The ‘llaüt’ is the traditional trawl fishing vessel of the Balearic Islands, although nowadays it is more a piece of craftsmanship whose use is reserved to enthusiasts and its presence within the Mallorcan fleet is essentially nominal.
It is a Latin sail sailboat, measuring approximately four metres in length, with three masts and reaching up to seven knots in speed. Its consistency and stability in the water make it the perfect vessel for all manner of activities, such as recreational navigation and sport fishing, as well as meaning that it is resistant to adverse weather conditions.
The first ‘llaüt’ boat makers were known as “mestres d’aixa” (“masters of the adze”) and used native woods for their construction. Today, the majority of vessels are built with new materials and with finishes of the highest quality, like any luxury yacht.
The Menorcan association, ‘Amigos del Mar’ (Friends of the Sea), with some fifty members, is responsible for the conservation of this cultural heritage.
A true story
Given the hardship of our nautical heritage, some still choose to contribute and help get it back, our tradition does not disappear.
” A year ago I found this boat advertised on the Internet here in Mallorca. Put that was begun early in the century, I decided to come see it and bought it. It was just what I was looking for, is about 10 meters long, 12-pointed tip and weighs 10 tons.
The former owner, a gentleman Spaniard, had bought 40 years ago and it was more like what would sell. But he only wanted to sell to someone who would take care of, if not, take it to his farm and kept it. Obviously being wood rot out of the water. But for him, was like another family and he would not see it in anybody’s hands.
He told me that this was built in Felanitx llaüt and the family were mestres Creus of Porto Colom. I was rummaging and I have reached a curious situation. I went to naval records and talked to the sea captain of Palma, José F. Escalas, who gave me all the information he had of this boat, but the dates did not fit, put this ship was built in the sixties to longline fishing, when I told the former owner was surprised a lot because being Majorcan 72 years was very familiar with this boat and its former owner, and confirmed with certainty the antiquity of llaüt and history. The problem is that at that time nothing was written, produced mestres the boat and then sold it.
I, as a new owner, I am changing the rigging of one of two poles. I am changing and fixing everything inside, putting new teak deck, changing and fixing various things, distributing the weight and touch, new sailings, among other things, a very exhausted and pretty.
I have a fantastic team. An Englishman named Dany quarter Shipyard CYS he works the wood to perfection, a Frenchman, Jean Michel, an expert and artist in the whole subject of rigging and ropes. I also work with Andi, a Chilean super motivated to help me paint, sanding and paint spray. But the one that has supported me in all this is my lifelong friend Fernando Campos, without their help and fighting spirit, this project would be impossible.
My wife and I plan to sail a lot with this boat when ready. We also plan may allow the foundation Joves Navegants use with their young, I’m one of their volunteers and I love the work they do.
In the pictures you can see the progress of the restoration, working artisans, the masts, and the boat with and without poles.“