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Dave Tew

At one point in the 70s Platt Montfort was advertising a Chevy truck for sale and since I was in the market for one I sought him out. We soon agreed that the truck was not for me but I spent the afternoon looking over his inventions with him and learning about his Aerolite and Feralite construction methods. One of his Blackfly Aerolite prams (?) was under construction in his basement at the time. He had a Tyvek sail for it, which was the first time I'd seen that tried.

I thought the Feralite approach was very interesting too. For anyone not familiar with it, it consisted of bendy webbed sheets of a heavy metal screen material bent over forms (as in the shape of a boat hull) and plastered, smoothed and faired with a thickened epoxy putty. The method didn't catch on but at least one large sailboat was built using Feralite. He was trying to sell the web-making machinery he'd devised and the process patent or rights to it. It may still be there and for sale also.

He had a dinghy he'd built from the materials and it looked pretty bulletproof.

Rick Lapp

I built one of Platt's Nimrod canoes a couple years ago; it's an amazing craft. Platt was a genius of the old school.

Bill Mack

I bought and built his 16' canoe design, which served as my fishing boat on Maine ponds for many years. He kindly answered my questions with patience and enthusiasm. Several years ago, when I learned that he lived not too far from where we were vacationing, I visited and had one of the most enjoyable afternoons of my life seeing his work and inventions and talking with him. Two years ago I got the chance to take my brother-in-law to meet him, and John was as fascinated and delighted as I was. Mr. Monfort was not only a creative genius and a neat guy, but was so very gracious and generous with his time. He showed us quite a few of his creations, including a book of planes you could make from styrofoam Mcdonalds hamburger boxes (!!) from back when that's what they packaged them in. I just learned of his death recently, when describing him to an acquaintance, who on my suggestion googled him up only to learn that he had passed away last year. He was in ill health when we last visited, so I guess I wasn't surprised, but I was, and still am, saddened.



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