A uniquely Maltese boat, the luzzu together with the dghajsa is the “unofficial” Maltese national symbol. The days when Valletta’s Grand Harbour was littered with these colourful boats are long gone. However, the Maltese boat has stood the test of time and is still alive and kicking today.
Believed to be of Sicilian origin, these multi coloured boats can be found today in all Maltese fishing villages. They are indeed one of the main attractions in Marsaxlokk, which is Malta’s largest fishing village.
You can also catch a glimpse of these unique Maltese boats at Wied iz-Zurrieq, Marsascala, St Paul’s Bay and at many other seaside villages. When the sea is dead calm and it’s a clear and beautiful summer day, you may get the opportunity to catch a solitary luzzu out at sea – a soothing and breathtakingly beautiful sight that will make a perfect postcard moment.
This Maltese boat is a highly sturdy sea craft and is very much preferred by the local fishermen to other modern sea crafts. Th boat is built from wood and it is believed that the design dates back to hundreds of years. In the old days, it was much smaller and had sails. Nowadays, these boats are much larger and are powered by a diesel engine.
Red, blue and yellow are the predominant colours in these boats. Although other bright and vibrant colours can be used as well. The colours of the boat are rarely ever changed, mainly out of superstition.
So a fisherman will continue painting his boat in the same colours that his father and grandfather had used before him. Superstition plays an important role with these boats. All Maltese boats have the Eye of Osiris painted on them. The eye is believed to protect the fishermen from any harm when they’re at sea.