Reviving traditional shipbuilding on Hiiumaa island
A Local Action Group combined funding from the EAFRD and the EMFF in order to revive the long-lost heritage of traditional shipbuilding on Hiiumaa island.
A ‘Kaljas’ is a two-masted traditional schooner, which was the most common sailing ship on Hiiumaa island. There was a long tradition of building these boats; however, during the Soviet era, construction of these wooden ships was interrupted and the traditional shipbuilding techniques and knowledge were almost lost.
The Local Action Group (LAG) Hiiumaa started a Community Led Local Development (CLLD) initiative, which brought together a wide range of partners and combined European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and European Marine and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) funding to revive this traditional shipbuilding and the island’s cultural heritage. The project partners also organised training courses and workshops that allowed for transfer of knowledge and skills around these techniques, while generating income for the local community.
Within the project period, two schooners were built. The boat “Lisette” was designed with the help of the LEADER measure under the EAFRD and built with the help of the EMFF.
This initiative helped enliven the traditions of sailing and navigation among young people and other citizens.
The ships that were built are actively in use for training and other maritime activities. In the future, the plan is to keep developing these activities and traditions.
About 200–300 people have participated so far in the training days. A quite remarkable number of attendees were young people, especially for the beginner seamen trainings.