AA comments on my Trechandiri post:
“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).”
I think AA has got it exactly right – “These dimensions and other design elements were defined without mathematical models and simulations in different sea states at expensive experimental facilities.”
Boat-building was an art before it became a science.
Men looked at the sea, applied their common sense and, using tools that they created themselves, turned local materials into craft that had value and beauty by virtue of their function.
Did they get it right first time? Probably not. But they learnt by doing. Shapes and designs evolved . . . and kept on evolving, handed on from generation to generation.
It is the vessels that are the results of this process that are being lost today. (Yes, there are still people building in this way in some parts of the world. But they are getting fewer and fewer).
Science has created a different process. The generation thing is not necessary any more – at least in the sense of person-to-person. It is more technical advance-to-technical advance. This may be spelt out in days or weeks rather than years. For example, every year new advances in technology create new products which lead to new fashions that can be seen everywhere. This year seems to be the year of the small RIB, the sit-on kayak and some very fast boats – as well as touch-screen monitors and AIS sets.
That’s great. As someone, who taps at a keyboard, posting yet more words on the internet, I like technology – and use it more and more.
But, in posting the ‘love of a boat’ series, I have noticed how technology is occluding this one important aspect of our lives: our respect for the deeper layer of human endeavour born of past generations, that lives in the present and will hopefully be passed on to our children.
It isn’t that we do not have the ability to be creative nor the willingness to gain skills, nor even that we do not care, it is that we are being hurried along a certain path that requires us to follow rather than to lead. We barely have time to assimilate one advance before the next one leapfrogs it. The pace of change is increasing.
The price of this is in many, many small losses that individually can be dismissed but in the end will add up to an impoverished society.
The demise of the ‘traditional’ craft is one of these losses.
by doing nothing.
When AA says “I think this is a good reason to preserve the boats and relevant pieces of the art from that era”, I absolutely agree with him.