Xabier Agote, as a promoter, launches the recovery of the riverside carpenters profession in a participatory association with a collaborative way of working.
The manufacture of boats in Basque history has been a very important industry being pioneers in the manufacture of boats for whaling.
Albaola is a museum-shipyard where, since 2014, the visit revolves around the construction process of the San Juan whaling ship of the 16th century. This allows the visitor to observe the live work of riverside carpenters, while building wooden boats. This formula is essentially the current way of working in Albaola. It has been characterized since its inception as an open and participatory association with a collaborative way of working. Combine professional work and volunteering.
Key factors: • Institutional support at the beginning of the project of the Oarsoaldea Regional Development Agency. Current synergy with institutions and public entities.• Associative and collaborative mode of undertaking projects. Network jobs Search for complicities with cultural and social agents.• Citizen participation formulas.• Volunteering: Support of the group of volunteers in all activities.• Commitment to self-financing and private sponsorship, in combination with public financing.• Historical heritage as a socioeconomic engine. View of the past as a tool to build a future. Economic return in the environment.• Fight for a dream. The extreme involvement of the promoter of the idea

Resources needed

40% of the funding comes from public aid. The rest of donations and the own work of the center.

Evidence of success

The involvement of companies from any economic sector and people as sponsors of pieces of the ship make this project unique if we take into account the agents that have been involve. This companies and people as exponsors are visible at the web page.
35.000 visitors in 2015.
49.289 visitors in 2016.
It has a professional structure in staff of 20 salaried people
It has a volunteer group of 400 people duly organized and regularized to work in the Project.

Difficulties encountered

Funding to carry on with the works.

Potential for learning or transfer

• It shows the private initiative in the recovery of maritime heritage.
• Seeking scientific excellence: Thanks to exhaustive research from the Parcs Canada team, Albaola can use accurate plans and information on construction techniques. These materials, along with Albaola's document and experimental study, give a strict scientific basis to building this singular boat.
• Materials and original techniques: With the same scientific rigour used to investigate the San Juan for 30 years, its replica uses the same materials as those found on the wreck. The materials are worked in the same way, using craftsmanship which respects the historical reconstruction.
• Suppliers and collaborators: Donostia/San Sebastian European Capital of Culture heads this Network so the San Juan whaling ship construction might become a collective and collaborative project and to spread its advantages and the cultural programming of this project throughout the surrounding area.

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Main institution
Albaola itsas museoa
País Vasco, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2006
End Date


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