Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BOATS on old indian banknote DHOW

A dhow (Arabic,داو) is a traditional Arab sailing vessel with one or more lateen sails. They are primarily used along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, and East Africa. Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, while smaller dhows typically have crews of around twelve.
Even to the present day Dhows make commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion. Their cargo is mostly dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands in the Persian Gulf. Often they sail south with the monsoon in winter or early spring and back again to Arabia in late spring or early summer.

The term "dhow" is also applied to small, traditionally-constructed vessels used for trade in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf area and the Indian Ocean from Madagascar to the Gulf of Bengal. Such vessels typically weigh 300 to 500 tons, and have a long, thin hull design.

Also, it is a family of early Arab ships that used the lateen sail on which the Portuguese likely based their designs for the caravel known to Arabs as sambuk, booms, baggalas, ghanjas, and zaruqs.
For celestial navigation, dhow sailors have traditionally used the kamal. This observation device determines latitude by finding the angle of the Pole Star above the horizon.


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