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miércoles 22 noviembre 2017



Bertan > Our boats > Pinnace (shallop)
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Pinnace (shallop)


Many documentary sources, such as the regulations of medieval guilds and Renaissance construction contracts, mention the term "pinasa" or pinnace. This vessel could be used to travel several miles out to sea, especially in winter, to the undersea shelf where the fishing grounds were to be found. Pinnaces were used not only for fishing, but also for transporting goods along the coast; they specialised in carrying iron ore from the mines in Biscay to areas close to the forges, because of their shallow draft. These open vessels were between ten and twelve metres long. Until the end of the fifteenth century, the hull was clinker-built; later on it was substituted for a flush-laid hull.

Interpretation of an illustration of a capitulary in a document
from San Vicente de la Barquera, dated 1478, showing a pinnace.
Fortunately for us, the artist has represented the entire vessel,
showing us the profile and the crew.
Interpretation of an illustration of a capitulary in a document from San Vicente de la Barquera, dated 1478, showing a pinnace. Fortunately for us, the artist has represented the entire vessel, showing us the profile and the crew. © José Lopez
The discovery in Orio by archaeologists from the INSUB of
two pinnaces and a somewhat larger vessel, possibly a zabra, from
the sixteenth century, gives us a chance to learn more about these
boat types. The results of these discoveries, backed by information
from documentary sources, will give us a very accurate idea of the
principal features of the pinnaces of this period. At the same time,
the possibility of making a comparative study of the fifteenth-century
Urbieta wreck and the sixteenth-century wreck will help us
understand the important technological changes introduced, especially
in our maritime culture. Remains of the keel from one of the
vessels.
The discovery in Orio by archaeologists from the INSUB of two pinnaces and a somewhat larger vessel, possibly a zabra, from the sixteenth century, gives us a chance to learn more about these boat types. The results of these discoveries, backed by information from documentary sources, will give us a very accurate idea of the principal features of the pinnaces of this period. At the same time, the possibility of making a comparative study of the fifteenth-century Urbieta wreck and the sixteenth-century wreck will help us understand the important technological changes introduced, especially in our maritime culture. Remains of the keel from one of the vessels. © José Lopez

Overview of the Orio IV wreck, with the sheetpiles of the
quays cutting through the bow lug.
Overview of the Orio IV wreck, with the sheetpiles of the quays cutting through the bow lug. © José Lopez

This vessel from the Jouve Atlas, dating from the second half
of the seventeenth century and described as a barque, is similar in
characteristics to the freight-carrying pinnace of previous decades.
During this transition period, on the Atlantic coast, the term "pinaza"
began to be replaced by “lancha”. Subtle changes began to be
introduced; the vessels became lighter and more stylised.
Improvements in port facilities during this period may have facilitated
the structural refinement of the vessels, by reducing the frequency
with which they had to go ashore on the coast to load and
unload. These boats continued to be used on the Aquitaine coast
and the term "pinasse" is still employed in the Bay of Arcachon to
describe a local type of vessel.
This vessel from the Jouve Atlas, dating from the second half of the seventeenth century and described as a barque, is similar in characteristics to the freight-carrying pinnace of previous decades. During this transition period, on the Atlantic coast, the term "pinaza" began to be replaced by “lancha”. Subtle changes began to be introduced; the vessels became lighter and more stylised. Improvements in port facilities during this period may have facilitated the structural refinement of the vessels, by reducing the frequency with which they had to go ashore on the coast to load and unload. These boats continued to be used on the Aquitaine coast and the term "pinasse" is still employed in the Bay of Arcachon to describe a local type of vessel. © José Lopez

Plan taken from the morphological reconstruction of the
Urbieta wreck. This vessel, built of oak except for a beech keel, is
10.66 metres in length, with a beam of 2.72 metres and a height of
1.37 m.
Plan taken from the morphological reconstruction of the Urbieta wreck. This vessel, built of oak except for a beech keel, is 10.66 metres in length, with a beam of 2.72 metres and a height of 1.37 m. © José Lopez
Scene from the port of Gernika in the second half of the fifteenth
century. Many of what we now consider to be inland towns
were once sea ports, thanks to vessels such as the pinnace, which
could reach them at high tide. In Gipuzkoa in this period similar
scenes might be seen in towns such as Errenteria, Hernani, Usurbil
and others.
Scene from the port of Gernika in the second half of the fifteenth century. Many of what we now consider to be inland towns were once sea ports, thanks to vessels such as the pinnace, which could reach them at high tide. In Gipuzkoa in this period similar scenes might be seen in towns such as Errenteria, Hernani, Usurbil and others. © José Lopez

Thanks to the discovery, study and conservation of the orecarrying
pinnace from the second half of the fifteenth century,
found in the district of Urbieta in Gernika, we now know what
these vessels looked like. Currently on exhibition at the
Archaeological Museum of Bizkaia in Bilbao, it has become an
important reference point in the field of marine archaeology.
Thanks to the discovery, study and conservation of the orecarrying pinnace from the second half of the fifteenth century, found in the district of Urbieta in Gernika, we now know what these vessels looked like. Currently on exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Bizkaia in Bilbao, it has become an important reference point in the field of marine archaeology. © José Lopez
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