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El Pilar - Ernest Heminway's boat in Cuba

Capitan Gregorio Fuentes would take Hemingway deep sea fishing.

  1. Please send me some collection of photographs of Hemingway El Pilar boat. I need for a project i am doing.


    Anthony Henriquez

    Posted by Anthony Henriquez on 02/21  at  06:04 PM
  2. I wish it was that easy. You need special permission from the Cuban government to see the boat.

    Posted by publisher on 02/22  at  08:09 PM
  3. I i see that you need more photos of the pilar?? i really don’t know what kind of project you’re working on but, i know a place were there is an exact replica of Hemingway’s boat “El Pilar” with a lot of stuff that belonged to Hemingway. Where are you located?? maybe i can give you a little help.

    Posted by Jorge on 04/13  at  06:20 PM
  4. We are based on Cape Cod in Massachusetts USA. We are happy to post any real photos that you can provide. We will give you credit links to relevant web sites.


    Posted by publisher on 04/13  at  07:28 PM
  5. My name is Michael Morris. I specialize in Hemingway’s sea-related work, with close reference to his Wheeler-built cabin cruiser Pilar, which now is on blocks on the tennis court at his home Finca Vigia in Cuba (a short distance outside Havana). Special permission is NOT neeeded to view Pilar - in fact an elevated walkway has been constructed around three sides of the boat, so that it can be viewed. However, viewers may NOT board or enter the vessel itself. Of course, USA citizens have difficulty in access to Cuba, not because of the Cuban authoritiesm, but because of US Treasury constraints on US$ spending in Cuba. As now on the blocks, Pilar differs from its original design and has some fittings that were not used by Wheeler at the time it was built (1934). Some of these items were added by Hemingway himself (for example the flying bridge, outriggers, etc), over the years, and some were added by various persons who believed they knew what was missing but whose beliefs were mistaken. The often-stated measurements of Pilar, repeated ad infinitum by les than meticulous researchers, are not always correct. The original builder’s certificates (especially details specified by the carpenters/boatwrights in the Wheeler Yard) specify measurements which differ from the popular assumptions (this is a wooden vessel, cut and assembled by hand, not a cast item from a mould). Over the past decade or so, various researchers (including me) have tried to establish specific exttra detail about Pilar and how it was modified and used, and some of us made progress but in many cases we have not been able to do a 100% perfect work. Too many restrictions ... To those who undertake projects on Pilar, well, good luck, such work is important. But be aware that complete research is not possible, and that much of the secondary-source data is inaccurate. MM

    Posted by Michael Morris on 02/29  at  07:24 AM
  6. Further from Michael Morris here at Michigan State University: from time to time there are comments on various websites and in some magazines, that a replica of Pilar is positioned here and there, for example, inside a certain fishing emporium in Florida etc. Those claims are nonsense. Let me emphasize that: ABSOLUTE nonsense. There is NO exact replica anywhere. Some of the vessels claimed to be exactly like Pilar are as different from Pilar as chalk is from cheese. There are some other claims that this or that person has a sister ship to Pilar; this too is incorrect. Yes, some Wheeler-built cruisers from about that time (1934) still exist, but I have seen them and they are dissimilar. There also is a variety of small-scale model cruisers sold internationally under the claim that they are mini-Pilars; some of these are beautifully crafted, and even resemble Pilar, but they are short on exactitude. MM

    Posted by Michael Morris on 02/29  at  07:33 AM
  7. And the vessel name is NOT El Pilar. It simply is Pilar. Painted on the stern.

    Posted by Michael Morris on 02/29  at  07:34 AM
  8. I have been asked to bid on the construction of outriggers like those that where on the Pilar.  Could anyone here help me with information as to their length, construction, materials, etc.?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Paul Snow

    Posted by Capitanpablo on 04/16  at  04:49 PM
  9. Try these folks http://www.hemingwaysociety.org

    Posted by publisher on 04/16  at  04:55 PM
  10. I own a custom woodworking shop in West palm beach Fl (American Yacht Restoration .com) that is producing a replica of Pilar. I have reseached Pilar extensively ... Hemingway Finca Foundation, Kennedy Library, Mystic Seaport and direct info from Cuba. I have modified the Wheeler Pilothouse, reduced transom height and added misc details mainly from the fine details I got from Cuba. I agree that there are a few Weekes Vessels out there claiming to be Wheeler sisterships but nothing close when you know the truth. The Finca Foundation will want a donation for pictures or info. I donated $500 and got 8 pictures, which prompted me to continue my research. Research on this project has been expensive but worthwhile to produce a close replica. Hemmingway originally constructed his outriggers from bamboo and then went with a wooden version of the modern design which was designed by the Rybovich brothers.

    Posted by Customwood500 on 04/22  at  01:22 PM
  11. Restoration of the Playmate Wheeler is about to regain momentum in completing the accurate sistership to the Pilar. I would like to find some original parts that I am missing which is a steering wheel and bow emblem. Contact American Yacht Restoration West Palm Beach Fl 561 882 0444
    Thanks Dana Andrews

    Posted by Customwood500 on 04/13  at  01:33 PM
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