Log in
Article search:

Latest news for Wednesday 12 July

Madagascar: Where France's maritime history sails on bbc.co.uk

Madagascar's current master shipbuilders can all trace their skills back to just one family who arrived on the African island more than 150 years ago. In the 19th Century, schooners were a familiar sight along France's northern coast, their majestic sails fluttering in the wind. Nowadays, they have been replaced by boats which are far faster, more efficient - and less romantic. But there is still a corner of the world where a new generation of carpenters is keeping old maritime traditions alive by crafting these vessels to original standards. The mastery shown by carpenters working in the town of Belo-sur-mer on Madagascar's west coast is respected around the world - at least one of their beautifully crafted schooners has been sent to collectors in France in recent years.... click for full story