It isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat

I love to watch the boats around the island. Not so much the yachts in the marina, big or small, nor any of the modern speedboats. The boats I’m talking about are the everyday local transport, pretty much the equivalent of cars that float. And to my mind, the more character the better!

Boat, Vrboska harbour

Boat, Vrboska harbour

My favourites are the older-style wooden boats, of which there are still many. They have such graceful lines yet are so functional. You can see the years of careful repair and repaint by their owners.

Red boats, Stari Grad

Red boats, Stari Grad

This particular year’s colour in Stari Grad seemed to be red and white. Nice smart paint job! On a fairly dull day, I really appreciate having the zing of red as the complimentary colour to the blue-green of the sea! The dark red is also picked up by that building on the shore too, which is an added bonus!

Patriotic boat colours, Vrboska

Patriotic boat colour, Vrboska

Here’s another red and white paint job, this time with echoes of the Croatian national flag – nicely done! Notice too, the way these traditional Hvar boats have their prow extending upwards. It seems quite common around the Mediterranean, so it must be functional in some way, not purely decorative. Maybe for throwing a rope over in rough weather?


Y-shaped prow, Hvar

Taking it a step further, some prows are Y-shaped making for a very elegant look. This neat and tidy boat in Hvar is a fine example. Maybe it makes a handy support as you board?

Traditional leut with mast

Traditional sailing leut with mast

Most of the small fishing boats have outboard motors now, but in Vrboska we have some lovely examples of the old sailing leut. Always immaculately turned out, these boats are the pride of their owners. The Udruga Lantina Vrboska celebrates the lantin sails and brings a wonderful touch of class to the harbour.

Preparing to go fishing

Working on the boat

But no matter the style of boat, there’s always plenty to do when you have a boat. Especially since it’s out there on the water for most of the year.

After the storm

After the storm

The morning after a heavy rainstorm, for instance, is a good time to bail out all that water!

Sunken boat

Sunken boat

This boat looks to have seen a few too many rainstorms, and was resting on the bottom of the harbour. Shame!

Old boat

Now in dry dock

But when we next saw it, the boat had been pulled out, and is currently in dry dock waiting for repairs. You can really get a good view of the curvy lines of the wooden hull here – and this is a pretty large fishing boat. I find the texture of the peeling paint really exciting, artistically speaking. Not sure the owner would have appreciated it!

Abandoned in a field

Abandoned in a field

And boats are not only to be found in or near the sea. Sometimes on an inland hiking trail you’ll come across a parked boat, usually taken out of the water for winter. This one seems to have been there for some considerable time, though, and the wood is returning to the land. How did they get that size of boat up that little track, I wonder?

Blue boat

Blue boat with a happy face

Back down at the harbour, here’s different style of boat with a lot of character! Nice blue/yellow colour combination and a beautiful rope bow fender makes for a happy smiling boat!

Red dingy

Red dingy

And it’s not all large white yachts in the marina – this little red dingy and its reflection caught my eye.

Mandrac, Hvar

Mandrac, Hvar

A collection of small boats seen from above like this reminds me of shoes! Not quite matching pairs, but still! This is the scene in Mandrac, the inner harbour of Hvar town.  As you climb the hill up towards Fortica, you get a wonderful view back down over the harbour.

Boats in Lumbarda

Lumbarda harbour at sunset

And just one from the neighbouring island of Korčula – Lumbarda is a very peaceful setting for messing around in boats. This is a view at sunset of some fishing boats in the harbour there.

And lastly, did you get the quotation in the title? If not, here’s the context…

“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident. It all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on the top of it or underneath it.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

4 thoughts on “It isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat

  1. Good morning Marion – They may not, as you explained, be ordinary boats, but your pictures and write up brought them all to life. Loved both. Kitty

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