Our 15 foot Joel White designed marsh cat is strip planked with cypress. She is decked with marine plywood, her floors and seats are cypress and she is fiber glassed inside and out with West System product. Her mast, boom and gaff are spruce. Fastenings are of stainless steel. The sail is custom made to Joel White’s specifications by PolySail International of Stuart, Florida. Melanie took 2 1/2 years to build; the volunteer boat builders at Historic Spanish Point work two mornings a week during the winter season.

Melanie will become part of HSP’s small, but growing fleet of wooden work boats to be sailed in and around Little Sarasota Bay by staff and guests of Historic Spanish Point.

The owner of record is Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc., dba Historic Spanish Point. 337 North Tamiami Trail PO Box 846, Osprey, Florida.

Historic Spanish Point is a museum and archaeological site on 30 acres of pioneer water front in Osprey, Florida. Wooden boats are built on the site of Maine boat builder Frank Guptill original boat shed, c. 1890. HSP Executive Director is John McCarthy ( 9419665214). John is son of author and boat builder “Mac” McCarthy (“Feather Weight Boat Building,” published by Wooden Boat Magazine).
Photographer: Wayne Hoitt. (

Melanie is named after Melanie J. Hoitt who died in a tragic auto accident in Riverview, Florida. Melwas the daughter of HSP boat builder and photographer Wayne Hoitt. The official launch took place at HSP on January 26, 2020.

Design Specs

Designer Name: 
Joel White
Gaff rig
Builder Name: 
Volunteers at Historic Spanish Point
Home Port: 
HSP Osprey Florida
Launching Date: 
January 26, 2020