Tuesday 15 December 2009

Slowly rotting

I can’t go to a neighbouring beach without stopping to look at a particular boat and firing up a little pipe dream. Rationally I’d be better off avoiding the beach altogether but I’ve found myself making excuses to wander in that direction whenever I’m in the area with a few minutes to spare.

The boat was apparently built on the Costa Brava assuring her pedigree as a traditional Catalan llaüt or llagut or, being fairly small, gussi. Carvel built of thick pine, distinctively vertical at stern and stem and bathtub beamy amidships she looks to be on the precarious cusp between restoration and rebuild. The name painted on the side is Rocamar (literally ‘rock-sea’) a name often given to houses built on cliffs overlooking the sea.

But I’m in no position to entertain plans for restoration. Onawind Blue is the largest, most complex boat that I can afford to maintain and own. However, I can’t help feeling a genuine desire to take some positive step to save a piece of Catalonia’s maritime heritage.

I couldn’t resist leaving my name and number at the sailing club though, in case the owner comes by. Just to find out more about the boat’s history and to know if he has any plans for Rocamar.


Thomas Armstrong said...

Ben,she's a grand looking little boat. If you are certain you can't save her, perhaps you can contact the owner and through a combined effort maybe we can find the boat a new home...I think we could interest DoryMan as well.


doryman said...

Thomas, you know me too well! And, it appears that since it would be cost prohibitive to ship the boat here, I'd have to to move to the Mediterranean for the restoration. Not a hard decision to make. Maybe Ben could help me find a place to live...

In the mean time, Ben you might contact these folks:



Ben said...

Ok Michael you're hired. There shouldn't be any problem finding you somewhere to live. You're welcome too Thomas.

The pipe dream would be to get local people interested in restorating the boat and then use it as an educational resource. A nice simple idea maybe, but lets see what the owner says and if anyone in the area might be interested in this sort of project. All too often ideas like these seem to founder, perhaps more so here where it’s easy to get ensnared in all the red tape.

I’ll keep you posted.


Unknown said...

Hola, Ben!

Realment és una barca molt bonica y seria una pena que s'acabés perdent per falta d'atenció. Com molt bé dius, i ja has fet el primer pas en aquesta direcció, primer cal parlar amb el propietari i preguntar-li què en pensa fer. Potser no se'n pot ocupar i estaria disposat a cedir-la a algú que se'n volgués fer càrrec, i més si fos una associació que la fes servir per tasques educatives. D’altra banda -tot i que no es veu molt bé a la foto-, sembla que està matriculada en llista 7na., que és la d'esbarjo; per tant, si té la documentació més o menys en regla, no hauria de comportar gaires problemes burocràtics. Si estigués en llista 3a. seria molt diferent. Tu esbrina tot el que puguis de l'embarcació i de les intencions del propietari, i ja en parlarem.

En qualsevol cas, és d'admirar i d'agrair l'interès d'alguna gent de mar d'altres latituds, com el Thomas i el Michael, que saben apreciar el valor d'aquestes velles embarcacions, i segurament no costaria gaire embarcar-los en un projecte de restauració si en tinguessin oportunitat.

Aprofito per dir-te que el "Corb Marí" cada vegada és més a prop de fer-se a la mar. A més, els Reis li portaran una vela nova! A veure si la podem estrenar junts.

Una abraçada!

Ben said...

Genial Joan, ja quedarém després de les festes.
Estem en contacte.
Una abraçada!

Gavin Atkin said...

Oh Ben!

I'm sure we'll all follow your progress with a great deal of interest.

Google's Catalan-English translator isn't perfect, by the way, but it's better than having no idea at all about what Joan is saying!


Unknown said...

I am sorry, Gavin! I have tried to write the comment in English, but my English is not better than the Google translator. Perhaps, Ben can do you a summary.

Gràcies, Ben!

Ben said...


This is what Joan says:

“It really is a pretty boat, it would be a pity if it were lost for want of attention. As you say, you’ve taken the first step, the first thing to do is talk to the owner and find out his plans. Maybe he can no longer take care of it and would be happy to let you have it especially if you were an association with educational aims."

"On the other hand- though you can’t really see from the photo—it looks like it’s registered on the 7th list" (Spanish leisure craft are registered on the 7th list, fishing boats on the 3rd, training and educational vessels on the 6th) "so if all its paper work is in order there shouldn’t be too many bureaucratic problems. Were it registered on the 3rd list it would be a different story. Try and find out all you can about the owner’s plans and then we’ll talk."

"It’s admirable to see an interest from people from other latitudes, like Thomas and Michael, who appreciate the value of these old craft and it wouldn't be difficult to get them involved in a restoration project it there were the opportunity."

"‘Corb Marí’ (Joan’s fantastic lateen rigged boat) is nearly ready for the sea, what’s more there will be a new sail for Christmas, lets see if we can take it out together.”

Well there’s an offer I can’t refuse.

Gavin Atkin said...

Thanks for that! Don't Joan's refuse offer, I say!

Have a great Christmas.