Farley building to reopen Tuesday
Let’s build a boat.
The Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association (PAPHA) will open its freshly restored Farley Boat Works building to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Boat building lessons for the general public will commence the same day in the structure on Avenue C near Cut-off Road.
The facility has been stocked with historic marine oriented exhibits and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday, according to Port Aransas Museum Director Rick Pratt, who is heading up operations at Farley Boat Works. The Port Aransas Museum is operated by PAPHA.
The first boat building classes will be 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (starting Feb. 7), Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Hours at Farley Boat Works could change soon, Pratt said. The folks running the place will make judgments based on traffic flow, and an announcement will be made if the hours change, he said.
People who want to sign up for boat building lessons should call Pratt on his cell phone at (361) 549-6328 or email him at email@example.com. Folks also could drop by the Farley Boat Works building and talk to him, but he said he’d prefer the phone or e-mail method.
Those interested in taking part in classes should submit their names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Ten folks already had signed up for the first class as of Monday, Jan. 30. Another five or six still could get in before the class fills, Pratt said.
The first class will last as long as it takes to build the facility’s first boat. At press time, organizers still were trying to determine how long it would take to build that first vessel – a “Marek skiff ” 16-foot all-wood boat.
Doyle Marek, a former Port Aransas resident now living in George West, will be the main instructor. Before retiring, Marek was a longtime teacher who, for a time, taught boat building at Port Aransas High School.
“It’s the same basic boat we’ve had here (in Port Aransas) since the 1860s and ‘70s, but they’ve slowly evolved over the years,” Pratt said.
The first boat built at Farley Boat Works will go on display in the Farley Boat Works building.
The second boat to be built there will be sold at auction to support the museum, Pratt said.
That boat also will be a Marek skiff, and there will be no charge to be part of the class that builds it, Pratt said.
After the second boat is built, folks will be able to sign up to build their own boats at Farley Boat Works, and the staff there will be on hand to provide instruction and assistance. The person who signs up just has to buy the materials and pay a fee to PAPHA, Pratt said.
No decision has been made yet on how much people will have to pay. Pratt said he still was in the process of working out discounts with material suppliers.
In addition to skiffs, Farley type boats also will be constructed at some point after those first two vessels are built, Pratt said. Farley boats will be about 23 feet long and built as inboard vessels made entirely of wood, he said.
Farley Boat Works operated at a number of locations around town from 1916 to 1970. It was the longest-lasting major boat building business in Port Aransas history.
The wood-frame building on Avenue C is about 60 years old and was run by Farley Boat Works from the 1950s to 1970, Pratt said.
PAPHA bought the structure in early 2011 for $200,000 in order to preserve Port Aransas maritime heritage.
The all-wood boats that the Farley family built were iconic of the town’s tarpon era. President Franklin D. Roosevelt fished from a Farley boat when he visited Port Aransas waters in 1937.
Questions? Comments? Contact Dan Parker at (361) 749- 5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.