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Wheeler 38 'Pilar'

The Most Famous Fishing Boat of All Time
is Coming to Life.

Hemingway's Pilar
was a Wheeler

They say Ernest Hemingway caught his first fish at three, and never got over it.

When Ernest Hemingway was ready to order his first and only fishing yacht at the age of 35, he trusted only Wheeler Shipyards to build it.

Papa demanded a quality in craftsmanship that only Wheeler could deliver. Hemingway’s Pilar not only out-fished and out-performed all of the other fishing yachts of the time, but in the thirty years Hemingway owned her, she had survived four hurricanes by riding them out at sea.

It was testament to the ship’s strength and the captain’s courage. The most famous fishing boat of all time is coming back to life. Introducing the ‘new’ Wheeler-Pilar 38. You can own her and be a part of history.

Fame and Fish:
The Legend of Pilar

Hemingway was a founding father of sport fishing and was inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.

He was an early adopter of outriggers and the flybridge, and was the first ever to bring a giant tuna to Bimini’s docks undamaged by sharks.

His immense fame drove him to seek both solitude and adventure far from prying eyes. He fought fish with passion, perhaps as a metaphor for much of his life.

Ernest Hemingway's original purchase order
for his Wheeler 38 Playmate

The Tradition Returns

For 50 years, the Wheeler Family – father and five sons – built yachts of the highest quality. From 1910 through two world wars and well into peacetime, Wheeler built over 3,200 pleasure boats and more than 800 military craft which earned them 8 Navy ‘E’ awards for service to the United States.

The Wheelers built their boats with only the finest materials available at the time. They were hand crafted and built to last. It was this reputation for quality that drew Hemingway to Wheeler in 1934.

This famous boat and its legacy have inspired the Wheelers to introduce an exact copy of the original Wheeler Playmate which Hemingway loved so much. It will have the classic look of the original, but will conform to today’s ABS and US Coast Guard standards with modern equipment.

And of course, it will be built to last.

Old-School Meets

Every inch of the new Pilar has been reverse-engineered to the highest standards, employing sophisticated techniques used in the development of the world’s finest custom yachts.

It is now possible to own a piece of history, and learn firsthand why Papa loved his boat so much.