Boatbuilding in Corozal

The Golden Odyssey ready for transport to the beach Sarteneja Village, in the Shipstern Peninsula of Belize, is famous for its fishing and boat building. This topic was created by Kyria Tepaz while she was a student at Corozal Community College. She obtained the information by interviewing her uncle, Mr. Juan Guerrero, who builds boats in Sarteneja. Shipstern is also the eastern part of Corozal District.

Tools and Materials

Mr. Guerrero orders his tools and fittings for each boat from the United States. During the month or so that it takes for that hardware to arrive, he goes to Little Belize, or as far as Spanish Lookout in Orange Walk District to find the lumber that is needed. The lumber is brought to Sarteneja where it is set up to dry.

Materials needed include:

LumberBoat clayCircular saw
NailsGrinderElectric drill
Caulking, paint, etc.

How to Build a Boat

The largest boat Mr. Guerrero has made, so far

First a shed is build like a carport, so there is shade to keep the lumber from cracking as it is being built. A good boat requires about 1600 pieces of lumber.

This the lumber is cut into pieces about half an inch thick and a foot wide, and shaped into a curve. The keel is made first, and then the stern. To form the frame of the boat, two inch lumber is used. Then the planking is done and and cracks are filled with boat clay and adhesives. Then the deck is done and the place where the ice box will be put to preserve the fish that are caught.

Then caulking is used to cover some seams and nail holes. After three days of drying, it is sanded and then painted. A mast is made about as long as the deck, about 30 feet (10 meters) long. Then the jib is done and the sail.

New Boat has a New Owner

To move the boat to the sea, it is put on a tray made of sticks and then it is dragged to the beach. It costs about $10 to hire the truck to pull it. Then Mr. Guerrero gives the receipt to Mr. Cifano, the new owner and shakes his hand, signifying that the boat is now his.

This topic was created by Kyria Tepaz, who was a student at Corozal Community College and niece of the boat builder, Mr. Guerrero.

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