View Single Post
Old 2nd June 2014, 06:42 AM   #57
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 4,026
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi

Originally Posted by fernando
Can you define earlier times ?
I wish i knew enough about sails to define the rig of this specific Dhow. It looks square (to me ) and not the bastard lateen expected in these historic ships. I wonder if this one can sail 'against' the wind, using the 'beating', a series of 'tacks' executed in a zigzag mode.
Square sails achieve faster speeds but only travel with the wind by the back (before wind, they say). They have to ponder in their route to reach a determined destination; in such way that, as is said, Cabral 'found' Brazil due to his having to sail far to West to then turn around to touch the Cape, on his way to India, whilst seeking favourable winds.
But if contrary winds constituted a serious problem for tall sailing ships, total wind absency was even lethal, when they were caught in the middle of the Ocean. The (only) alternative was to tow the ships, using their own rowing boats, to either a wind blowing area or a favourable position when in combat.
I bring this appendix to attention as, by coincidence (or not), the Dhow you posted looks as being towed, with the waters (and wind) so calm and a rowing boat right in front at close distance.
May i attach pictures of an example of lateen sail used over here, in this case a deep waters fishing boat specimen exclusive to my home town. Having disapeared from circulation in the fifties to give place to motorization, the locals built a fully functional replica totally faithfull to original techniques. This lateen sail version is called 'pendão' (pennant) due to the manner it pends from the mast, held by a huge spar.


Old times I think refers to about 1900...I have seen pictures and sketches of ships at harbour in Muscat (even today) ..The sketches and old photos show such vessels offloading cargo...rifles and provisions at Muscat. I will dig out more maritime work...
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote