Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Traditional Boats in East Timor

Boats have always facinated me. In East Timor I observed that almost all the boats used by the local fisherman are traditional wooden boats and all of them have out riggers. These boats are really the fore fathers of the modern trimaran.The average length of the boats are about 10 ft long. Most of the fisherman uses the boat in the protected lagoons and the calmer coastal water within a km or so from the shoreline. It takes about 4 person to carry the boat into and out of the water.
Basically they either go out alone or at the most with one other friend.

This is the season where they can catch a lot of sardines using a small drift net. I bought some of these fresh and delicious sardines to be deep fried with curry and chilli powder for dinner. mmmm ..its delicious!I suppose it is child's play to handle one of these narrow "trimarans". The two out riggers really adds much stability to the narrow canoes.
Basic designs for the boat are a narrow sharp nose and tail.I do not see nails being used to make the out riggers. These pieces of wood and bamboos are just lashed together. If anyone of you know anything about Wharram cats, they are built almost exactly like these...ropes are used to lash the hulls together.
Pieces of flattened bamboo are then laid inside the boat to be served as floor boards. again these are just lashed on to the boat

This 30 footer is only powered by a 15 hp Outboard engine. It can achieve a spped of about 16 kts.
In my opinion, these are very well built boats with a proven design which some modern boats are even trying to emulate!

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