Étretat is a town in the French department Seine Maritime, located on the coastline of the Pays de Caux, in Normandy. Étretat is well known for its high cliffs of white limestone that, together with the beach located next to them, attracted many artists such as Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet.
This beach with pebbles and quite steep, is the one that, in the absence of natural shelters, gave rise to the characteristics of the boat with which the local fishermen worked, which was known as “caïque”. The boats were stranded on the top of the pebble beach, pulling them with the help of robust winches, with the work of the local maritime community. This way of operating required that the boats had a structure at the same time very resistant and light, which was achieved with clinker construction, with elm strakes that formed a hull of scarce draft and a keel in oak slightly curved to facilitate the pull operation.
As a coastal fishing vessel, it practiced different fishing gears according to the season of the year and the type of capture. It had a great versatility in terms of its rigging. With good weather, he had a large canvas with a lot of cloth, which was almost oversized. When the wind cooled, the mainsail and the topsail retreated, and the main mast -whose length was more than one and a half times the length of the boat- collapsed. The ratchet sail ("borcet"), which had the peculiarity of being hoisted at the end of the boom when the entire sails were deployed, was then placed in a classic manner with the point of tack on the head of the stem, using for it the first strip of curls. A small jib could then be launched on the boom. In this way the “caïque” easily adapted to the changes of wind.
This possibility of presenting different forms of rigging has given me the idea of making the model in duplicate, in order to present both forms.