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Thread: Traditional boats of the Aegean

  1. #1
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    Default Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Hi, I think that the wooden boats of the Aegean are a bit under represented in this forum. Aegean boat building tradition is not something simple, it is a crucible were Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Italians, Turks, Dalmatian pirates, Spanish mercenaries and Arabs all gave a hand to create.
    So allow me to bore you a bit with some pictures from the various types that used to, and thanks to some crazies still do, sail around this dark wine sea.
    I'm not an expert, and english is not my first language, so please forgive any mistake or misspelling. If you want any more info about the boats I'll try to answer in the best of my abilities.

    The boat you probably know more about is the trehantiri, experts now agree that it's an evolution of the dalmatian trabacoulo, specifically made for the Aegean and it's 3-3-3 waves around the 17th century. The name in byzantine greek was trohantiras and it means curved bow stem.
    Those are the plan of the sponge trehantiria that came to Tarpon Springs, Florida somewhere around 1905. I wonder if there is any left.




    A trehantiri could come in all shapes and sizes, varing form 6 to 40 meters in size, In the good old days a cargo hauling trehantiri could reach 250 metric tones capacity. Most of course were used for fishing or passenger transport caring either a lateen or sacoleva sail.




    The Larger trehantiria most of the times carried polacre, brigantine or lateen rigging and in the 20th century schonner and lugger.




    Trehantiri is an amazingly seaworthy boat, slower than the other Aegean boats but like a donkey it something that you can always depend on.

    So that is for now.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    And a couple more recent ones


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros View Post
    Hi, I think that the wooden boats of the Aegean are a bit under represented in this forum.
    Thanks for giving them proper representation. Interesting and pretty boats!

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Beautiful boats! Can you charter one in the Aegean?

    Here is one of my favorite Aegean traditional boat:


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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Thanks for these Spyros and George - they're great! Rick

  6. #6

    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    yes the bows of the trehantiri are like the baltic boats

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Can any one say anything about the extremely low aspect ratio sail plan shown in pic 1 and 2 of the original post?
    Ragnar B.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Our sailing canoes, narrow with shallow draft, use lug sails with a low aspect ratio as well. They balance very well and can carry more sail that way.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    ΞΥΛΟΓΛΥΠΤΕΣ ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΙΕΣ


    ΜΙΑ ΣΕΛΙΔΑ ΓΕΜΑΤΗ ΞΥΛΟΓΛΥΠΤΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΛΟΙΠΕΣ ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΙΕΣ ΜΟΥ. ΜΙΑ ΣΕΛΙΔΑ ΜΕ ΟΣΑ ΚΑΤΑ ΚΑΙΡΟΎΣ ΕΦΤΙΑΞΑ ΜΕ ΠΟΛΥ ΑΓΑΠΗ , ΚΕΦΙ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΡΑΚΙ.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Very cool post Spyros. I know nothing about these boats...soaking it up.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Beautiful boats! Can you charter one in the Aegean?

    Here is one of my favorite Aegean traditional boat:

    That's the granddaddy of them all. Thank you all for you interest.
    As for chartering a boat, I know that there are a couple actuall traditinal boats out there, Aegoetissa II, Peter Radclife showed is an original Karavoskaro for example.
    Do a google search, I can't really recomend one as I've never traveled with a chartered traditional boat. Most of them though are turkish motorboats. Turks are considered excellent craftmen but comercialism has ruined it for them. Gulet and Trehantil motorships have nothing to do with tradition IMHB.

    As far as the sailing ratio is concerned I don't know really, I'll forwared your question to a ship designer I've just met. Nikolas Vlavianos, he is the local man of the European Marine Heritige (EMH).
    Also there is this Facebook page that you might want to have a look at.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125776803507

    As soon as I have some time I'll continue with my personal favorite Tserniki. Here's a pic


    Also, I'll have to add that a new 12m with topsail is builded right now in Chalkis
    Last edited by Spyros; 04-10-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    More Please!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Our sailing canoes, narrow with shallow draft, use lug sails with a low aspect ratio as well. They balance very well and can carry more sail that way.
    This could be it, although I'll have to add that the very shallow drafted lake sea boats in Messolonghi used a higher ratio and the mast had no forward rake as in most sacolevas. In the aegean, spritsails like these were called ala maltese.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    I got to sail on a little lateener on the north coast of Crete once, but there wasn't much wind. At the time -- 1973 -- there were many boats that primarily relied on their engines, but still had rigs. Are there any left now?

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I got to sail on a little lateener on the north coast of Crete once, but there wasn't much wind. At the time -- 1973 -- there were many boats that primarily relied on their engines, but still had rigs. Are there any left now?
    Yes, there quite a few. Mainly used for day sailing these days.

