Today we will present to you one of the synonyms of Croatian culture, the pride and joy of the people from Vis island. Falkuša is a traditional Dalmatian fishing boat from 16th century, subtype of gajeta, famous for being able to go on long fishing expeditions at the time there weren’t many ships able to do so. It is estimated that this unique vessel, nine meters long and two and a half meter wide, could carry around eight tons of salted fish barrels.
The toughness of the ship was guaranteed by cypress wood from the volcanic island of Svetac, which was the only wood used for the purpose.
What this boat, with usually 6 sailors, makes unique is reflected in the fact that its washboards could be removed during the fishing and placed back again to fight the big waves without losing precious time. In fact, everything from this vessel could be stripped down, ensuring numerous options for its sailors to adapt all kinds of conditions. UNESCO recognized the importance of this piece of maritime heritage by including it into the list of important World Heritage in 1998.
Fishing on board of falkuša was a way of survival for the people of Komiža, this spirit still lives until todays times through a regatta held every June, called „Rota Palagruzona“ (Palagruža route).
This sporting event has its origins in the 16th century. In 1593. a regatta of seventy four wooden fishing boats called falkusa was held, starting from the harbor of the town of Komiza on the island of Vis to the islet of Palagruza. It is the oldest known boat race in Europe. This race is a reminder of the tough life of the citizens of Komiža, who went on a 42 km trip, which lasted around 5 hours, to store their fish barrels on Palagruža. Effort of the race to Palagruža was rewarded by the rights for the best fishing areas, which was extremely important back then.
If you care to find out some more about gajeta falkuša or you would like to go and witness by yourself the place of its origin, contact Šugaman tours and we will organize an exciting private day trip for you.