Restoration of a traditional Maltese fishing boat – the firilla

Help a very rare traditional Maltese boat - a 100-year-old Firilla - to be restored to its former glory and go back to sea.

Malta Traditional Boats Association VO-2174 Culture January 10, 2024 at 10:19 am
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Project Description

In 2019 a group of friends moved by the imminent destruction of a very rare traditional fishing boat, a firilla, which was being offered for sale pending destruction, put together the sum of 500 euros to purchase this boat with the aim of saving it from sure destruction.

This initial act was to the the founding stone of what would become the Malta Traditional Boats Association. The aim of the association is to preserve the traditional Maltese Maritime heritage and rekindle and rediscover lost aspects such as tarkija and tal latini sailing. In 2021 the association became officially registered as an NGO  (VO-2174). The aims of the association are

  • To represent owners, enthusiasts, interested persons and interested groups of traditional Maltese Boats in the Maltese Islands and beyond;
  • To collaborate with national and international organisations, institutions, entities and individuals to promote, research, conserve and disseminate knowledge on traditional Maltese boats.
  • To promote, preserve and encourage research, ownership, appreciation, restoration use and building of Traditional Maltese boats,
  • To promote, encourage conservation, study and preservation of both tangible and intangible maritime heritage and traditions
  • To contribute towards the development, maintenance and amendments of national and international laws, treaties, conventions and good practices to permit the promotion, conservation, study, construction and use of traditional Maltese Boats.
  • To study and resolve common problems and challenges identified in the course of promoting, preserving and operating traditional craft in Malta
  • To promote and increase public awareness on the need to preserve traditional Maltese Boats

We are reaching out to you in order to ask for your assistance to help us fund the first stage of the Ferilla Restoration project, with the finial aim of returning this very rare boat to the sea where it belongs.

The project will have the following main stages

  1. Repair and replace wooden structural elements as needed.
  2. Paint and finish the boat
  3. Launch the boat
  4. Install the original sailing gear- tarkija on the firilla
  5. Install an electric motor on the boat.

Once completed we aim to use the boat for educational purposes, teaching  traditional sailing techniques and to participate in regattas to represent Malta in similar events in the Mediterranean. We have already secured some funds that we can use for stage 1 and 2 but we still require further funding to see the project through.

If you are interested in contributing or want to know more about the project please get in touch with us:


Malta Traditional Boats Association

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