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Modern Canoe Building in Brazil

In our last article we introduced you to the dug-out canoes of Bahia. In chapter two of the story of Brazil’s traditional boats we show you how the natives have adapted their boat building methods to cope with modern legislation. In the Bahia de Todos os Santos and in neighbouring Camamu the dug-out canoes are low and narrow – and slow. Even the bigger ones, which accommodate six fishermen, are relatively low and very slow. They are evidently very heavy.…

Dug-Out Canoes on the Bahia

Traditional boats have always been a big passion of mine. They appeal to my interest, as a sailor, in all other watercraft, and they also tickle my perpetual fascination with history. Having now spent three and a half years messing about on the east coast of South America we’ve had the chance to get to know the local boats pretty thoroughly; and certainly I’ve had the chance to compile a vast portfolio of photos of the various craft. Whilst I…

Zen and the Art of Boat Building

Two years – that was how long it had taken us. Looking back, I can hardly believe that we managed to achieve so much in such a short period. In two years we had turned a badly-built, 50 foot hull and deck into a sturdy, seaworthy vessel! However, at the time it did not seem to us that we had achieved anything remarkable; indeed, at the time it felt to us as if we were working with iron balls chained…

Loo Bloos – Solving the problems of shipboard sanitation

Picture the scene: You’re three days out from the Marquesas, on your way to Tahiti. The moon is almost full, and a silvery-white path leads all the way over the black sea to the edge of the world. A steady force five fills the belly of the mainsail, and the genny is also pulling nicely. There’s nothing needs doing – the wind vane is in control – and you can sit back and soak it all up. That’s what our…

The Best Kind of Kayak for Yotties

In our previous article we listed lots of jolly good reasons for carrying a kayak aboard your yacht. But kayaks and canoes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be made from all sorts of different materials. Which sort is best for carting about while you sail? Canoe or Kayak? To begin with, let’s sort out the nomenclature. What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe? When I was a kid, whatever shape they were and…