Monday, December 27, 2010

Yucatan East Coast Mexican Traditional Sailing Craft

Balearic lateen rigged boat

Lateen boat at Port Olympic

Sri Lankan Proa high and dry

The Proa being launched

In the summer of 1998 I crewed aboard the yacht ‘Secant’ for a cruise along the southern coast of Spain and the Balearic Islands. Now and again I had opportunities for taking photographs of traditional local sailing craft. They all had lateen rigs, as your can see from photos reproduced here.

When I visited Sri Lanka I had the wonderful experience of sailing a local proa rigged with a reversible sprit sail.

Early in the New Year* I shall be holidaying in Mexico at Playacar and I shall be looking for traditional sailing vessels there, but an Internet search has not provided a single link to any such craft. I can’t believe the place can be so devoid of local ingenuity for the purposes of fishing. There surely must have been beach boats capable of being launched through the Atlantic surf or ones suitable for fishing on the Bahia de la Ascension or the Bahia del Espiritu Santo.

My disappointing google only came up with modern small sailing catamarans based at the private beaches of hotels. The hotel where I shall be staying lists among other activities, sailing catamarans, windsurfing, kayaking and bodyboarding.

Well, if you know of any traditional local sailing craft in the region of Playacar on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, please drop me a line via the comments facility.

*That’s if the weather permits flights to operate from Gatwick. I take nothing for granted, for we cannot know our future.


Sri Lankan Proas

Memorable Cruise Part 1 (Aboard the Yacht ‘Secant’)


Smilicus said...

Hello Bill

Hope you are enjoying the festive season. I would like some info on the performance of Caleb, you Selway FIsher 50/50 sailing canoe. If you are willing to share your thoughts on the performances of the selway vs the bufflehead, I would appreciated it.

My email:

P.S. love all the small boats you put on your blog

William Serjeant said...

Hello Smilicus,

You've probably seen my article about 'Caleb'at:

This page has several links to pages featuring 'Bufflehead'.

I'm not able to compare performances, as both vessels have not been sailed or paddled together.

I think 'Caleb' would be the easier boat to build, and probably cheaper.

'Caleb' is an inch wider than 'Bufflehead'.

Hope this helps.


Smilicus said...

Yes Bill, thank you, read all your articles regarding caleb and the bufflehead. I was leaning towards caleb, since it would be cheaper since there are no kevlar involved in the construction. Enjoy the festive season.