Monday, October 22, 2012

Building a Caballito

Carlo selecting reed bundles on Huanchaco beach
Building a Caballito begins with selecting four solid bundles of reeds of more than two meters in length. The boat is built in two main hull pieces, each containing a mother piece and a child piece, which goes inside of the mother piece one meter from the stern.

Victor and Carlo begin typing the mother bundle together

One the bundles are prepared, broken pieces and unwanted reeds discarded, the mother pieces are tied together four times around at the base with thinner rope.

Carlo putting foam in the child piece
Once a little foam, obviously a new practice for better floatation, is put inside the child piece, both child ´pieces are wrapped tightly.

Tying the mother and child together
The child pieces is then put inside the mother piece, using a reed as a measuring stick, one meter from the back end. This creates a basket on the back used to put fish in, so they wont flop out in the waves.

pulling tightly on the ropes
Once tied tightly, and tightened twice, the two hull pieces, with both mothers and child pieces, are tied together using larger rope, roughly eight times. An intricate tying system runs the rope laterally on each side to the next full hull encircling of the rope. Over the basket, rope runs on each side for the placement of bamboo for strength later.

Using larger rope to ties the entire thing together, basket in the back for fish can be seen here
Using the knees, the hull is bent upwards, allowing the boat to buck over the waves easily, and giving it its characteristic shape. Once bent, the boat is tied even tighter to maintain its shape.

finishing touches on the tip, curved high to buck over the waves
The ends are tied tightly until they come to a point no larger than a human thumb.

Carlo carrying the boat to the water, note to pieces of bamboo placed in the basket for strength.
When the boat is finished, it can be carried dry over a shoulder. It weights roughly one hundred pounds at this point. When wet it can weight much more. The fisherman sit, as if sitting on a horse, just one large rope pass up from the basket, right in the center of the Caballito. Ridding the Caballito over the waves is a beautiful experience. With feet dipped into the cold water, and full body rocking, it is an quick and natural connection to the water.

Riding over the waves to go fishing

1 comment:

  1. Hi Will! Good to see you're still building canoes! I see you are still in Peru...where are you going next?

    Check out our blog and see what we've been up to since we met in Puno.

    Looking forward to see you in Oslo in may 2013!