From all shipbuilding materials, wood is the most environmentally friendly: it comes from nature and once its useful life is over, it returns to nature with little or without impact on the environment; energy consumption in the overall building cycle is minimal. For all these reasons, timber construction has the lowest environmental impact with an effect called “carbon sequestration“.

Galicia is currently the region in Europe with the highest density of active riverside carpentry: twenty shipyards that make up the Galician Association of Shipyards (AGALCARI); this industry provides a service for an important professional fishing and aquaculture fleet built in wood which requires a maintenance and renovations; it also responds to the growing demand for traditional vessels, the gradual entry into the leisure marine sector and the constant need for ship carpenters in respect of decks, superstructures and models.

In Europe, during the latest years, promotion movements of wood as a raw material have started to emerge based on its ecological benefits, as well as on the advantages of its sea performance.

European projects such as NEA (Náutica Espacio Atlántico), DORNA (Desarrollo Organizado y sostenible de Recursos en el Noroeste Atlántico), or WOOBTA (WOOden Boatbuilders Training Association), have the organisations involvement from Spain (especially Galicia), France, United Kingdom, England, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Norway, among others. These initiatives also seek to promote sustainable management of forest holdings and the use of local species, through of a proper certification of the origin of the custody chain.

The usage of wood applying mixed techniques and in combination with other materials (epoxy, water-based resins and finishes, etc.), is resulting in technically optimised professional vessels for their use in the aquaculture and small-scale fishing auxiliary industry; respectful techniques with the shapes and traditional methods of construction are used and generate their own work niche with the necessary activities of repairs.

In this context, training is one of the keys to the activity revitalisation which requires highly qualified staff. The courses in the wood department of the Aixola Training Centre include the teaching of traditional construction techniques together with new technologies and innovative materials: the “sew and paste” system allows the plywood use for the elaboration of flat shapes; wooden laminates on non-flat shapes with the casting system; also, wood is  combined with other materials to make fibre coating on wooden surfaces or using bark in combination with laminates. 


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