Vineyard Gazette
Manuel Swartz, the well-known boat builder, near Steamboat Wharf, has just built for Capt.
Manuel Swartz Roberts
Catboats
Boats and boating
Vineyard Gazette
The Vanity, new catboat of Capt. Thomas Walker Pease, was launched from the yard of Manuel Swartz on Thursday morning with appropriate ceremonies.
Manuel Swartz Roberts
Catboats
Martha's Vineyard Museum

2018

From the Feb. 5, 1954 edition of the Vineyard Gazette: Manuel Swartz Roberts’ famous boatbuilding shop, in Edgartown, is in the process of being sold.

2010

catboat

A historic catboat named Edwina B. is the most recent acquisition of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust. The 22-foot wooden boat, built by Manuel Swartz Roberts in Edgartown in 1931, is possibly the last of three catboats he built still in the water.

The nearly 80-year-old boat has had a circuitous life with different names and different ports of call. She has been part of the Edgartown waterfront for at least the past 20 years. The former owners see the boat’s journey bringing her to Edgartown to stay.

sailboat

The 21-foot wooden catboat Vanity has been crisscrossing the Edgartown Harbor in the last several weeks, the start of what will be a busy summer. Vanity is one of the most storied catboats on the Atlantic seaboard, and one of the last of the working wooden catboats to have survived changing times.

And she was built in Edgartown.

At 81, Vanity is a living story of the region’s connection to fishing and maritime commerce.

2009

boat

On a recent weekend we got a chance to sail away for a few days, leave Martha’s Vineyard and its drama (an approaching Presidential visit and the August summer in full swing) behind.

Nantucket Sound is a wonderful place to get away. You’re never away from the sight of land. Sailing across the 650 square mile inland sea is like being in the ocean without the huge rollers that can be experienced only a few miles away.

meow

A boat has a life of its own. This is the story of one boat whose lineage goes back through Vineyard history; one boat who gracefully carried a Vineyard family as it grew up; one boat that I, a sailor and waterfront reporter, had watched in wonder as she sailed these waters, until she ended up in a field collecting lichens, aging as a home for hornets’ nests.

Then she came to me. This is the story, too, of getting her back into the water, and how the sailors who are the fabric of this community helped me to return this personality to the harbor.

1999

The Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society doesn’t have a whaling ship for its museum, nor a schooner. Although there is plenty of maritime history connected to the Vineyard, such great vessels would be too much of a burden to maintain. But the historical society does have an attractive old catboat and soon it will sail again.
 

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