Gure itsasontziak looks at all aspects of the shipbuilding tradition of the Basque Country. Over the centuries each coastal nation has developed its own seafaring culture. Climate, sea currents, the natural environment and trade have determined the design and techniques used to build different vessels. If there is one thing that makes maritime history different to other forms of historiography, it is the itinerant, dynamic quality of its leading players: seafarers and their ships. The characteristic vessels developed in this region have gradually incorporated everything that might improve their seaworthiness, be it for inshore navigation, on the high seas of the Bay of Biscay or on transoceanic voyages. For many centuries, the Basques have stood at the forefront of ship-building technology, devising many important innovations and benefiting other cultures in the process. Over the years, many different people have contributed to maintaining and enriching this amalgam of knowledge. We have taken our information from archaeological discoveries, from a major cache of images, from treatises on shipbuilding and from abundant documentation; through these sources we have been able to piece together the development of Basque shipbuilding. This book is intended to share this knowledge, and will, we hope, help perpetuate the maritime fame the Basques have gained over the centuries.
Different types of Basque ships over the centuries.