Boat Building on Carriacou

As early as 1830's (the time of Emancipa-
tion) the landowners on Carriacou were upset about the ever rising cost of getting their goods to market, in particular to Grenada. So they hit on a typically Carriacou solution . . . they decided to just build their own boats.

How to build your own boat:

When building a boat the builder starts by going into the forest and selecting the perfect trees for the project. The start of this project is in November.

The reason for all the crooked branches is that nature creates stronger structures that humans ever could

To do that they had to have boat building expertise -- so the planters got together and brought in ship wrights from Scotland. This started a tradition of boat building on Carriacou that continues to this day. It also explains the preponderance of 

At times the children of the ship builder are sent into the brush to find the right shapes. Some of the choices may seem strange at first.

A major part of the skill in building a boat out of wood, without any blueprints, is the shipwrights ability to visualize the final structure.

McLawrence's, McFarlane, McIntosh's
and other Scottish names in the village of Windward.
       From 1830-1970 more boats were built on Carriacou than any of the other islands of the Lesser Antilles.

But soon it all comes together. This form of finding and cutting down standing trees of the right shapes for ship building is called "Compass Timber"

Soon the general shape of the boat starts to become visible

By now the boat is almost finished. The outside is going to be covered with a fiberglass type resin, then painted and she's ready for the launch. 

The launch was in January, just a little over a year after the construction was started. Since this is a fairly small boat the launch party was small too -- not too many helpers were needed to get her into the water. Now the Iris is based in Bogles. It is being used as a deep water fishing boat. 



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