Boat Building in Antigua

antiugaIn Antigua, a man named  Alexis Andrews, a world class photographer and local boat restorer,  is producing and directing a film about the island boats called Vanishing Sail (there is a wonderful short video here). The boats have been built mostly in Carriacou, with a few still constructed in Bequia on the beach (where Bob Dylan’s boat Water Pearl was built), in the Grenadine Islands.

Alexis began his love for these boats after salvaging a sunken boat and restoring it. I met him on launch day of his newly built second local boat Genesis in 2004, on a beach in Windward, Carriacou, where the old builder-craftsmen still all live. Keeping their trade alive is what has become important to many.

Back in the 1970s, Linton Rigg who had started the Bahamas Family Regatta in the 1950s to bring awareness to the culture of the local boats and their builders, then moved to Carriacou. He had had a long career in the states as a broker and builder and ocean racer. He began to organize a race, the Carriacou Regatta, to bring awareness to the dying art and skill of these local boat builders, as Alexis has  so many years later. I will release Linton’s bio soon; it describes his impact on so much of our sailing today, from the Chesapeake Bay to the islands of the Antilles, where boat building still lives.

~Captain Art Ross