Cat-Fish under sail on Long Island Sound.

The Cat-Fish Project
Building Hope for Haiti

David Murphy, designer of a fishing catamaran using 55-gallon oil drums for pontoons, flew to Haiti in the fall of 2014 and found that his design would be useful and practical for the fishermen there. "I found the majority of fishermen using small, very primitive dugout canoes. The canoes were unpainted, gradually getting waterlogged, and would swamp easily because of their low freeboard. Fishermen travel in the open ocean, and from several accounts, some were never seen again."

The fishermen David met in Aquin, on the southern coast of Haiti, fish mostly for shrimp. They set their nets along the edges of mangrove trees and retrieve their catch the next morning. If they have a following wind, they hoist a primitive sail, enabling them to return to port faster to preserve their catch.

A typical dugout canoe.

David explained, "The fishermen do not have boats capable of traveling the long distance (4 to 5 miles) across shallow coastal plain to reach the migratory paths of larger fish. The design of Cat-Fish will enable fishermen to reach the deeper, more lucrative fishing grounds safely and return to port in the same day."

David made contact with Dr. Aldy Castor, president and founder of the Haitian Relief Development Foundation, a non-profit organization. After a short presentation about the Cat-Fish project, Dr. Castor expressed an interest in adding a catamaran building program to the curriculum at the fishing school he is building in Aquin. David was introduced to the secretary to the Minister of Education, Marina Gourgue, who also expressed an interest in introducing a catamaran building program into the Haitian vocational school system.

David visited the fishing school that Dr. Castor is developing to educate residents in fishing, boat building, navigation skills, boating safety and computer sciences. Dr. Castor will devote part of a large building for constructing the catamarans. The programs at the school will help bring economic stimulus to a very poor community where many of its residents presently live in substandard conditions.

The first Cat-Fish at Union Station.

The catamaran idea grew from an exhibit sponsored by Oil Drum Art, a non-profit, grass roots art movement with a mission to promote art that advocates reduced petroleum consumption for a more livable planet. Artists transform recycled oil drums into meaningful and provocative artistic statements about energy, the environment and global warming.

Boat Kits for Haiti
A Humanitarian Mission

Based on David Murphy's "reality check" visit to Haiti last fall, it was decided by the Oil Drum Art Board of Directors that the Cat-Fish Project would be more beneficial to the fishermen in Haiti by building catamaran kits that use computer-cut, pre-fabricated boat parts that reduce labor, require fewer tools, and enable Haitian fishermen to assemble a safe, dependable fishing boat in days, not months. The kits would contain every part needed to build a 16-foot seaworthy catamaran, except the 55-gallon drums, which can be found locally. David Murphy stated, "Catamaran kits are the best way to quickly put useful and reliable boats into the hands of fishermen who desperately need them now."

Pictured here is the cataraman and the kit.

Your help is needed now!

Help Oil Drum Art produce catamaran kits for Haiti by making a donation by clicking on the "Donate" button. Your donation is tax-exempt and you will be provided with an official letter to that effect from Oil Drum Art.

If you prefer, send a check to: Oil Drum Art 7 Old Sawmill Drive Beacon Falls, CT 06403 Write "Cat-Fish Kit" in the "For" line on the bottom of your check. Please make sure there is a return address for your tax letter.

If you wish to volunteer your time or services to help fulfill this mission, or have questions about the Cat-Fish Project for Haiti, call David Murphy at 860-233-2096 or Email him at

We thank you for your support.

"A humanitarian mission to Haiti and Third World fishermen."

Oil Drum Art is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Use the PayPal link below to submit your donation. Your generosity can make all the difference to a Haitian family. Thank you.

Jack Lardis
Oil Drum Art

David Murphy
Designer of Cat-Fish

(*) Your donation is tax deductible as Oil Drum Art is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Use the PayPal link below to submit your donation.