Ernest Hemingway is one of America’s most beloved writers and became Key West’s most famous resident. He and Sloppy Joe’s Bar owner Joe Russell were avid fisherman spending many a day on his boat “Pilar” off of Florida’s southernmost city.
I was very skeptical upon reading about Hemingway’s boat being on permanent display in the Florida Key’s so on a trip down four years ago we finally found the location where his boat was supposed to reside. Parking our car in front of the World Wide Sportsman we then walked into a gigantic 2-story fisherman’s paradise with everything under the sun to supply a world-class sportsman. Though lures, rods and bait were not what I came here to see, it was quite impressive!
There it was, Hemingway’s boat complete with news articles, photos & personal property of the author himself on and around his boat. You can even walk aboard and sit in the wooden fishing seat (as seen below) that he and Joe Russell sat in during their expeditions. Your self-guided tour continues on the bridge (as seen below) over looking the bow fantasizing what it would’ve been like on a fishing trip with the famous author. Below deck you’ll see books, typewriter, photos (as you see below) along with his sleeping quarters as he would have seen it in his day.
This humongous vessel takes up 1/4 of the sales floor (as seen below) and I must say it was way too cool and exciting… that is until you read the fine print! It states that this “Pilar” (Hemingway’s Boat) is an exact replica of what his boat looked like inside and out. At that point it really didn’t matter that much because it was such great replica that only those like me who read fine print would ever know. It’s still worth a FREE visit to see this well put together & laid out exhibit.
You can find this exact duplicate of Hemingway’s Boat “Pilar” inside the World Wide Sportsman store at Mile Marker 81.4 on the right side of the road of US-1 south.