The Catalan Maritime Patrimony

The 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 the sea.

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)



Unfortunately,  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" ?

With Michel JUNCY, owner of the “Notre Dame de Consolation” (see further), we are going to show you some of the characteristics of the Sardinal built in the beginning of the 20th century. We will see more as we get along with the reconstruction.

The front fork (ASTA) and the counter-stem (contrarroda) 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...



The 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) . The boats were meant to be dragged ashore on the beach so the bottom is flat.


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.


Idéal, the story...

The restoration 1,   2,   3,  4.