The Lab is offering to students the opportunity to understand the basic principles of ancient and traditional shipbuilding, through practical experience.
The Traditional Boats Lab has been operating since September 2015 in the warehouse area of the University of Cyprus. The purpose of the Lab is to offer students the opportunity to understand the basic principles of ancient and traditional shipbuilding, through practical experience. The students practice shipbuilding and learn the use of shipbuilding lines through the manufacture of scaled wooden models.
The Lab also contributes in the protection and conservation of the maritime cultural heritage of Cyprus. Traditional boats - the last surviving witnesses of shipbuilding evolution of thousands of years - are systematically studied and recorded by the students.
The Lab, with the purpose of studying nautical tradition, has taken action to rescue traditional Cypriot vessels. Traditional wooden boats of various types are kept at the Lab and are preserved by practising the old techniques. The Lab also has a collection of rare objects and tools of traditional shipbuilding and fishing, some of which are already exhibited at the Museum of the Sea in Ayia Napa.
Also, the Lab is constructing copies of traditional Cypriot boats and is organizing various workshops with the involvement the stakeholders such as old craftsmanship, the fishing community and the local museum.
The Lab is funded by the University of Cyprus and more specifically is a part of the Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) . The Lab has 2 persons working full time. The Lab is using funds from the participation in research EU projects.
Evidence of success
-650 students have practicing the recording of traditional vessels, as well as tools and objects related to traditional shipbuilding and fishing
- The Lab has reconstructed and is keeping in its premises (7) traditional wooden boats of six different types,
- Restored sections of all types of vessels used in Cyprus,
- Preserving fishing gear from the traditional wooden boats.
- Extensive collection of small fishing gear
- Workshops with the involvement of local stakeholders.
Difficulty for the students to use their gained knowledge afterwards, in the market since there is no any demand for traditional boats and only couple of traditional boat yards exist in Cyprus.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Lab is a dynamic venue of educational activities and preservation of traditional wooden boats. It is an example for the preservation of material and intangible elements of the maritime heritage.The initiative also put an emphasis on the need to preserve and disseminate old craftsmanship, building traditions and skills. An activity that is involving different stakeholders for preserving maritime cultural heritage based on active engagement of the University, the fishing community and the old craftsmanship. It could be further exploited and give emphasis on the economic opportunities that this activities could generate, especially by engaging the young students to continue the preservation of this old craft.