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Thread: So why did they evolve into this?

  1. #1
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    Default So why did they evolve into this?

    CAF5C704-D1A7-4497-A077-826125DF6E22.jpg4A842F3B-3B19-4C2C-BB9E-6F3874B6FFAA.jpgC4FC9E14-7F45-4E1D-8F81-7206350C5CD4.jpg

    Im on vacation in Greece and while waiting for ferries between Islands I have time to cruise the docs. While the goliath yachts of Bill Gates and the like are interesting most of my interest naturally gravitates towards traditional Greek craft made of wood.

    I learned from from somewhere (long forgotten source) that any two breeds ds of dog inner-bred with siblings will within four or so generations all look the same, and this is the nondescript mutt that you universally see wandering the streets in countries that allow it. These are supposedly the ultimate dog (evolution wise), and to prove it such mutts have won the Indiderod many times.

    Yet the same is not the case with boats. I assume tradition plays a role, but in the end seafaring is business and business relentlessly seeks efficiency. So I ask you more knowledgeable in the art of design, why are these boats the way they are? Made of wood still. Large beam. Little freeboard - for pulling nets aboard?

    Yes I have asked the captains, and they all say the same thing. “It’s a boat. Shrug. Same as my fathers, same as his father, and his father before him “

    leo
    Last edited by leop; 06-27-2018 at 08:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    The quote from the captains is the answer to your question.
    Because it works.
    That’s the way we’ve always done it.

    Occam’s razor.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Fishing the same waters for the same species in an area where the weather has been consistent, the boats reached a pinnacle of purpose a long time ago, no need to mess with what has proven to be efficient.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post

    Yet the same is not the case with boats. I assume tradition plays a role, but in the end seafaring is business and business relentlessly seeks efficiency. So I ask you more knowledgeable in the art of design, why are these boats the way they are? Made of wood still. Large beam. Little freeboard - for pulling nets aboard?


    leo
    Cdr Eric McKee discusses that


    Basically it is what is fit for purpose for the sea states, the harbours, the fishing gear, and what the owners can afford and still make a living.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Might not be so many of them left soon:

    https://www.flymetothemoontravel.com...craftsmanship/

    A study conducted by the Traditional Boat Association of Greece, recorded 14,500 wooden boats sailing in Greece about 20 years ago out of which 12,500 have been destroyed following a law imposed by the European Union in 1996 to prevent overfishing. As a consequence, only a few boat builders are left in Greece and most are small family businesses which have passed their techniques and knowledge from father to son.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    So you were in Mikonos.
    We are in these waters with Anthéa this summer.
    I hope you didn't miss the Aegean Maritime Muséum in Mikonos.
    Very interresting, telling the history of greeks boats.
    The bigger one is “Evangelistria", a Perama, i.e a coaster cargo ship. And most fishermen are still using wooden caiques today.
    Gerard.
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    Default R So why did they evolve into this?e:

    "So why did they evolve into this?" My question is why they haven't evolved. The usefulness of the original hull form is obvious enough but how have they persisted as commercial fish craft - while the weather & water are the same everything else has changed??

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Fishing the same waters for the same species in an area where the weather has been consistent, the boats reached a pinnacle of purpose a long time ago, no need to mess with what has proven to be efficient.
    Except with far fewer fish the idea that these are efficient fish catchers is absurd...Every other fishing craft world wide has gotten as big & as fast as money allows - unless constrained by fisheries laws. I've often wondered at the persistence of these small SLOW commercial fishing craft around the Mediterranean - what fishermen doesn't want to get to the fish faster than the other guy & get home sooner??? Or a hold big enough to load up when the fishing gods smile??? I'm not familiar with fishing regulations in the near shore Med but the inshore areas have been overfished (by current definitions) for decades. I strongly suspect it's laws other than tradition that account for the persistence of these hull forms in commercial fishing. I'd love to hear from somebody who can answer the query...

