Man-O-War Heritage Museum

Preserving History & Heritage on a tiny Island.

Boat Building


Man O War Cay has a long tradition of boat building, starting back in the 1800’s. In Fact, evidence of that tradition is in our harbour today. On one of our many spectacularly clear and beautiful days, we went out to take photos of the wooden boats in our harbour, 

MOW boats 077

This is the oldest one I saw, called the Yippee, (I wish I knew where some of these names came from) Its really not a good photo. Unfortunately it is way up in a boat shed down at the end of Eastern Harbour.
MOW boats 051

*She was built in 1948 in Mr. Morris’s boat shed.*

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m not as smitten with boats as my husband. But I have to admit, after today I had a new appreciation for them. Its a marvel how what starts out as a few tree branches and some boards becomes something so beautiful and useful.

I guess my attraction is in the craftsmanship and the history of these floating pieces of art. The artistry comes in the form of clean lines and subtle nuances in the way the wood is manipulated so that even a person with minimal boat building knowledge (like me) can appreciate it.

Boat building is an industry as old as these islands. One that was masterfully handed down from one generation to the next. I can only imagine what it must have been like as a young man working alongside a Father or Uncle, learning a craft mastered by these men. Long days honing a craft that would be admired by so many of that time and even more so in later years.

Here are a few we spotted in the harbour, bobbing in the gentle breeze, shinning like a new penny. (even if the paint was chippy) I must admit, I do have a “thing” for chippy paint and things formerly loved.

First, the William H. Albury, named after her builder.   You can learn more about her here on our Museum web site,

MOW boats 017

Look at those wooden rings used for hoisting the sail.

MOW boats 027

MOW boats 072

The pirate on the side was put there by the former owner in Jamaica, who purchased her to give “pirate tours”. David Wright has since bought her and brought her home. You can read about his 26 day journey from Jamaica to Man O War on his facebook page here

Next up,  Rough Waters

MOW boats 039

She was built approximately 1975 by Uncle Will in his boat yard, and is now owned by Matthew Janes.

MOW boats 040

If you would like to see her under construction, go to the Museum’s web site. It is full of great photos.

Lively Lady was built at Edwins boat yard in the early 1960’s.

MOW boats 045

MOW boats 041

Lady Di was built by Sam Albury (date unknown) and is currently owned by David Wright.
MOW boats 086
MOW boats 083

 Sea Fever is currently owned by Jay & Jan Manni. It was originally built by Uncle Will for his own use in 1966,  Now this is the shinny penny I was talking about!!  She is beautifully taken care of.  I just wish I could have gotten a better picture.  Its hard to single out just one boat when it is tied to a dock. Jan is the daughter of Edwin and you can read more about Ewins boat yard and some of the boats built there

MOW boats 106MOW boats 100

 Tribute, currently owned by David Wright……..I see a trend forming here 🙂  I think he told me he owns 6 boats!  Here is a little more information about her journey.

MOW boats 036

MOW boats 035

Caniption  I never could find anyone who knew when she was built.  I do know Mr. Morris build her for Vickie Judd and she passed it down to Lucas Albury.  She is currently at the Ferry dock, but I have it on good authority that she wont be at the ferry dock for long.

MOW boats 123

Check out the initials engraved in the name plate BMA, Benjamin Morris Albury

MOW boats 126

These two gals were built by Rowland & Hartley Albury about 35-40 years ago.  Thanks Irene & Second Chance

MOW boats 091

This last photo is of the original dingy for the William H. Albury.  Or at least thats my story and Im sticking to it.  I think.

MOW boats 008

MOW boats 003

Man O War Cay is the sum of all parts.  The history, heritage and people here make it all so special.  I learn something new almost every day.  Whether its learning to love wooden boats, or connecting the dots as far as family relations go or even learning the best Johnny cake recipe.     Family values run deep here and I am forever grateful that the Sojers have welcomed me into their family.


Author: Man O War Heritage Museum

5 thoughts on “Boat Building

  1. Fascinating read! I’ve really enjoyed this article. RH

  2. Glad you liked it Rolling Harbour. I loved putting it together!

  3. Please let me make a correction on Thanks Irene, built originally by Sam Albury and restored in 2011 by Roland & Hartley Albury after hurricane Irene punched large holes in her and left her high and dry up on Dickies Cah.
    Second Change was built by Albury Brothers during their last wooden boat days and purchased by Jeff Albury—really used and finally, with ribs broken and lots of leaks, she was purchased by Roland Albury. Roland & Hartley steamed the new planking, cut new ribs, etc. and put her back together. Jeff & Roland love the way she rides in the waters.

  4. I would like to comment on Sea Fever. First of all I’m so happy to se her being taken care of. Last time I saw her was about 10 years ago and she looked pretty sad. “Uncle Will” may have originally intended her for his own pleasure, but my father Robert Wallace found her as an unfinished bare hull in the early 1960’s and commissioned him to finish her. We sailed her home to Merritt Island, Fl. which was her home port for about 10 years. I have many fond memories of sailing her both in the Bahamas and around home. After my sister and I moved away from home my father sold her back to someone there at Man O’ War Cay, I’m not sure exactly who. That was in the late 1970’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s