Preservation Trust receives gift of historic Edgartown cat boat

Preservation Trust receives gift of historic Edgartown cat boat

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Wendy and Boatner Reily of New Orleans, longtime summer residents of Edgartown, donated a rare and historic sailboat to the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust this week. Several generations of the Reily family sailed the vessel in Edgartown Harbor.

“It’s a very generous gift,” Preservation Trust executive director Chris Scott said. “It has been beautifully, beautifully preserved, so we get it in nearly perfect condition.”

Renowned boatbuilder Manuel Swartz Roberts constructed the catboat on the Edgartown waterfront, in the building that now houses the Old Sculpin Gallery. The vessel was launched in 1932.

Mr. Scott said there are only a handful of the Roberts catboats still sailing. He said the Preservation Trust will keep the boat at the Norton Boathouse, a building the Trust acquired in 2008.

“We will use her as a goodwill ambassador,” Mr. Scott said, “for people who are interested in history. We’ll sail her in Island waters, and maybe from time to time take her to the Cape.”

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