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Niece researches Hemingway boat

Ernest Hemingway’s niece, using the written word, public presentations and film, is on a quest to set the record straight about her uncle and his beloved Pilar, a 38-foot Wheeler Playmate yacht that he bought in 1934 for $7,500 and converted into a fishing boat.

“He loved that boat. He had it longer than his first three wives, Hilary Hemingway told the News-Press newspaper in Fort Meyers, where she was to speak at a local library.

Hemingway and the boatbuilder’s grandson, Wes Wheeler, traveled to Cuba last March to conduct a detailed examination of the Pilar, which is owned by the Cuban government and has undergone three restorations over the past three decades.

“The Cubans in Cuba saved Pilar,” she said. “Without it, she would have turned to dust.”

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