Image by Jeremy Bishop

Our Story

History of the "Tamboo"

The Tamboo is not the first vessel of its name to grace the waters of the Florida Keys.

About 30 years ago, Key West fly fishing guide, Captain Dave Wiley came across the windswept wreckage of an old sailing vessel left stranded in the sand after a hurricane.  Recognizing its potential and intending to give it a second life, Wiley enlisted the help of a neighbor's barge service to retrieve the abandoned boat.  Captain Dave and his wife Camille spent much of their time fly fishing in the diamond-white flats of the Bahamas, and looked to local lore for a fitting title for their new sailboat.

The vessel took its name from the Tamboo Club, an exclusive club located on the Bahamian island of Great Harbour Cay.   Founded in the 1960s by developer Lou Chesler, the waterfront establishment became a popular spot for tourists passing through the area to relax and add their signatures to a dedicated wall before continuing on their journey.   The building had once served as a place of respite for a group of local fishermen to enjoy the sunset and cigars after a hard day at sea in their small fishing boat, the Tamboo.  

 

Although the Tamboo Club has long since shuttered its doors and now sits empty overlooking the sea, its name and history lives on, first with our little blue sailboat and now with our Bali 4.2 catamaran.

the Tamboo
the Tamboo

Camille Wiley aboard the original Tamboo monohull sailboat.

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the Tamboo
the Tamboo

The stern of the original Tamboo sailboat, showcasing its recognizable royal blue color.

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the Tamboo Club
the Tamboo Club

A sign welcoming members to the Tamboo Club in Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas.

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the Tamboo
the Tamboo

Camille Wiley aboard the original Tamboo monohull sailboat.

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About Us

Dave and Camille still live in sunny Key West, Florida, and love to share the joy of sailing with clients who book experiences on the Tamboo. In addition to this latest venture, they enjoy biking around their island home and cruising through local waters with the Key West Sailing Club.  

To book your next adventure with Key West Cat Sail on the Tamboo, please contact Captain Dave Wiley at (305) 942-6210 or keywestcatsail@gmail.com.  To learn more about rates and availability or for any further questions, please see our "Charter With Us" page located in the menu above or through the link below.