Wood fishing about to die

1989/03/01 Aizpurua Sarasola, Joxerra Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

We don't think this title will surprise anyone. Although the situation of fishing in Euskal Herria is more serious than serious, a fishery called “Euskal Herria” wants to bring new winds to the fishing sector. In this fishery wood has been replaced by a new material in order to predict a promising future.

We went to the Olaziregi shipyard, located at the entrance to Hondarribia, to learn more about this novelty. Erramun and Inazio are the owners of this family shipyard and it seems that this shipyard will remain “familiar”, since the youngest of the Olaziregi family also work in it. In the office located inside the shipyard, in which we faced in Erramu, we find the following interview.

Elh. : Will you tell us about the new material?

Fishing boat "Euskal Herria".

Olaz. : The material is polyester. Better said, fiberglass reinforced polyester. For each layer of polyester a layer of fiberglass is placed. The number of these double layers will be limited by the length of the vessel, although normally a double layer is placed for each meter of length of the vessel. A 24m boat, for example, has 24 double layers. This number of layers seems to have to reach a great thickness, but it is only 30 mm thick. In addition, within this layer several nerves are introduced to reinforce the set.

Elh. : You already have several years of experience in small polyester boats. But the step now is no joke. What did this step mean to you?

Olaz. : From very young when we started working with my father, wood was the work material used for many years. About twelve years ago we started manufacturing small polyester boats. The reasons why we leave this path are in the properties and advantages of polyester. The truth is that in manufacturing we have not made big changes. Wood, apart from labor, needs a lot of machinery to work with it. Polyester just needs machinery, but it needs a lot of labor: almost all the work can be said manually.

Elh. : Iron parts (motor, propeller, etc.) The attachment to the vessel has been made by welding and rivets, among others. How have you made these connections on this polyester boat?

Olaz. : In polyester you can not do what we know as welding. When you have to join the iron with the polyester, it gets into the polyester and is fastened with layers of polyester. And if this is not enough you can also use screws. Therefore, this technique is very simple and without secrets.

Elh. : How have you overcome the balance problems of this polyester boat?

Olaz. No. We have had no special problems. Experience has taught us the shape of polyester boats. It can be said that they are more chopped.

Elh. : It seems, therefore, that this new technology has not raised any special difficulties.

Erramun Olaziregi.

Olaz. No. It has not been so difficult. The real difficulty lies in making molds, but also in those of wood this is the greatest difficulty. Once the molds are made, the brush material is very mechanical. I have said before that these boats have a special shape. Experience has also taught us. When we made the first polyester ship, we made the same shape as those of wood, but after throwing them into the water we saw that it was very bad. Asking here and there, we find the right way and over the years we have gained sufficient experience in this field. But, I insist, the molds are the ones that give us the greatest headaches.

Elh. : Due to the structure of this fishery, it seems difficult to dive... However, it appears to have greater flammability than wood.

Olaz. : If it happened (i.e. hitting one end and drilling), I see it very difficult to sink the boat. The rooms and chambers with boats are totally watertight and if by some hole water would enter not pass to other rooms. Moreover, if the arrantzales have material, they can fix it themselves.

In the case of fire, it is true that polyester is more dangerous than wood, but not so much. In order for the polyester to burn the fire it must be created in itself, that is, if when mounting some polyester it burns with the wet polyester, then yes, everything will be quiet. But these conditions are very special and barely met.

Elh. : I've seen this boat with the propellers next to it...

Olaz. : Yes and no. The propulsion propeller is the same as the traditional one in other fishing fleets, but it is true that it is flanked by two propellers: one front and one back. The mission of these two propellers is to facilitate maneuvers both in the dock itself and in fishing maneuvers. Bear in mind that when the net is extended a great force is exerted on fishing and that with these lateral propellers it is possible to keep the fishery out of the net. This structure would be impossible on wooden boats.

Elh. : Do you have impact resistance?

Olaz. : In this field the polyester has bad reputation in the street. It is heard that it is light, weak, easily transportable by sea winds, etc. And it is true that when the necessary materials are not inserted. A wooden boat weighs 50 tons. Polyester would not weigh much less and, ultimately, 50 tons of wood, 50 tons of polyester or 50 tons of other substances, which cannot be moved. Therefore, with enough material, that “bad reputation” is not right.

To check the resistance to shocks, I will tell you a test in the shipyard. A polyester board of one centimeter and a wooden board of three centimeters were hit with the same load. While the wood was crushed, the polyester was only ground or cracked.

Elh. : What are the dimensions of the vessel and what is the difference compared to those of wood in terms of capacity?

The wooden boats have not yet finished.

Olaz. : The fishery is 24.30 long, 6.40 m wide and 3.35 m deep and a volume of 208 m 3. It is a wooden fishery between 27 and 28 m in length in capacity. Keep in mind that the polyester layers are much thinner than those of wood and that they are diesel tanks, engine room, etc. Once passed, when we reach the nebers, we earn 40 cm on each side. Therefore, the fishing fleet is smaller, but it has greater capacity.

Elh. : How have you made the different parts of the boat?

Olaz. : First you have to prepare the molds and that is precisely the work that costs the most. From now on the whole boat is one, that is, there are no independent parts. Therefore, from bottom to top the boat should be considered as a compact piece.

Elh. : Is this polyester fishery very expensive?

Olaz. : Two aspects should be differentiated in the cost section. On the one hand the cost of the construction of the ship and on the other the cost of maintenance.

The polyester fishery costs between 10% and 12% more than wood and between 6% and 8% less than iron. Polyester is much more expensive than wood. At us 1000 pcs. it costs us about the kilo. We've been around looking for better prices, but right now it's hard.

In maintenance, however, it is not possible to compare between a polyester boat and a wooden boat, since polyester is much cheaper.

The wooden packaging will be painted at least once a year and that of polyester every ten years. On the other hand, repairs on the helmet are easier to perform.

The duration is also higher than that of polyesters. Now it comes to mind that in England there is a 37-year-old patrol.

Therefore, if we take this reference, it can be said that a fishery of about 40 years has self-amortized enough, right?

Elh. : Do you see market in Euskal Herria?

Olaz. : I don't know if the fishermen of Euskal Herria are convinced of this new technology. In fact, the tradition of the years costs and that is normal. I know that the fishermen of Hondarribia are convinced of the possibility of this technology, because we have direct relationship with them if necessary. However, the future is related to fishing. Therefore, the future will show us whether there is a market or not.

Elh. Thank you.

Support for new technology

The shipyard is designed to make small boats and boats. The passage from wooden boats to polyester boats has not forced them to move, but this step taken since the construction of small boats requires a more appropriate space for the manufacture of large boats. The ferrones have realized this. Otherwise, there is nothing more than hearing the adventures that have had to pass through the shipyard “Euskal Herria”.

Erramun told us that there are lands they have to make a more suitable shipyard. They know that the Public Administration extends aid to the implementation of new technologies. However, it is said that fishing is black wolf in the area of subsidies, so there is no custom of subsidy. They say that they will touch many doors and ask for money, since in Spain there are only three shipyards that manufacture polyester boats.

We, taking advantage of these lines, want to give a colloquial advice to the ferrones. At present, industries or research centers take great care of the aspect or image that allows them to apply for grants, that is, lists of graduates, reports, projects, etc. they do. Although the work of the shipyards is often artisanal, the care of the appearance exposed to the outside could facilitate some strange paths.