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Home Features The boat world in old Belize

The boat world in old Belize

My two grandfathers were both boat builders – James Osling and Joseph Belisle. James Osling had his own dockyard. These yards used a large structure called the “ways,” and a smaller structure called the “cradle,” to haul up the boats, along with a block-and-tackle and a winch.

There was a Public Works Department (PWD) boatyard at the Barracks which took care of the ferry at Haulover. In the old days there was a ferry where the Haulover Bridge is presently. We also had two dredges, one operating in the Haulover Creek and one at sea.

Other dockyards along the Haulover Creek were owned and operated by Dickie Jones, Philip Rowland, John Arnold, Bill Sebastian, and Clifford Betson.

Where the bus station is on West Collet Canal not far from the Pound Yard Bridge is where the slaughterhouse used to be. They used to bring cows from Honduras. There was a portion of land they used to call “grassy piece” where they kept the cows from Honduras.

There was a boatyard at Fisher Waterside.

There were two kinds of boats: one kind for shallow water and another kind to operate at sea. My grandfather, James Osling, and Clifford Betson were said to be the best when it came to building tunnel boats.

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