Local Group Building Hope For Haitian Fishermen

The Legislative Office Building in Hartford is a place accustomed to showboats, but nothing of this magnitude.

What’s a catamaran doing on the third floor concourse?

For now, the 26-foot-tall, 18-foot-long fishing boat is on display to raise awareness and funds.  The plan is to sail the vessel to Haiti where it  will be donated to fishermen there, still recovering from the devastating effects of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, four years ago.

West Harford-based woodworker and designer, Dave Murphy, is at the helm of the “Cat-Fish 2” project which aims to build safe, reliable sea-worthy catamarans for developing fishing villages around the globe.

Murphy runs Oil Drum Art, Inc., an art movement geared to raise awareness about the environment and energy needs.

Because oil drums are readily available in impoverished regions around the world, the metallic canisters are used – literally—to keep the boats afloat.

“This is all recycled barrels, recycled ply wood, sails, recycled masts,” Murphy noted. “It was all built with basic hand tools to replicate conditions in third world fishing communities.”

The Cat-Fish 2 was constructed over about 2 months at Magnakleen in Meriden, an industrial cleaning company that donated building space.

Helping to put the pieces together were about two dozen members from the Sea Cadet program.

Petty Officer Will Calhoun, a Sea Cadet and Senior at Manchester High School, said of the boat building experience, “it was a great sense of community and helping others.”

The Cat-Fish 2 has already has  been tested in trial runs on the Long Island Sound, it will stay at the LOB until the end of March. The team is developing a plan to have the catamaran escorted about 2,200 miles to Haiti next spring.

Murphy’s mission isn’t just about delivering fishing boats to those in need, but also provide the blue prints for villagers to do it themselves, “This is just one more way we can help third world fishermen help their families,” he added.

To find out more about the Cat-Fish 2 click www.oildrumart.org

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