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Freedom isn't free
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Ah man I just saw this. Great guy.
What a legend in the industry lost.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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I was saddened to see his passing. He truly was a one of a kind. My personal Frank Butler story happened about 15-20 years ago. At the time there was a discussion of a new model Catalina being introduced at the Annapolis Boat Show. I had been aboard and talked with someone from the factory, Like many manufacturers, Catalina had just shifted to glued hull to deck joints and glued in bulkheads. I had written a comment on one of the forums explaining why I think that glued in bulkheads are a bad idea (I still do) and that I would expect these boats with the glued components to have a shorter lifespan than boats with tabbed in bulkheads.

A couple hours later, my office phone rings and one of my employees comes into my office and said, "There is a rather agitated person named Frank Butler on line 1 who wants to talk with you."
Sure enough it was that Frank Butler. He had read my post and blasted into me. He explained why he disagreed with my position, mainly based on the quality of the "extremely expensive aircraft grade adhesive." that makes such a strong bond that the fiberglass fails before the glue fails.

I started to explain why that is of minimal importance to my argument, and he cut me off short saying, " I will have one of our engineers call you to set you straight." and a few minutes later he was off the phone. Sure enough a short while later, an 'engineer' with Catalina called me to discuss glued bulkheads and hull to deck joints. The engineer agreed with my point but said that the boats were engineered for how they are used (coastal cruising) and with that service profile glued joints will not be an issue.
(For what it is worth, that pretty much reflected the same response that I got out of Hunter when I discussed glued connections with them a few years earlier)

To this day, I continue to wonder how it was that Frank Butler even was aware of my post, I remain amazed that he would bother to call me personally, that he thought it was worthwhile to have a company engineer take the time call me, and that he considered my comment important enough to try to address it at all. But it also spoke to a man who was engaged with his company and the image of his company at a near molecular level.

Jeff
 

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My Frank Butler story: I was at the Newport Boat Show back around 1995. I was timesharing on a Catalina 22 and was eager to see the new Catalinas. I was on their brand new Catalina 250, wishing I could find a way to afford one, when the salesman pointed to an older gentleman on the dock and said "there's the designer of your boat". Yup, Frank Butler. He was carrying a box of donuts for his team. The salesman introduced me to Mr. Butler, who said I should call him Frank and that I should have a donut. I did both. We had a brief conversation, but it stayed with me how interested he was in me as user of an old product of his and as a potential new customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My Frank Butler story: I was at the Newport Boat Show back around 1995. I was timesharing on a Catalina 22 and was eager to see the new Catalinas. I was on their brand new Catalina 250, wishing I could find a way to afford one, when the salesman pointed to an older gentleman on the dock and said "there's the designer of your boat". Yup, Frank Butler. He was carrying a box of donuts for his team. The salesman introduced me to Mr. Butler, who said I should call him Frank and that I should have a donut. I did both. We had a brief conversation, but it stayed with me how interested he was in me as user of an old product of his and as a potential new customer.
Great stories about Frank Butler. Never met him but his interest in customers, old and potential, may be one reason why Catalina built boats that customers really like.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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My Frank Butler story: I was at the Newport Boat Show back around 1995. I was timesharing on a Catalina 22 and was eager to see the new Catalinas. I was on their brand new Catalina 250, wishing I could find a way to afford one, when the salesman pointed to an older gentleman on the dock and said "there's the designer of your boat". Yup, Frank Butler. He was carrying a box of donuts for his team. The salesman introduced me to Mr. Butler, who said I should call him Frank and that I should have a donut. I did both. We had a brief conversation, but it stayed with me how interested he was in me as user of an old product of his and as a potential new customer.
Frank Butler often attended the Annapolis Boat Shows. Several years after my surprise conversation with Frank, I ran into him at the show. I introduced myself and once he remembered who I was, he asked, "Did the engineer set you straight?" I replied that we had a good conversation and left it at that.

Jeff
 

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I did not have the pleasure to cross paths with Frank... but he clearly left a wake at sea... and 28 grad children etc. This man was prolific! RIP... thanks Frank.
 
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