The Story Behind BarCraft Boat Bars
One of the more unique gifts for a boating enthusiast – particularly someone who loves the elegant lines of vintage wooden boats – is one of BarCraft Boat Bars’ offerings, handcrafted from mahogany to look like a vintage wooden runabout.
Each boat bar is custom-built to the owner’s specifications – including choice of bottom paint color, Formica color, and stain color. Features include working bow and stern lights, LED undermount lights, wine glass rack, blender station and flag pole. The “working side” of the bar includes drawers, a small fridge, blender station, bottle storage and wineglass rack. In the center is a “work well” covered in Formica and designed to hold a cutting board.
BarCraft Boat Bars, based in Keene, New Hampshire, is the brainchild of craftsman Roger Birch. "The story of how I came up with the idea is a little strange," said Roger. "A few years ago, I went to the landfill in Lovell, Maine, and saw a large aluminum bow that had a red and blue light attached to it. Since I didn’t have any tools with me to take it off, I brought the entire piece home. When I got home, my father-in-law saw me taking it out of the back of my truck and asked me what I was going to do with it. I told him, 'I don't know, maybe I'll build a bar with it.' My father-in-law said, 'Well, that’s ridiculous'– hence the first boat bar, the SS Ridiculous, was born."
Roger constructs each bar using traditional wooden boatbuilding methods, incorporating ribs, mahogany planks, and deck boards that are screwed, glued and plugged. The stains and varnishes he uses are all marine quality. Hardware such as the drawer-pulls are chrome-plated and fastened with stainless steel screws. The standard bar weighs about 200 pounds. The dimensions of the standard bar are 6'6" long by 42" tall and 31" wide. BarCraft Boat Bars also is open to custom orders. Says Roger, "If you can dream it we can build it... we are willing to take on most challenges."
To equip your boat bar appropriately, Roger also offers a line of etched glassware with the logos of antique boat builders like Century or Chris Craft.