    In the Bristol Bay fisheries in Alaska laws limit boat size to 32ft - resulting in a whole lot more jobs...Politically efficient! Under these constraints the newer boats have beams over 15 ft & some with enough power to plane with 10,000lbs of fish. In most North American fisheries the evolution of boat types is largely a product of fisheries laws since if seakeeping or tradition were the driving factors they would have stayed with what worked decades ago. Westcoast salmon trollers are an interesting exception with 80 year old hull forms still competitive...Moe

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    Default Re: R So why did they evolve into this?e:

    Quote Originally Posted by MoePorter View Post
    "So why did they evolve into this?" My question is why they haven't evolved. The usefulness of the original hull form is obvious enough but how have they persisted as commercial fish craft - while the weather & water are the same everything else has changed??



    Except with far fewer fish the idea that these are efficient fish catchers is absurd...Every other fishing craft world wide has gotten as big & as fast as money allows - unless constrained by fisheries laws. I've often wondered at the persistence of these small SLOW commercial fishing craft around the Mediterranean - what fishermen doesn't want to get to the fish faster than the other guy & get home sooner??? Or a hold big enough to load up when the fishing gods smile??? I'm not familiar with fishing regulations in the near shore Med but the inshore areas have been overfished (by current definitions) for decades. I strongly suspect it's laws other than tradition that account for the persistence of these hull forms in commercial fishing. I'd love to hear from somebody who can answer the query...

    In the Bristol Bay fisheries in Alaska laws limit boat size to 32ft - resulting in a whole lot more jobs...Politically efficient! Under these constraints the newer boats have beams over 15 ft & some with enough power to plane with 10,000lbs of fish. In most North American fisheries the evolution of boat types is largely a product of fisheries laws since if seakeeping or tradition were the driving factors they would have stayed with what worked decades ago. Westcoast salmon trollers are an interesting exception with 80 year old hull forms still competitive...Moe
    The UK still has a sustainable inshore industry, taking prime fish, like line caught rather than trawled.
    This is a few years old, but indicative.
    http://www.cefas.co.uk/Publications/techrep/tech134.pdf
    Unlike the unseaworthy forms that you discuss, our fisheries do not tolerate such death traps.




    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 06-27-2018 at 05:57 PM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapelapente View Post
    So you were in Mikonos.
    We are in these waters with Anthéa this summer.
    I hope you didn't miss the Aegean Maritime Muséum in Mikonos.
    Very interresting, telling the history of greeks boats.
    The bigger one is “Evangelistria", a Perama, i.e a coaster cargo ship. And most fishermen are still using wooden caiques today.
    Anthea is a gorgeous boat 1st off.

    Sadly I did miss the museum. I was only on the Island for two days and the first and last days were filled mostly with logistics!

    Well if Evangelistra is a cargo ship then why does she resemble the fishing boats so much? True, fish are cargo, but wouldn’t she be more efficient with a more boxy hull?

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    Default Re: R So why did they evolve into this?e:

    Quote Originally Posted by MoePorter View Post
    "So why did they evolve into this?" My question is why they haven't evolved. The usefulness of the original hull form is obvious enough but how have they persisted as commercial fish craft - while the weather & water are the same everything else has changed??



    Except with far fewer fish the idea that these are efficient fish catchers is absurd...Every other fishing craft world wide has gotten as big & as fast as money allows - unless constrained by fisheries laws. I've often wondered at the persistence of these small SLOW commercial fishing craft around the Mediterranean - what fishermen doesn't want to get to the fish faster than the other guy & get home sooner??? Or a hold big enough to load up when the fishing gods smile??? I'm not familiar with fishing regulations in the near shore Med but the inshore areas have been overfished (by current definitions) for decades. I strongly suspect it's laws other than tradition that account for the persistence of these hull forms in commercial fishing. I'd love to hear from somebody who can answer the query...

    In the Bristol Bay fisheries in Alaska laws limit boat size to 32ft - resulting in a whole lot more jobs...Politically efficient! Under these constraints the newer boats have beams over 15 ft & some with enough power to plane with 10,000lbs of fish. In most North American fisheries the evolution of boat types is largely a product of fisheries laws since if seakeeping or tradition were the driving factors they would have stayed with what worked decades ago. Westcoast salmon trollers are an interesting exception with 80 year old hull forms still competitive...Moe
    Good points. And yet I can assure you that a good many classic “Monterey” style boats line the docks of Northern California and seam to make money.

