allowed boaters with these simple and reliable diesels to keep on boating.
Bob was from the old school and he will be missed. Tony Fleming Founder, Fleming Yachts
I first met Bob Smith in 1974 when he was selling Ford Lehman Engines to Grand Banks Yachts. He put the name Lehman on the map for the boating industry. The thing that I remember the most about Bob was his willingness to help in any manner that he could, from selling a water pump for an old engine or an order for 20 new engines, he would put the same energy and enthusiasm toward both.
In later years most of my encounters with Bob were at various GB Rendezvous all over the country. After our first rendezvous where we would make presentations I had a standing request that I would never follow Bob with a presentation or speech as he was too hard of an act to follow.
One of the attributes that I always enjoyed about Bob was his candor to “tell it like it was” to anybody.
Bob Phillips Former Sales Manager, Grand Banks Yachts