The fisherman of Cap Haitian live in a mix of new and old, of work and play. The same beach where they build their boats is also the seashore where they live.
The construction of their boats follows a design that is over 300 years old. They are built on the shore, using few tools and fastenings. Created by hand by experienced self-made builders. The fairing of the boat is done by eye. There is no large scale machinery used here. Sails are constructed from any rags the fisherman can find. As you look up the hill next to the seashore, you can see several houses, haphazardly stacked along the curve of the hill. The beach of is not a white sand beach of relaxation, it’s a beach that shows a life of hard work with bits of boat parts strewn around the beach.
Ties of survival
The houses of the fisherman are only a few feet from the ocean and their boats. The seashore is a physical reminder of the ties of survival that the fishermen, their boat and the ocean have. The boats also have no engines, which means that the fishermen guiding the boats are using every bit of strength they have to fight against the heavy winds and ocean currents. The fisherman work together to build these boats. Since the boats are very heavy, many times the fishermen will head out to the ocean and come back in together.
The boats are often painted in bright colors. The sails for these boats are constructed out of any rags that the fishermen find. These rag-sails have to endure harsh elements including heavy winds and the unforgiving heat and sun. For the sailing competition, the colorful sails design by PolySail International will be a great complement to the brightly painted boats. Each sail will have a logo of the sponsoring company or the initials of the sponsoring individual. These sails will provide a higher degree of construction, able to stand against the elements in a more powerful manner than the rag-sails. Since many families also reside within their boat, these hardier sails will provide a higher level of protection against the elements for these families.
Haiti Sailing Cup is proud to host annual sailing competitions within small fishermen villages in an effort to improve the lives of the fishermen by connecting them with sponsors.