Monday, September 5, 2011
Building the Rebelo
Hakan Ericsson told me of the Rebelo of Portugal, a traditional transport vessel once made entirely by hand. He suggested we visit A Cidade Surpreendente to see how a Rebelo was built and the process documented on film.
The build adhered to the Nordic method of naval carpentry, as in the formation of the hull before assembly of the frames. With no power, only human effort and without molds, the boat form was obtained from traditional measurements - the art and practice of many generations.
The site chosen for building the boat was the town of Lomba, a few kilometers from Porto, Portugal. The work takes place in a large open space, allowing the eye to measure the grace of the hull in the perspective and enjoyment of the river.
There are five shipwrights, ranging from 59 to 80 years of age.
The story is told in Portugese but the photos are in the language of art.
Courtesy of Carlos Romao.