The Cayman Islands Catboat Club is looking for financial assistance to continue preserving Cayman’s maritime history.
Over the past years, the Catboat Club has worked to raise awareness of the importance of the catboat history of the Cayman Islands and to preserve its cultural legacy.
Catboat Club president Jerris Miller said the club is trying to raise money for tools and other equipment for the workshop and for schools’ ongoing catboat programs. All catboat lessons for schoolchildren are free, he said.
The club also needs help to furnish the clubhouse office on Whitehall Bay, North Church Street in George Town. “Anyone who has a desk, computer or office equipment, sailing supplies or tools they would like to donate, will be greatly appreciated,” Mr. Miller said. They are also looking for new members.
Capt. Kem Jackson, vice-president of the club, is working with students from the Sunrise Adult Training Centre to restore the Bluenose catboat. They need assistance with tools and other items such as life jackets. Sunrise students gather in Captain Jackson’s yard in West Bay to help with the sanding, painting and scraping of the boat.
“The Bluenose is a very old boat that Mr. Foster [Arch] built when he was 15 years old sometime in the early 1920s,” Mr. Jackson said. The boat will be painted blue. “Catboats were often painted blue to minimise the reflection of the sun’s glare into the fishermen’s eyes,” Mr. Jackson explained.
Groups of schoolchildren, as well as tourists are able to not only see how the boats are built, but also take rides and learn what a major role catboats played during Cayman’s earlier years.
“We are looking forward to having a full-time manger at the Catboat clubhouse and we are looking [for] some assistance with that,” Mr. Jackson said.
The club meets every third Thursday of the month.