That Manuel “Ti Manuel” Furtado (1879-1945) was the father of the 20th-century boatbuilding business in Provincetown is beyond dispute; not only did he have one of the principal boatyards in the early decades of the 1900s, but Furtado alumni went on to establish Flyer’s Boatyard and the Taves Boatyard. He was born in São Miguel in the Azores, landing in Provincetown in 1898, as a ship’s carpenter. He spent some time fishing on the Grand Banks, but then turned to the business of repairing and renting boats, at first in the area around Grozier Park, where the Boatslip is now. Around 1920, he set up shop at the base of Union Wharf, where he earned a reputation for his “painstaking skill and craftsmanship” in constructing light boats, The Advocate said upon his death.
The newspaper continued: “He built some heavy boats for trap fishermen but he specialized in light, fine skiffs, and in sturdily built small pleasure sailboats which he rented out every summer during the 27 years that he operated his place in the West End. He also built several cabins on his wharf, one of them being fashioned from a small cruiser cabin, and these he had no trouble renting every year.”
For a view of the outermost cabin, made from the pilot house of the Albatross, please see 99-101 Commercial Street.
For a view of the middle cabin, please see 99-101 Commercial Street.
For a view of the innermost cabin, please see 99-101 Commercial Street.
Alumni of Furtado’s Boatyard included Joseph Andrews, of 28 Conant Street, a boat builder and maritime historian who continues to lead a vital life as his centenary approaches in 2020; Francis “Flyer” Santos (1914-2015), of 94 Commercial Street, founder of Flyer’s Boatyard, 131A Commercial Street, and builder of the Rose Dorothea model in the Provincetown Public Library; and Frank “Biska” Taves (1905-1984), founder of Taves Boatyard, 129R Commercial Street.
Furtado lived with his wife, Mary (White) Furtado (1884-1965), at 11 Conant Street. Within a month of his death, the boatyard was acquired by Nick Meletopoulos, the operator of Flyer’s Lunch.
¶ Last updated on 28 August 2018. ¶ Image courtesy of Joseph Andrews.
Furtado’s Boatyard in an undated photo from the collection of Joseph Andrews.
Grave sites in Provincetown
Furtado, Manuel. Find a Grave Memorial 107199499.
Furtado, Mary. Find a Grave Memorial 107199501.
Taves, Frank. Find a Grave Memorial 190457791.