Catboat Edwina B.

Mark Alan Lovewell is the captain of the 22-foot catboat Edwina B., one of the last Manuel Swartz Roberts catboats in existence. Lovewell has been sailing the vessel for its owner the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust for four years. It is a delightful wooden vessel. She is beloved in the Edgartown waterfront. The Edwina B. is one of only six (possibly one more) surviving catboats designed and built by Manuel Swartz Roberts, known as “the Old Sculpin” in his boatbuilding shop, now the home of an art gallery bearing his name. Many of the first catboats were built as commercial fishing vessels. They are hard working vessels. Through the years they became popular with summer residents as sturdy recreational boats.

Edwina B. has always been a recreational sailboat, made to look beautiful and sail with ease. There is plenty of varnish on her topsides. She shines in the sunlight and is one of the prettiest catboats afloat. After passing through several hands, the Edwina B. was acquired by George Griswold in 1968, who returned her to the Vineyard in 1989.  The boat was given to the Preservation Trust in 2010 by George Griswold, Jr. and Wendy and Boatner Reily.  She is moored at the Norton Boathouse, across the street from the building where she was built in 1931. She is used by the Preservation Trust to interpret the rich history of the Island’s wooden sailboats. Boatner died this past winter. His legacy and the Edwina B. story lives on.