Earnest Hemingway’s Pilar Submitted by Modeler William Farrell

Fellow modeler William Farrell sends us photos of his completed Pilar. William purchased the 1/27 scale Constructo Pilar from our store in February of this year. In 1934, Ernest Hemingway commissioned the Pilar, a fishing boat to be built to his own specifications Wheeler Shipbuilding in Brooklyn, New York, for $7,495. Pilar was a nickname of Hemingway’s wife Pauline. Hemingway also chose the name Pilar to honor the virgin of Zaragoza, to indicate his love for all things Spanish.

Pilar by William Farrell

Hemingway was an avid deep sea fisherman who regularly fished the waters off Key West, Florida, the Gulf Stream off the Cuban coast and the Marquesas Keys. He was infamous for his fishing, drinking, and fighting exploits which are a part of history of the area. In addition to fishing, the boat was also used for scientific research and at one time was used to patrol the Cuban waters during wartime.

The boat influenced several of Hemingway’s books including the Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.

Hemingway acquired the boat in April 18, 1934 from the Wheeler Shipbuilding Company after returning from safari in Africa. The boat was a modified version of the Wheeler Playmate line. The final price for the boat was $7,495 which included modifications such as a livewell to contain fish, a second trawling engine set-up, and a roller on the transom to aid in hauling large fish onto the boat. A flying bridge was added at a later date, but not by Wheeler. The boat’s hull was painted black as opposed to the stock white color.
William Farrell's Pilar

P1010202
The Constructo Pilar kit features a ribbed hull with extra wood strips, metal deck hardware, cloth flag material, and a full-color instruction manual in seven languages. William completed the Pilar in just about 4 weeks. Thanks William for sending us your completed model. Nice job!

2 thoughts on “Earnest Hemingway’s Pilar Submitted by Modeler William Farrell”

  1. I live part time in Islamorada and after going into World Wide Sportsman’s store there, and seeing a replica of the Pilar I got a kit and built it. I left the hull natural but found the kit to be excellent and had a lot of fun doing it. Hopefully ,along with its’ big brother ,it will stay in the Keys forever.

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