Recording the Vernacular Boats of Cyprus- 2023

Mr. Constantinos Nicolaou

The proposed program constitutes a continuation and a building capacity on the study and conservation of vernacular boats, based on broader research conducted by C. Nicolaou on the vernacular shipbuilding in Cyprus, which is undertaken for the last 14 years. The Wooden Shipbuilding in Cyprus from the Late 19th to the Mid-20th century was the focus of the applicants Master Thesis in the program Field Archaeology on Land and Under the Sea of the University of Cyprus (2015-2019), which has been supported by the HFF.

The evolution of vernacular shipbuilding craft in Cyprus during the 20th century constitutes an excellent example of how geographic and socioeconomic changes can affect shipbuilding. Today, wooden shipbuilding in Cyprus is in the last phase of its existence and no new construction are taking place by local shipwrights.

However, it is estimated that some hundreds of vernacular wooden boats built mainly at the end of the 2nd half of the 20th century, are still preserved, found docked in fishing shelters, ports, marinas, or abandoned dry-docked in various areas across the south of the island.

Consequently, the current program aims to locate and record all the available traditional wooden boats in the Republic of Cyprus. Through the recording of the boats, a database with the maximum possible information concerning their construction and biography, will be created. The collected data will provide important information about the craft on the island and the nearby areas and will also support the preservation of the local vernacular shipbuilding craft and document the last wooden boats.

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