Ben Crawshaw looks at the traditional boats of the Spanish coast

Top: barque de mitjana Sant Isidre at Barcelona. Bottom the intriguing hull
of a polbeiro at a boat exhibition. Photos by Ben Crawshaw

Ben Crawshaw of the Invisible Workshop has been putting up some splendid posts about the exotic-looking boats he encounters along Spain’s coasts.

As usual, it’s best to read weblog posts in order – in reverse order to the way they’re presented. So I’d recommend looking at this one on the history of the heavily built boats of Catalonia first. They seem to be built for the grandchildren, in the local saying.

Then turn to this introduction to the polbeiro (just look at that rig and the astonishing tiller!, and this post on the cross-oared rowing technique, which also shows its interesting hull form. I’d say it shows some potential that could be exploited by today’s plywood boat designers.

The next instalment takes us to Barcelona, where Ben runs into the skipper of the Sant Isidre, who he met some time ago while cruising in his Light Trow, Onawind Blue. And finally, he tells something of the astonishing and complicated story of this 1925-built lateen-rigged barque de mitjana, which has done service as sail-powered fishing boat, been used for smuggling, pressed into service as a POUM gunboat during the Spanish Civil War, been used for diving and was finally restored and given her old rig back in 1993.

Finally, you might by now be ready for this whimsical piece about nice old boats that have been used as a kind of garnish for roundabouts. Thanks for this entertaining, informative stuff Ben!

3 thoughts on “Ben Crawshaw looks at the traditional boats of the Spanish coast”

  1. Hello, I think the boat that Ben says is a Polbeiro is in fact a Dornas,the Polbeiro is carvel with a conventional keel.the Dorna is clinker with the short keel and over hang on the stern.All the best.Kieran

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