That Manuel “Ti Manuel” Furtado (±1880-1945) was the father of the 20th-century boatbuilding business in Provincetown is beyond dispute; not only did he have one of the principal boatyards in the early decades of the 1900s, but Furtado alumni went on to establish Flyer’s Boatyard and the Taves Boatyard. He was born in São Miguel in the Azores, landing in Provincetown in 1898, as a ship’s carpenter. He spent some time fishing on the Grand Banks, but then — around 1920 — he set up shop at the base of Union Wharf, where he earned a reputation for his “painstaking skill and craftsmanship” in constructing light boats, The Advocate said (“Boatbuilder Dies, Mourned by Many,” 7 June 1945).
The newspaper continued:
“He built some heavy boats for trap fishermen but he specialized in light, fine skiffs, and in sturdily built small pleasure sailboats which he rented out every summer during the 27 years that he operated his place in the West End. He also built several cabins on his wharf, one of them being fashioned from a small cruiser cabin, and these he had no trouble renting every year.”
Furtado lived with his wife, Mary (White) Furtado, at 11 Conant Street. Within a month of his death, the boatyard was acquired by Nick Meletopoulos, the operator of Flyer’s Lunch.