The Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, in partnership with the Catboat Association and Vineyard Trust, is honoring its boat building heritage with a spectacular week-long celebration July 16-23, 2021. The Old Sculpin Gallery, headquarters of the MVAA, is the island’s oldest art gallery and home to the former Catboat-building workshop of Manuel Swartz Roberts who designed and built over 200 catboats in his lifetime. The celebration will include a Catboat/waterfront-themed art exhibit July 17-23, and a Parade of Sail in Edgartown Harbor July 17, from 1-3 pm, followed by a private reception for Catboat parade participants at the Old Sculpin Gallery from 5-7 pm.
The opening weekend’s events will include a glorious Parade of Sail led by Captain Kurt Peterson in Tigress on Saturday and reception for participants to follow the parade. WMVY radio’s Laurel Redington will communicate from aboard Tigress to shore, providing listeners the unique perspective of the parade from the water. An array of Catboats, including the historic vessel Vanity, built in 1929 and the fabled Old Sculpin, built in 1912, both built by Mr. Roberts, will add their majestic presence to the parade. After the parade, participants will enjoy a private reception and preview the exhibit which will include MVAA members’ artwork, vintage photographs, oral histories, memorabilia and tools of Mr. Roberts.
Catboat Association members who wish to participate are kindly asked to RSVP to Mark Alan Lovewell by July 1 if they plan to attend.
Here are the events as scheduled:
July 15 & 16: Catboats and their captains: crews arrive; Friday’s gathering is at the discretion of the individual boat’s captain and crew
July 17: 11 a.m. -Catboat Captains will assemble in front of the Oldport Launch dock, to the left of the Edgartown Yacht Club, 1 Dock Street.
The meeting will be inside at the Edgartown Yacht Club, right next door. There is a terrific meeting room. There, Captain Kurt Peterson of Tigress will give parade instructions.
If anyone is unable to attend this briefing, the start of the parade is at the entrance to Katama Bay, at the Down Harbor Association Beach at 1PM.
Look for the Down Harbor signs and flags on the dock.
July 17: Catboat Parade: 1-3PM (or longer, depending on how much fun you’re having)
Participants will head south from Down Harbor toward South Beach, loop back through the narrows and past the Yacht Club, the Chappy Ferry and out beyond the Chappy Beach Club to Cape Pogue, returning at their leisure.
Good vantage points to view the parade are the Memorial Wharf, Chappy Point, Edgartown Lighthouse Beach and Fuller Street Beach.
July 17: Reception for catboat captains and their crews: 5-7 PM at the Old Sculpin Gallery, 58 Dock Street.
Libations and Light Hors D’Oeuvres will be served. Participants will have a private viewing of the “Catboats!” Exhibit celebrating the boat building heritage and legacy of Manuel Swartz Roberts at the Old Sculpin Gallery.
Included will be work by members of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, vintage photographs, Manuel Swartz Roberts memorabilia and oral histories.
Also included will be an escorted tour of the nearby Norton Boat House where guests will be entertained by Mark Alan Lovewell at 5PM and Kurt Peterson at 6PM with sea songs and many stories. Guests will kindly be asked to limit their gathering to 10 individuals at one time in the Norton Boat House.
July 1 at the latest.
Please also include the number of people on your boat.1
Questions? Call Mark (508) 696-4655
During the Parade, Ray Whitaker from WMVY radio will be playing music and broadcasting commentary from the Norton Boat House about the boats in the parade. So for this commentary, please provide the following information when you rsvp:
YOUR NAME, (+ address, email and cell phone: this info will be kept private and is just for communication purposes)
NAME OF YOUR BOAT what type/maker of the boat, YEAR Built
HOW LONG you have owned it and its origin if known.
INCLUDE ANY interesting FACTS, stories or features about your boat