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martes 26 septiembre 2017



Bertan > Our boats > From steam to diesel
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From steam to diesel


By the second decade of the twentieth century, the Basque fishing fleet was made up of steam ships, leading to considerable improvements in living conditions on board. However, there were drawbacks. The volume and weight of the engine, water and coal were excessive steam was soon superseded by diesel. Diesel engines weighed half as much, the fuel only a quarter, and they did not require the same immense quantities of fresh water to generate steam. In Gipuzkoa, this process of substitution began in 1930s, with the installation of diesel engines in Pasaia. They were mostly imported, although marine diesel engines were already being produced in Sestao and Zumaia a decade earlier.

From the vertical bow to the curved bow. The development of
the engine influenced the architecture of the hull. The augmented
power and speed required a higher freeboard to keep the decks dry
when the boat hit a wave. The increase in height also led to the
development of concave bows, which deflected the waves outwards.
From the vertical bow to the curved bow. The development of the engine influenced the architecture of the hull. The augmented power and speed required a higher freeboard to keep the decks dry when the boat hit a wave. The increase in height also led to the development of concave bows, which deflected the waves outwards. © José Lopez
Location of the engine in the hull. During the period in which
steam and sail shared the seas, steamships were also fitted with
auxiliary sails. The sails were particularly useful in the event of
breakdown, and also for saving on coal on long voyages or when
there were difficulties stocking up. -Coal bunker. -Boilers. -Engine.
-Propeller shaft. -Rudder. -Propeller.
Location of the engine in the hull. During the period in which steam and sail shared the seas, steamships were also fitted with auxiliary sails. The sails were particularly useful in the event of breakdown, and also for saving on coal on long voyages or when there were difficulties stocking up. -Coal bunker. -Boilers. -Engine. -Propeller shaft. -Rudder. -Propeller. © José Lopez

Steamship Mamelena. First steam fishing boat in the Basque
fleet. She was purchased by Ignacio Mercader, from San Sebastián
in Leith (UK) in 1879. Initially, she was used to tow the sail-driven
skiffs to the fishing grounds; after some preliminary trials she was
put to use as a trawler.
Steamship Mamelena. First steam fishing boat in the Basque fleet. She was purchased by Ignacio Mercader, from San Sebastián in Leith (UK) in 1879. Initially, she was used to tow the sail-driven skiffs to the fishing grounds; after some preliminary trials she was put to use as a trawler. © José Lopez

Coal for heating the water in the boilers and generating the
steam needed to drive the machinery.
Coal for heating the water in the boilers and generating the steam needed to drive the machinery. © José Lopez

Steam engine. Mutiozabal. Orio.
Steam engine. Mutiozabal. Orio. © José Lopez
Traditional fishing boat (batel) with petrol engine. On account
of their size, small traditional fishing vessels were not well suited
to take steam engines or the first diesel engines. Instead they were
fitted with small petrol engines.
Traditional fishing boat (batel) with petrol engine. On account of their size, small traditional fishing vessels were not well suited to take steam engines or the first diesel engines. Instead they were fitted with small petrol engines. © José Lopez

Dismountable model of a fishing boat, made by shipbuilders
to obtain the construction plans.
Dismountable model of a fishing boat, made by shipbuilders to obtain the construction plans. © José Lopez
The introduction of diesel. Trawler from the 1940s with its
classic white hull.
The introduction of diesel. Trawler from the 1940s with its classic white hull. © José Lopez

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