Vessels include all sorts of ships and boats – everything from barges, sardine carriers, and schooners to sailboats and lobster boats.

Quick Picks

Good to Know

  • Titles of Vessel Reference items begin with the name of the vessel followed by the type of vessel. For example: El Placita – Schooner Steam Yacht

From the Curator

Of all forms of transportation on the island, vessels were probably the most important; so important that we list them in a category by themselves. Building, fishing and sailing them were, together, a major industry here. The Archive contains drawings and photographs of a wide variety of vessels from canoes to walking beam steamers to ocean liners, but our specialty are the wooden and (later) fiberglass working boats – everything from mackerel, stone and lumber schooners to lobster smacks and fishing boats to pinkies and dorys.

Of special interest are photographs of the day-by-day construction of small wooden boats and a few large fishing boats and yachts. Future generations will be able to see how every plank and trunnel was cut and inserted in a vessel. And, among other things, they will be able to read about a man who was famous for the speed and expertise of his hand-caulking.

Library archivists have developed their own template for vessel histories and, whenever possible, list all a vessel’s dimensions, who designed and built it, for whom it was built and the person for whom it was named. It is rare, of course, to find all these details, but we have found enough to sustain the effort in the hope that viewers will help us fill in the blank spots.

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