As part of the all-volunteer maritime heritage program at Historic Spanish Point—the 30-acre living museum set along Sarasota Bay in Osprey—Wayne Hoitt helps scrape, patch, paint the hulls and repair the engines on two boats, the Magic and the Lizzie G, that were built in the early 1900s and were rebuilt several years ago by volunteers using traditional methods and materials. Hoitt, retired director of operations at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science, got to indulge his interest in boat building when he moved to Venice five years ago. “I told them, if you let me mess around with boats I’ll do anything you want,” he says.
“In May I put in 42 hours. We just finished a derelict 12-foot rowboat someone donated. It’s gorgeous. We also recently assembled a 10-foot lapstrake dory from scratch. We’ll use both boats as our yacht tenders.”
“Spanish Point runs boat tours on the Magic in Little Sarasota Bay. It’s a 21-foot, six-passenger motor launch that [early settlers] the Webbs and Guptills used to transport guests to their winter resort. I’m mate on some of the tours. I spend a lot of time talking about the history of Spanish Point. I come from New England and I’m wrapped up in history.”
“If the Palmer family hadn’t arranged for [Spanish Point] to become a public museum, it would have been filled with houses now. They did a great service for the state of Florida.”