The Catalan traditional fishing boats or "barques" ("llaguts" in Catalan), are as old as the Mediterranean civilisation and boast a superb lateen sail, which gives them unparalleled elegance.
Despite its rudimentary simplicity, this sail has worked wonders in the Mediterranean since time immemorial. Greeks and Romans used it in their galleys, and the Barbary pirates equipped their speed boats with them to board enemy vessels.
At the beginning of last century Collioure had a fleet of one hundred "sardinals" (sardine-fishing boats) which employed more than 700 sailors. The port also included over 20 salting workshops, fifteen shippers, coopers...They faded in the '60s with the arrival of more modern and powerful trawlers.
Today, the barques float again on the Catalan coast when sailing regattas are organised.