    Perhaps the overfishing is not so much still the case, but the laws designed to prevent it are the cause. In other words the government limits your catch in order to prevent overfishing. Over the years the action has the desired effect and now there are lots of fish for everyone. Suddenly there is no need to race out and catch what others in faster boats would seek to take from you. Now the most economic boat is the cheapest boat that can hold your catch while burning as little fuel as possible.

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    Default Re: R So why did they evolve into this?e:

    [QUOTE=MoePorter;5605590]" My question is why they haven't evolved.
    Except with far fewer fish the idea that these are efficient fish catchers is absurd...QUOTE]

    You seem to be looking at this from a purely "profit" viewpoint, rather than a lifetimes income. To give just one example, a fisherman friend of mine from Plymouth used to use a "gurdy line" for fishing mackeral, he would take maybe 200 fish in a few hours, and they would be sold as "prime fish", giving a good return on his time. One day, while out fishing in a school of mackeral, two Scottish seine trawlers let loose their nets and basically hoovered up every mackeral in the area, and his mackeral catches after that day were only enough to cover his expenses. The point being, and one you seem to not register, is that one form is "sustainable", the other is not. Another side point is the payments needed to purchase a modern trawler will mean they will catch anything in order to make payments, the sad part is that a great amount of fish is sold into pig feed or fertilizer at extremely low cost, therefore encouraging more fishing and not always for human consumption, in order to pay bank loans. Now, tell me which of these methods is absurd?

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    Default Re: R So why did they evolve into this?e:

    [QUOTE=skaraborgcraft;5605871]
    Quote Originally Posted by MoePorter View Post
    " My question is why they haven't evolved.
    Except with far fewer fish the idea that these are efficient fish catchers is absurd...QUOTE]

    You seem to be looking at this from a purely "profit" viewpoint, rather than a lifetimes income. To give just one example, a fisherman friend of mine from Plymouth used to use a "gurdy line" for fishing mackeral, he would take maybe 200 fish in a few hours, and they would be sold as "prime fish", giving a good return on his time. One day, while out fishing in a school of mackeral, two Scottish seine trawlers let loose their nets and basically hoovered up every mackeral in the area, and his mackeral catches after that day were only enough to cover his expenses. The point being, and one you seem to not register, is that one form is "sustainable", the other is not. Another side point is the payments needed to purchase a modern trawler will mean they will catch anything in order to make payments, the sad part is that a great amount of fish is sold into pig feed or fertilizer at extremely low cost, therefore encouraging more fishing and not always for human consumption, in order to pay bank loans. Now, tell me which of these methods is absurd?
    Please do not confuse my use of profit as my assumed motivator for the refinement of sea going vessels as neither a statement for or against govermental control of fishing.

    That said let us move on to the original question.

    Why have these craft settled to this current design over centuries of refinement. To answer that question we must first ask why they are built in the first place, and furthermore what would motivate somone to refine them after a reasonable design had been arrived at.

    They are fishing boats, and fishing beyond the needs of the fisherman himself automatically makes the endeavor a for profit excersise. Hence my use of profit as the strongest assumed motivation for the constant refinement of these craft.

    Are there other motivations at play? Of course: tradition, pride, ability to finance, governmental control, are just a few. But which of these has remained constant over centuries?

    Will your friend continue to survive in the scenario you describe if nothing changes? Of course not.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Let's see what you can see looking at the boats. Looks like we have gill netters here, a fishery for which large power is not necessary. And 10 knots or so is plenty fast for inshore local fishing. And these hulls with small diesels are pretty economical. Years ago working on a perema which had been converted as a dive boat I was struck by the utility of the high fabric covered rails. They keep you aboard when it is rough, and for those of you that have sailed the area you know that it can get rough really fast when the meltemi blows. Said wind been know to get to F8 and blow for days shutting down big ferries and hydrofoils.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Ben, how can you tell they are gill netters?

    Why the canoe style stern? Do they do lots of backing in big seas?

    The freeboard is tinny no? Easy to haul nets, but what about swamping in big seas?
    Yes I have experienced the meltemi which is why I ask about swamping? The boats look incredibly small for what I have Sean tha Agean turn into in less than 60 min.

