This model is not a normal kit, but in a way it is. When I was building the 19th century Menorcan Shipyard I liked the drawing on the wall of the ship they were building, so I decided to make a duplicate of the tiny image, and enlarged it to build this beautiful ‘xabeq’.
This is the second Jágeba I have made. Several years after making the first, I resumed the dream of building another one. I went back to Rincón de la Victoria (Málaga), took photographs and got the real dimensions of one of the vessels I found. With all this I got down to work: drawings, scale plans, cover design …
Nowadays there are diverse shallow-draft fishing boats which share not only an etymological origin, but also a common history: the jábega, in Malaga (southern Spain); the xabec (very similar to “the catalan”), in the Balearic Islands; the sciabecco, in the south of Italy, and the sambuk, in the Red Sea.
This was my first “difficult” scale model. It took me more than 300 hours to finish it, and with it I discovered how little I knew. It was not just a large and complex ship, but a mix between ship and diorama, which taught me what life was like for the men who lived and died in it. Several years later, I used the plans to design and build a cross section of the same ship, that you can see under “Dioramas” category.
This model is, at the same time, into two categories, ships and dioramas, since it presents a boat recently washed up on the beach with the help of a winch. It was made following a photographic report by the author, for which the distinctive elements of this typical fishing vessel from Málaga (southern Spain) were manufactured and added.