    Tserniki

    This kind of boat represent the melting pot that is the Aegean boat building tradition better than any other type, IMHO.
    No one actually agrees about the origins of the Tserniki, the old Greek boatbuilders say that it's turkish. The Turks have something similar called Tsikirne, and some of their old master say it's greek. There is also the theory that it's an open sea development of the cernik or cirnik, a boat used in the Danube. The similarities between the Tserniki and the Arabian dhows are also many, but it also looks like a lot like the semak(?) of the north sea. Go figure.



    The fact is that it was the fastest boat out there, a 12m boat could reach 12 knots easily, unfortunately, it almost disappeared after WWII.
    Tserniki was always a small boat never reaching more than 20m, and with shallow draft. It was used mainly for fishing and some times for sponge diving.



    It always carried a sakoleva sail and sometimes a lateen.
    There was another type of boat similar to the Tserniki, but with transom and it was called Sacoleva. As you might guess it was sacoleva rigged. The transom allowed it greater cargo capacity, and it was used as a ferry and cargo hauler. Some times people do not differentiate between those two types, so if you see a sacoleva with transom called Tserniki that's ok.






    In this facebook page you can find a some photos about a reconstruction of a 12m Sacoleva curently been builded in Chalkida.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1327509095

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Thanks very much for the pics and links, form and function and a few milennia does create some beautiful boats.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Thanks. I guess sacoleva is a kind of sprit sail.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    This boat is originally from Cypres.

    Friends of mine went down there in 83 to help to restore the boat and to sail it to Germany. While down there Turkey proclaimed the northern part as independent Turkish republic and the island was once more on the brink of another war. My friends suddenly found themselves in a civil war situation with all the Greek boatbuilders volunteering to join the army against Turkey.

    Well now the boat is in the Baltic since then has changed owners several time and now sails from Wismar (East Germany) - obviously with a wrong rigg.

    I really don't know what type of ship she is. All I know is that she was built 1939 in Kalamanta/Greece and was used as boat for sponge & sea shell-diving.



    Last edited by martin schulz; 04-13-2010 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Question for you Spyros,
    The canvas and spar above the sheer; is that a stowed sail or a life rail/dodger?






  22. #22
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    It's probably a trehantiri. And yes the rigging is not anything like what you would find in Aegean.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros View Post
    It's probably a trehantiri. And yes the rigging is not anything like what you would find in Aegean.
    I had a look at her website.

    She was built 1930/31 as Kahjik (whatever that is).
    - And its a shame when boats are re-rigged just because the owner has always dreamed of sailing a schooner
    Last edited by martin schulz; 04-13-2010 at 10:53 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Forsen View Post
    Question for you Spyros,
    The canvas and spar above the sheer; is that a stowed sail or a life rail/dodger?
    I'm not quite certain I understand your question. I guess you refer to the red trehantiri. with the top sail? Your quess is as good as mine, I'm quite the newby regarding tradiotinal sailing boats. Gaff rigs with topsails are a very uncommon sight in this waters though and not really traditional in the purist sence.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by martin schulz View Post
    I had a look at her website.

    She was built 1930/31 as Kahjik (whatever that is).
    - And its a shame when boats are re-rigged just because the owner has always dreamed of sailing a schooner
    How do you spell in german caique?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ca%C3%AFque

    And yes I agree with but It's not the only example.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Great thread... Thanks Spyros

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    In the three photos I posted there is canvas lashed to a slightly curved pole running fore and aft just above the sheer line. I can't tell if it is a sail or a life rail.
    In this photo the person near the bow appears to have their right foot on it and there's another visible on the other side of the boat.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Hi Hal.This structure is used to protect the boat from the waves and also the fishermen.You can see it in todays Greek traditional boats also.I heard once that Colin Archers rescue boats has influences from the trehantiri boat.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Forsen View Post
    In the three photos I posted there is canvas lashed to a slightly curved pole running fore and aft just above the sheer line. I can't tell if it is a sail or a life rail.
    In this photo the person near the bow appears to have their right foot on it and there's another visible on the other side of the boat.

    Ok. Now I understand, it's what Stelios said above. It's a length of canvas. In the old days it was used to protect the cargo on deck, today it's been used as a safety rail

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Quote Originally Posted by mizzenman View Post
    Can any one say anything about the extremely low aspect ratio sail plan shown in pic 1 and 2 of the original post?
    About the low aspect thing. It's used for three reasons really. First in lot of cases this boat traveled empty, with no cargo, it was safer for them to use this low aspect sail. Secondly, the low aspect sail needs less hands to use and thirdly it seems that low aspect sacoleva sails behave better in upwind sailing.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Good thread. I'm enjoying your info and the pictures and comparing it to what I know of local designs here. Very interesting.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    Efkharistó!

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean



    Maybe something like this with a lateen like above? Thats a Chaniotiki Gaita, small boat of Chania but they build it all over Crete and the rest of the Aegean.

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    Default Re: Traditional boats of the Aegean

    I think that's exactly the boat. We sailed it (well, mostly motored) to Iraklion from a port I forget the name of east of Iraklion. Wish we'd had the wind to make more of the voyage under sail. I've seen pictures of boats from the '20s that have much larger rigs.

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