The Art of Dhow-building in Kuwait
Ever since Kuwait emerged in the 18th century as a young maritime state with an extreme dependence on the sea, it has been renowned for the consummate skills of its sailors and dhow-builders.
Kuwait's shipwrights became justly famed for the beauty, seaworthiness and practicality of their vessels, which were to be encountered in all the ports of the Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the western Indian Ocean. They were also bold innovators. Towards the end of the 19th century, dissatisfied with the performance of the stately traditional baghlah as a deep-sea cargo vessel, they developed the distinctive Kuwaiti boum, which rapidly became a symbol of Kuwait's maritime prowess on all the dhow routes linking Arabia, Iran, India and East Africa.
This book describes in detail how Kuwaiti shipwrights built their vessels, in particular the boum. As with dhows everywhere, this was done entirely by hand and eye, without any drawings of any kind. There are chapters on celebrated master builders and famous dhows, on sails, rigging and launching, and on tools and timber. There is also an extensive glossary of Kuwaiti nautical terms.
Today the era of Kuwait's sailing dhows is long gone. In The Art of Dhow-building in Kuwait Dr. Ya'qub Al-Hijji, himself a Kuwaiti maritime historian, provides a timely memorial of the craft industry which sustained this unique maritime nation. It is lavishly illustrated with drawings, colour photographs and remarkable old black-and-white images. The latter, from the first half of the 20th century, include many by Alan Villiers, and form an eloquent pictorial elegy on the passing of a great maritime tradition.
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Launching a New Dhow
The Economics of Dhowbuilding
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Abd al-Rasul adze Ahmad bin Salman Al-Dhow Al-Saqr Alan Villiers Arabian Arabian Sea Badri baghlah baqqarah battil Bayan boat boums built building a dhow built in Kuwait cargo centre construction crooks deck beams deep-sea boum deep-sea dhow dhow basin dhow captains dhow sail dhow-building in Kuwait dhow-yard dhows built double-ended famous Fath al-Khair fitted fixed garboard garboard strakes Gulf ports gunwale Hajji Salman halyard hull planking India Indian rupees jalbut Jasim keel key ribs Kuwait Foundation Kuwaiti bourn Kuwaiti dhow longboat main deck mainmast mainsail master builder medium-sized Muhallab Oman pearling dhows pearling fleet Photographer unknown piece of timber plumb-line poop deck qata rope rudder sailors Samhan sanbuk seaworthy sheaves ship shipwrights shipwrights of Kuwait shu'i small dhows Sons of Sinbad stem-head stern sternpost stringer Taisir tashalah teak tons burthen Top left Top right topmost transom type of dhow type of wood vessel voyage waterline yacht yard