MORE THOUGHTS ON BOB SMITH

Passage Maker - - Crosstalk -

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

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