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.”
Furtado’s Boatyard in an undated photo from the collection of Joseph Andrews.
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 “Bisca” 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 30 December 2018.
99 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
101 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 99-101 Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Photo, undated, from the collection of Joseph Andrews.
For further reading online
• Manuel “Ti Manuel” Furtado
Find a Grave Memorial No. 107199499.
• Mary (White) Furtado
Find a Grave Memorial No. 107199501.
• Frank “Bisca” Taves
Find a Grave Memorial No. 190457791.