19th to 21st of May 2020

An "ecological" boat with the Vigo stamp

The Astilleros Lagos shipyard is constructing a small, 5.5-metre long, low-consumption wooden craft whose design has been published in the prestigious North American magazine WoodenBoat. Astilleros Lagos, founded in 1915, is devoted to restoration and maintenance of wooden pleasure craft in amongst the large Vigo shipyards. Among the giants of steel such as Construcciones Navales P. Freire, Armón and Barreras, a small company survives, devoted to restoring and maintaining wooden pleasure craft: Astilleros Lagos. This firm, founded in 1915, has recovered its boat building work with the design and manufacture of an ecological, low-consumption outboard engine boat that has been highlighted by the North American magazine WoodenBoat.

"The idea to design the craft arose when the magazine organised a competition at a time when the price of oil was sky high," explained Mr. Alberto Lagos, the shipyard's head. The competition asked for the construction of a craft of any material, with a series of features, among which the most important were that it was efficient, had low consumption (so it could keep up a cruising speed of 15 knots, with four adults aboard, and consume less than 7.6 l/h), and a length of less than 5.65 metres.
"At the end of last year we were pleasantly surprised to see our boat published in the magazine as the most remarkable design after the winner, a very similar boat from an American boatyard," said Mr. Lagos.

The shipyard's inspiration for the design came from a boat constructed by them in the 1950s, although the length was increased to 5.5 metres. "We gave it a modern style profile and we added a great number of details that are indispensable in modern day craft, such as a central console, deck and minimum electrical system," he said.
Once the main dimensions were established, the boatyard began to optimise its forms by using a speed prediction program for planing craft. A detailed study was also made of the weight, in order to calculate exactly how much the boat was going to weigh and so act on all the elements coming into play to achieve minimum weight, which was key to gaining low power and minimum consumption.
"The most complicated part was the structural calculation to obtain a craft with a minimum of weight and yet with a structure capable of withstanding 25 knots sailing in particular waves. The aim was for all the elements to have a structural function with none of them adding superfluous weight," added Lagos.
The hull and the structure are finished, the upper deck also and the inner floor, where the central console will be located. The prototype is being built by carpenter Mr. Fernando González, who joined the yard recently after his training and placement at the Escuela Obradoiro Mar de Vigo craft school, and who has the assistance in some of the tasks of Mr. Paulino Ferreria, a veteran coastal carpenter.

"From the first moment it was clear to us that if the boat was destined to be a clean, ecological low-consumption craft, it had to be made of wood," said Mr. Lagos. What needs to be done now to finish the vessel is reinforcement of the exterior with fibreglass fabric to improve the wood's resistance to abrasion, and finally the work to finish, varnish and paint it. "Once all that is over, the various metal works will have to be installed to complete the craft, and then the outboard motor installed," he added.
In its day, Astilleros Lagos built sailboats of up to 16 metres, competition launches and light sailing craft. The FEUGA Foundation has also participated in the ecological boat project. (Source: FARO DE VIGO)

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