Early fishing boat construction – Dhofar.

These are examples of a traditional method of sewn-boat construction (no nails) which is no longer carried out in Dhofar: the last person with this skill, died in the 1990’s, although a few still live in the Musandam. (Seminar of Arabian Studies 40)

Archæological evidence from the al-Balid site, of timbers re-used as building materials when boats were no longer sea worthy, indicate that this method of construction in Dhofar is very old.

All the materials come from the Coconut palm – wood, cordage & wadding, with a covering derived from fish oil. The tools used being saw, adze, chisel & hammer, along with a good eye for a straight line & curves – undoubtedly very accomplished carpenters.

10 thoughts on “Early fishing boat construction – Dhofar.

    1. It is a fascinating subject on how and when the first boats were constructed in this way here in Oman. The early dhow with a similar build was mostly imported from India and the technique adapted for fishing boats.
      The other method for small canoe style craft, only used wooden nails and a lot of these can still be found, drawn up beached but abandoned for the glass-fibre things, originally provided as a replacement at a considerable subsidy by the government.

    1. It is a method along with wooden ‘treenails’ that has also been used in Dhow construction for about 2000 years; makes them very flexible, but can limit sail size. Oman probably got this construction method from Kerala India.

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