For love of a boat – Trechandiri

Paleochora, Crete 2009

I have started reading Mike Smylie’s ‘Fishing the European Coast’.

In 153 pages, he has written a comprehensive series of notes and reminiscences on the very wide range of boats found around the European coast.

It is the perfect overview for someone who enjoys differences in boat design  from port to port, from local conditions to local conditions, from culture to culture . . . as well as for someone interested in the evolution of craft.

For example, over the past year, I have posted many images of Greek trechandiri. Smylie writes:

“The trechandiri is the workhorse of Greek coastal fishers . . . . . The advent of motors in the 1920s simply produced a fatter, fuller body section, while in profile they were unchanged. Once the rig was removed, superstructures were added! They are ubiquitous throughout the Aegean – that sea of thousands of islands, and have one thing in common, a length/beam/depth ratio of round about 9:3:1. There are two schools of thought on their origins. Some say they developed from a particular type of caique, first built in Hydra in 1658, while others suggest they evolved from the trabaccolo, a type of sailing vessel used for trading in the Adriatic.”

Agios Nikolaos, The Mani, Greece 2007

Length/beam/depth ratios have taken on a new meaning :-).

Mr Smylie adds to what I learnt from the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth earlier in the year and from Denham’s book on ‘The Aegean’.

And the images have taken on a new meaning too.

For the origins of this image series, here

3 thoughts on “For love of a boat – Trechandiri

  1. Hello

    Nice article and as it seems, interesting reading material suggestions 😀

    The word Trehandiri (Τρεχαντήρι) is loosely translated to ‘A fast boat’ which is kind of obvious for the first picture (a long and narrow boat that does not upset the water around it too much, a bit like the rowing skiffs) but not so obvious for the boats in the second picture that look more stable (wide) than fast 🙂 So perhaps they were termed ‘Fast Boats’ because they were also powered by motors.

    The designers had to strike this balance between speed / stability / useful volume (after all you still need space for all the fish harvest 😀 )…These dimensions and other design elements were defined (or rather homed in) without mathematical models and simulations in different sea states at expensive experimental facilities.

    I think that this is a good reason to preserve the boats and relevant pieces of the art from that era…(and of course not only the Greek fishing boats)

    All the best

  2. Pingback: On sailing a Folksong – evolving designs « bill’s boatblog

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