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miércoles 22 noviembre 2017



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Tuna boat


The tuna boat was the largest of all the inshore vessels at around 13 metres in length. From December to March it was used for bream fishing. For this task, which was performed using trawl lines, it had a crew of around twenty. The characteristics of the boat were not particularly important in the fishing operation. However, from May to October, the same vessel, with somewhat under half the crew, was used for fishing for bonito and tuna. They used the dynamic technique of trolling, putting out long rods to cast the tackle out on either side. This consisted of a single or double hook, covered with feathers or corn leaves and decorated with a piece of coloured cloth or wool to mimic a fish. The boat was designed to reach the necessary speed to make the lures dance around in the water and thus trick the tuna into biting.The tuna boat was the largest of all the inshore vessels at around 13 metres in length. From December to March it was used for bream fishing. For this task, which was performed using trawl lines, it had a crew of around twenty. The characteristics of the boat were not particularly important in the fishing operation. However, from May to October, the same vessel, with somewhat under half the crew, was used for fishing for bonito and tuna. They used the dynamic technique of trolling, putting out long rods to cast the tackle out on either side. This consisted of a single or double hook, covered with feathers or corn leaves and decorated with a piece of coloured cloth or wool to mimic a fish. The boat was designed to reach the necessary speed to make the lures dance around in the water and thus trick the tuna into biting.

Tuna boats leaving the port of Ondarroa at dawn, by Darío de
Regoyos. The painting shows the figures decorating the sails, used
to identify different boats at a distance.
Tuna boats leaving the port of Ondarroa at dawn, by Darío de Regoyos. The painting shows the figures decorating the sails, used to identify different boats at a distance. © José Lopez
The San Francisco, a tuna boat from Bermeo, photographed in
1917. These were the last years of sail-powered fishing boats;
having competed with steam boats for several decades, they had
grown to be up to 16 metres in length. This is a "txalupa handia",
(large chalupa in Basque), a name given to the larger decked tuna
boats that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century.
The San Francisco, a tuna boat from Bermeo, photographed in 1917. These were the last years of sail-powered fishing boats; having competed with steam boats for several decades, they had grown to be up to 16 metres in length. This is a "txalupa handia", (large chalupa in Basque), a name given to the larger decked tuna boats that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. © José Lopez

Tuna boats in harbour after passing the sand bar in
Hondarribia.
Tuna boats in harbour after passing the sand bar in Hondarribia. © José Lopez
Brokoa. Large tuna boat built by the Itsas Begia association
from Saint Jean de Luz, based on a plan in the Mutiozabal collection.
The advantages of this type of boat were demonstrated in the
voyage between the Breton town of Douarnenez and Sokoa, completed
in just 42 hours, in the summer of 2006.
Brokoa. Large tuna boat built by the Itsas Begia association from Saint Jean de Luz, based on a plan in the Mutiozabal collection. The advantages of this type of boat were demonstrated in the voyage between the Breton town of Douarnenez and Sokoa, completed in just 42 hours, in the summer of 2006. © José Lopez

Albacore.
Albacore. © José Lopez
Hake.
Hake. © José Lopez

Bream.
Bream. © José Lopez
The tuna boats had washboards which were placed on the
gunwale to increase the freeboard when under sail and prevent
water from getting into the vessel. The sails were generally decorated,
and the hulls too were painted with motifs to make them easier
to identify. In this case, a white border frieze can be seen beneath
the gunwale with alternating rectangles.
The tuna boats had washboards which were placed on the gunwale to increase the freeboard when under sail and prevent water from getting into the vessel. The sails were generally decorated, and the hulls too were painted with motifs to make them easier to identify. In this case, a white border frieze can be seen beneath the gunwale with alternating rectangles. © José Lopez

The Marquis of Folin, harbourmaster at Bayonne, took a great
interest in the smaller Basque vessels, making studies and plans of
various types of boat. This drawing shows the arrangement of the
rods along the side of the tuna boat in some detail.
The Marquis of Folin, harbourmaster at Bayonne, took a great interest in the smaller Basque vessels, making studies and plans of various types of boat. This drawing shows the arrangement of the rods along the side of the tuna boat in some detail. © José Lopez

Example of the watertight deck. The larger tuna boats were a
result of the requirement by marine authorities that all boats should
have a watertight deck. This rule was introduced to reduce the
number of wrecks suffered by open-sided tuna boats.
Example of the watertight deck. The larger tuna boats were a result of the requirement by marine authorities that all boats should have a watertight deck. This rule was introduced to reduce the number of wrecks suffered by open-sided tuna boats. © José Lopez

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