Have you ever wondered about the origins of those magnificent sailing boats from beautiful Carriacou and Petite Martinique? The talented shipwrights turn ordinary cedar trees into a wonderful sailing craft that floats perfectly on the Caribbean blue seas.
The trade and boatbuilding artistry is most vibrant in Windward, a village on the side of Carriacou and on the island of Petite Martinique some two and a half miles away. The wealth of the talent there has led to many foreigners soliciting the excellent boatbuilding skills of the men here. The boatbuilders have a reputation for pride in their work, professionalism and reliability along with very reasonable prices
Talented boatbuilders with traditional skills and innovative approach, who excel at their craft, attract and impress visitors
The breadth and depth of the men’s skills are so impressive, at times one may think that they are hereditary, or a natural gift. Certainly the knowledge and techiniques are a handed down tradition and are taught even to quite young people, many of whom go on to be boat builders as a profession.
The shipwrights build many types of boats including
- work boats
- simple racing boats
- motor boats
- fishing trawlers
More recently they have built racing yachts for the Carriacou Regatta such as the Glacier. The building skills of the men are even more remarkable, considering the fact that there is no formal boatbuilding training school here.
The boatbuilders use basic tools to create even and perfectly balanced boats, embodying the depth of talent of the shipwrights from the both islands. The industry is growing as the men use more dynamic and innovative techniques to ensure they keep ahead of the industry.The speed at which these boats are built also points to the confidence of the men, which is founded in a wealth of experience.
When the boats built here, participate in outside events such as the Antigua sailing festival, they are representative of the boatbuilding skills of the area and often have all eyes upon them.
The boatbuilding tradition is responsible for bringing many visitors to the shores of Carriacou and Petite Martinique illustrating the brilliance of the shipwright industry.