'Old Man and the Sea' movie boat being built

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John Lubbehusen owns the Old Florida Boat Company in St. Augustine, Fla., and specializes in handcrafted wooden boats. He was contracted earlier this year by actor/director Andy Garcia to build a 16-foot replica of an old fishing boat that will be used in Garcia’s upcoming film, “Hemingway and Fuentes.”

The movie, which will be filmed in the Dominican Republic this summer, centers on Ernest Hemingway and his boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes. The story revolves around the writer’s creation of the literary classic, “The Old Man and the Sea,” which was the last of his novels published in his lifetime.

In the film, Anthony Hopkins will play Hemingway, Garcia will play Fuentes.

Lubbehusen’s involvement started with a phone call a few months back.

“They heard I did island type boats, and got a hold of me and asked me if I’d be interested in the project. When I said yes, he had Andy give me a call,” Lubbenhusen told the St. Augustine Record.

The boat is 16 feet with a 6-foot beam, and is framed in mahogany and planked with Spanish cedar. It will have a gaff-rigged sail.

“I’m trying to use materials that would have been found down there on the island at that time (the 1950s),” Lubbehusen said.
Lubbehusen said he designed the boat, based on photographs of old Cuban fishing boats of that era sent to him by Garcia and Hilary Hemingway.

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Local Fox News affiliate TV station First Coast News visited Lubbenhusen’s shop. Click here for that video report.