Ctg delivering big game fishing boats
“A boat in harbor is safe, but that’s not what boats are built for” – John Shedd’s famous quote paints a picture of the life of those who live by making or sailing boats. It is, indeed, a life that requires constant movement.
For those who live near seas and rivers, it is common to see giant boats floating ashore after an extraordinary fishing trip or long-distance voyage; the same goes for the jubilant atmosphere that such an event brings to the ports, ghats and their surroundings.
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Years before the medieval era, fishing was mainly done using small dinghies, reed boats, rafts, canoes, dinghies, rampini boats, etc., constructed using tree bark. Archaeological excavations have found evidence that canoes were one of the oldest types of boats.
But over time, as empires and nation states began to take off, fishing became intertwined with larger economic goals, leading to the need for bigger fishing boats.
One of these “new-age” boats is the fishing trawler, a particular type of boat that catches fish through “trawls”, which are a kind of net designed to trap fish from the depths of the sea.
For Bangladesh, the manufacture of these larger boats depended mainly on international trade. But with industrial and technological development, we are now building our own large-scale boats.
In Chattogram, on the northern bank of the Karnaphuli River, in the region of Kalurghat and Charpathorghata, there are several establishments where huge fishing boats are made from scratch. In addition to that, they also transform unusable boats by repairing them and turning them into brand new ships.
The foundation and structure of deep sea fishing boats are different from an ordinary boat, as these boats have to go deep into the ocean and survive big waves. Fishermen spend a month or several days on these boats for a single trip. This is why these trawlers are designed more like ships.
Each large boat can accommodate 15-20 people and stay in shape for at least 8-12 years. They come with large compartments below deck for storing fish.
The manufacture of such a boat is quite a delicate and critical process, as there is little room for mechanical error. The process is divided into four parts. Most of it involves framing and shaping the wood into the exact shape required by the design, while setting up the motors, steel plating, welding and upholstery are other important elements, Md said. Akter, which has been building boats for over 24 years.
The whole process, including engine import, carpentry, welding and storage until delivery, is controlled by the authorities. Many companies invest heavily in the sector every year. Each company can build three or four boats in a year.
Each large boat costs around Tk 80 lakh to Tk 1 crore to build, while smaller ones cost around Tk 25 to 40 lakh, the builders said. This includes the salaries of architects, blacksmiths and blacksmiths. Other accessories such as durable nets, maintenance and residual expenses make the whole process expensive. However, this is facilitated by the government grants enjoyed by the industry.