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Friday, 1 April 2011

Capitán Valdés

We received a great email from Xavier Corredor in Catalunya, a region in North East of Spain on the Mediterranean coast which has a distinct culture and regional language. Barcelona is the regional capital. The area is a particular favorite of mine, having been fortunate to spend quite a lot of time there through work, trying not to turn this into a travel guide I'd recommend it as an area well worth visiting.

Xavier explains -

Capitán Valdés is a “bot”, a traditional small boat of the East Mediterranean sea characterized by having a transom stern. The hull is made of polyester reinforced with fiberglass, and is a modern copy of a Mallorcan design of the first half of the twentieth century. Its main dimensions are as follows:

LWL: 4.3 meters (14’ 1”) BEAM:1.72 meters (5’ 8”) DRAFT: 0.8 meters (2’ 7”)

The sail plan is called “de vela mística i floc”, that means a four-sided mainsail (truncated triangle shape) and a jib. The vertical mast is placed in the first third of length and there is also a bowsprit for the jib. This rig, which is a variant of the standard lateen rig, is typical of the Balearic Islands and, by its simplicity and ease of handling, is especially suitable for learning the lateen rig sailing.

Since 2008, I sail Capitán Valdés summer and winter with my young crew (my son and my daughter) in the Palamós bay and nearby coves. We enjoy our boat and the superb landscapes of the Costa Brava (Catalonia).

I realize that Capitán Valdés is not a traditional boat in the strict sense, since it is built whit modern materials. Easy and inexpensive maintenance was a very important factor when I acquired it. However, the rig itself is in the spirit of tradition and learn to manage it is my small contribution to the preservation of the maritime heritage of my country.

Xavier raises the ongoing question of GRP v's traditional wooden boat construction, but the fact is Capitán Valdés is in every way a traditional boat and one can also see connections to working boats in many other parts of the world. He is also very fortunate to be able to sail in such a great part of the world.


  1. You have a beautiful boat. The set of the sails is very interesting. Cheers!

  2. I'm smitten! This is a lovely boat. How can I get one in Seattle?! :-)

  3. Thank you very much for your comments!
    Tim, you can buy one in Artimar: http://artimar.webgarden.es/
    The only problem will be to sail it from the boatyard to Seattle :-)

  4. Another Smart post from you Admin :)