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Boat building has been a tradition of the people of Petite Martinique since the mid-1800's. An event that brings the island community together partaking in the setting up of the frame of the boats, the planking of the boats and the most important the launching of the boats. A mixture of the European trade, spiced up with a little of the African belief's. At that time, the people of Petite Martinique would offer up a sacrifice to God so that no one gets hurt in the actual building of the boats.
 
     
Setting Up
The 'setting up' of a boat is the first phase in the boat building process. As the name imply's, it is the setting up of the frame work of a vessel. The shipwright would first locate the wood needed to make the stem post, the bow frame, the center frame, the sternpost and the stern frame. The type of wood mostly used by the shipwrights were 'white cedar'. Up to this day white cedar is still the most popular. When the shipwright has gathered the wood, he would then order for his keel. The keel would be made from green heart, from the country of Guyana. When the keel arrives the setting up process would begin.
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The white cedar would be cut into the shapes needed and set aside. Then the shipwright would acquire the help of fellow shipwrights like himself, to set the keel in place. Then the boat would be set up starting with the stem post, nailing it to the keel at one end. Mostly the end facing the sea. Taking the straight from the stem post, he would then nail onto the keel at the other end, the stern post. Following the stern post would be the center frame, the stern frame, and the bow frame. Once the shipwrights are content with the main skeletal, the timbers which is the last process in the setting up, would be nailed on.
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Planking
When all the hard work of putting the frame together is complete. The shipwrights would start putting boards on the outside of the framework. Pitch-pine boards are mostly used for that process. The shipwrights would nail the boards as close together as possible, trying to eliminate any kind of space between each board. This is known as 'planking'.
 
     
 
 
 
Launching
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When the shipwrights have completed the planking process, the next step is 'caulking'. The shipwrights would use a chisel to place 'cotton wick' or 'oakum' into the spaces between the boards, to prevent the boat from leeking. It is then sealed off with 'pitch' or 'tar'. Finally, the boards would be sanded and painted. The boat is now ready for the launching.
The day would be arranged for the launching by the owner. He would get his family to make the necessary preparations. Animals would be gathered, Killed and cooked for the 'Saraca'. The saraca is a mixture of roll rice (white rice), roll koo-koo (corn meal), stew peas, ground provisions and a variety of meat (goat, pork, beef and chicken). The women would be responsible for organizing the saraca, while the men would be preparing the boat for the launch. The boat would be strapped on each side with ropes and pulled manually. When the boat is finally into the water, the people would give a great big cheer. Then drinks and saraca would be distributed to people, thanking them for the help and hard work, in launching the boat.