To craft a seafaring vessel from a tree is a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation among the Kalingo people. Haul the boat – It can take a dozen men to move the boat from the bush to the village where work continues. These days, modern tools such as the chain saw, axe, adze, and square are used in building a boat, which generally takes about three months to complete.
The modern version of traditional wooden boats in Vietnam and Cambodia are all powered by diesel or gasoline engines. The dislocation caused by the partitioning of Vietnam in 1954, with some Northerners emigrating hastily to the South, caused a corresponding radical change in the distribution of traditional fishing vessels. Moreover, the American presence included a vigorous effort to encourage motorizing the South Vietnamese fishing fleet and Japanese engine makers were eager to enter the market. The forced migration and mixing of boat designs during the turbulent years of the middle twentieth century and the near-complete end of sailing working boats means that, though many local variations persist, there is a fundamental type of traditional Vietnamese fishing boat, derived from the sailing hulls, and still very viable all along the coast.
If sailing vessels could not compete with motorized fishing boats, there are still many fundamentally traditional designs that adapted to motor-power quite well. The hull is relatively slender and gracefully tapered toward both ends, no matter how large the hull is.
The bow in particular rises in a long curve with a very long overhanging cutwater reaching out over the sea. The sheer line sweeps unbroken (or nearly so) from end to end, with the stern rising well above the water, though almost never as high as the bow. There is a pilot house or at least an engine enclosure aft and a fish hold or several fish holds forward of the house.
The boat may show a vestigial bow daggerboard operating in a slot in the stem, or at least the vestige of the structure that made the slot in sailing days.
With the sole exception of the placement of the pilot house or engine cover aft, essentially all these characteristics are direct opposites of the Modern Motor Fishing Vessel.
In the far south of the country, in the Mekong Delta, the heavy freight boats are built with absolutely no framing or temporary forms until they are planked clear up to their deck edge. Not surprisingly, there are a good many boats built along the coast that are somewhere between the Traditional Indochinese construction style and the Modern Motor Fishing Vessel style.


Japanese Tools Australia, Legacy Nautical and AJW Shipwright Australia proudly present the first Japanese Tools Set designed purely for boat building. The boat building kit tools enable the craftsman to accomplish any task related to building timber boats from hobbyist to the expert.
This is how your name and profile photo will appear on Panoramio if you connect this Google+ account. You set your holiday budget and worry about the add ons, no need, you can sail on board any of our vessel  and spend diddly squat. RYA Courses - Competent Crew, Watch Leader, Day Skipper Practical and Yacht Master Preperation.
Wildlife Voyages Whales, Dolphins, Walrus, Penguins, Albatros from the Arctic to Antarctic and many wildlife destinations inbetween. Perhaps a bit of a bold claim, but if you have an interest in wooden boat building then there is a lot going on in Cornwall. Luke Powell at Working Sail in Gweek has now built seven wooden pilot cutters, since he built his first - 'Eve of St Mawes'.
To this day, the Kalingo technique is used to make fishing boats from Gommier trees and these boats are used by fisherman in other parts of the island such as Fond St.
Today even auxiliary sails are rare, but the modern, traditionally designed vessels come from a long line of sailing vessels with characteristics unique to the area of South East Asia that used to make up French Indochina and today, are the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. So, in the South particularly, motors began to be fitted to existing boats and new boats were built specifically to use the new motors more efficiently. It may, however, have the aft deck extended to the sides to provide a better working platform, by decking over a few transverse beams or spreading just the last topside plank. Each tool has been carefully selected and successfully tested to maximise the performance, enjoyment and efficiency for building timber boats by a qualified shipwright. OK when you are on some of our vessels you can buy a drink and T-shirt but that’s about it.
If you sail with us, we know the Cornish based boat builders that really specialise in wood. Gweek Quay Boatyard has its own shipwrights and freelance shipwrights working on many large wooden restoration projects.


Pietri, the French Commissioner of Fisheries for Indochina, published Voiliers d’Indochine (The Sailboats of Indochina), a careful description of the traditional boats of the coast all the way from what is now Cambodia to Southern China, that is to say, the region controlled by the French colony of Indochina, which included the present-day countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
They make a perfectly good small to medium sized motor boat and are popular among the fishermen and small freight carriers in the Halong Bay area, right up to the Chinese border (which I have not yet crossed, they may be popular in China too). Pietri (author of The Sailboats of Indochina) often used differences in sail rig to distinguish among otherwise very similar boats.
Cockwells Modern and Classic Boatbuilding Ltd have leant more towards the Classic recently building the first new wooden passenger ferry for decades and two fine pilot cutters. Thus it is that Peitri’s 1943 book, by great good fortune, left us a record of local types of boats being built and working locally from the moment in time just before an enormous upheaval. Brian Pope at Penpol finds and restores classic yachts, Pendennis Shipyard restores superyachts, Square Sail at Charlestown teach traditional rigging.
The forces of war and the advent of cheap diesel engines (and cheap diesel to run them) caused sweeping changes to the types and distribution of boats all up and down the coast. In some cases they still carry short sailing rigs as steadying sails or as emergency propulsion to get home if the engine fails offshore.
The method worked well enough that it was adapted to many all-wooden boats as well, though others rigged more or less ordinary dagger boards through water tight trunks inboard.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall & Falmouth Marine School offer a variety of professional Boatbuilding and Restoration courses.
With the end of the American war in 1975 things changed yet again and have continued to do so steadily, so that today you will find what I call the Modern Motor Fishing Vessel as the dominant type in almost any harbor on the Indochinese coast. Pietri’s excellent drawings are a great help in understanding the types of boats and their distribution in that era, which amounts to a direct link back many years, perhaps centuries of gradual development of sailing fishing vessels. From the deck down, most such traditional hulls are built today just as they were in sailing days.
Particularly in Hoi An and Da Nang you’ll find pretty little double ended motorboats with nicely sized pilothouses built over their enginerooms, and still carrying a sliding daggerboard in their stems, left over from sailing days.



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