    Yellow pine for boat building? Is it a decent wood.
    Last edited by leop; 06-28-2018 at 07:51 AM.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    Ben, how can you tell they are gill netters?

    Why the canoe style stern? Do they do lots of backing in big seas?

    The freeboard is tinny no? Easy to haul nets, but what about swamping in big seas?
    Yes I have experienced the meltemi which is why I ask about swamping? The boats look incredibly small for what I have Sean tha Agean turn into in less than 60 min.

    Yellow pine for boat building? Is it a decent wood.
    They started out as sailing double enders. Double enders are better in a sea way even when going forwards. Consider the Redningsskøyte's by Colin Archer, and all lifeboats up until the fast high powered modern examples.

    the forward and aft flare provides reserve buoyancy. all is a balancing act.

    perhaps their yellow pine is the only decent planking stock that grows there.
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 06-28-2018 at 08:22 AM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    "The sea remains the same". If the boats swamped due to low freeboard, do you really not think they might have changed the design? There is sustainable profit, and profit for greed, the West is geared mostly for the latter and is why European boats are depleting the once sustainable fish stocks from West Africa.

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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Quote Originally Posted by leop View Post
    Ben, how can you tell they are gill netters?

    Why the canoe style stern? Do they do lots of backing in big seas?

    The freeboard is tinny no? Easy to haul nets, but what about swamping in big seas?
    Yes I have experienced the meltemi which is why I ask about swamping? The boats look incredibly small for what I have Sean tha Agean turn into in less than 60 min.

    Yellow pine for boat building? Is it a decent wood.
    Look at the big power blocks. These are hydraulically powered and are used both for long lining and gillnetting. If one is just long lining you can use smaller diameters; I also don't see any floats, marker poles or evidence of bait barrels or bait systems used in long lining. The freeboard amidships is low like many fishing craft but these boats all appear to have substantial decks and big freeing ports and high stems and sterns. The double ended hull is sea kindly running with or into a sea. As far as yellow pine is concerned it can be very good, as it is often quite resinous. Sawdust sticking to your blade.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    Ben, how can you tell they are gill netters?

    Why the canoe style stern? Do they do lots of backing in big seas?
    The freeboard is tinny no? Easy to haul nets, but what about swamping in big seas?
    Yes I have experienced the meltemi which is why I ask about swamping? The boats look incredibly small for what I have Sean tha Agean turn into in less than 60 min.

    Yellow pine for boat building? Is it a decent wood.
    The reels on the bow indicates hauling / setting off the bow. Perhaps they set by drifting back on the wind, lying to the net or line as a sea anchor. I dunno.

    As for low freeboard: what skaraborgcraft said, though I do note that one boat in your pictures has washboards/weatherboards to build up the sides ( might be to contain more catch, though). I also note that at least one of the boat's you show is transom sterned; pink sterned ones may well be a nod to tradition, personal preference. Those are pretty pretty fishing boats--more than most I have observed--so I'd hazard that aesthetics counts among the owners in that fleet.

    Kevin
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    Default Re: So why did they evolve into this?

    To Skaraborgcraft - "You seem to be looking at this from a purely "profit" viewpoint, rather than a lifetimes income." No I'm not...please don't confuse my personal opinions with my comments on the evolution of fishing boats as they bump up against over fishing, rising standards of living, fuel prices, competition with each other, etc. Sustainability is the only long term option & there are very few regulatory systems in place around the world that actually have a shot at achieving it.

    I'm still wondering what regulatory system these mildly modified traditional craft operate within - those Mediterranean boats must be catching a very high value product - or they have subsidies of some sort - in any case those boats are there because laws are preventing open competition on the resource...which is why there is still some resource to fight over!

    leop mentions an interesting example of a semi traditional craft still commercially viable-

    "Good points. And yet I can assure you that a good many classic “Monterey” style boats line the docks of Northern California and seam to make money." They do - at least the salmon trollers - catches are down but locally troll caught salmon is retailing @ $20.00- $30.00 so small, slow boats can do ok if the market conditions or the regulatory system allow it. Moe

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