The Catalan Maritime Patrimony
catalan fishing boats , also called “sardinals”, are originally designed as
working boats for fishing sardines and sprats.
At the end of the 19th century, Collioure ( a small harbor on the Mediterranean
coast of France), counts up to 120 of these boats , operated by more than 700
fishermen. Together with the salting workshops and the shipyarding
industry, it is more than a thousand people who work and live throughout
A few shipyards or “drassanes” build these boats on location in Banyuls, Collioure and Le Barcares. Boats are equipped with the traditional Latin sail, known for its qualities and perfectly suited for the purpose . The Latin sail is probably the most ancient “aurique” sail. It is mentioned by Byzantines texts. (picture: shipyard Bonafos in Banyuls/mer)
the sail boats came rapidly useless when came the new motorized fishing
boats. Sadly, they came to rotten one after the other, and were finally burned
on the beach in 1968, when a small prize was offered for their destruction. Time
had come for the new industry: tourism.
How to recognize a "Sardinal" ?
front fork (ASTA) and the counter-stem
are to be replaced. Michel Juncy holds the old ASTA alongside with the new
one. They were caved out of a tree, which explains why they both look asymmetrical.
It is not a problem...
keel ribs (medis) are
sharp-ended and have their angles softened. This nice finished work was
the mark of craftsmanship, back then when time was costless. Note the
antique nail his head and body are square.
The bottom of the sardinal is flat.
The two first planks on each side of the keel (paraia
and sobreparaia) hold the false keels (escuas)
Michel Juncy and the "Notre dame de Consolation".
Michel JUNCY is a friend who came to pay us a visit.
He is co-owner of a sardinal built in Collioure in 1913
by the FERRE shipyard. She is 11 meters long, one of the largest
ever built. She is one of the two listed as historical monument in the
Mediterranean. She is harbored in ARGELES. She is a priceless treasure that
is still going at sea, thanks to the endeavor of their owners.
The other historical monument is the “Miguel Caldentey”, a 30 meters schooner built in 1916- in the Balearic islands, for trading purpose between the Philippines and south America. Ashamingly, she is slowly rottening in Canet...We will be talking further on of these two sole historical ships of the Mediterranean.