What did that old salt Richard see?
Lugs and boats and the lines connecting... San Francisco Bay, Boston (USA), Baltimore (USA), Ireland, South East Turkey, Arabia, Egypt, Java, North Africa: history, migration, seafaring, genes, music, dance, language, the roots old the connections strong. VSO (verb, subject, object) word order is only found in the Irish, Classical Arabic and Biblical Hebrew languages, but
who knew of the historic boat connection driven by an ancient sail and its Asian, then to Mid-Eastern to North African decendents? From West Indonesia brought to West Ireland? Sailors share, boatbuilders build what they know and know to work,
and the sea is a bridge not a divide.
With boats, the barriers bridged, the waters of the world sustain and connect.
"The Irish he says, are a vital, mongrel people, nourished by thousands of years of seafaring which connected them to the cultures of north Africa and the middle east.." http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/irish-writer-bob-quinn/3892134
From remote antiquity down through past ages onto ancient historical and closer times an ancient Indonesian canted (both yard and roller boom) rectangular lugsail made way via the Straight of Malacca and Gulf of Mannar, via Indian Ocean's Orient seas three, across the Persian Gulf, to Aden - hub of a vast trading network of great antiquity; then yet more westing, changing from Red Sea to River Nile, and so on to south and west Ireland. Who knew there were 20 to 40ft hulls today of similar lines on the Red Sea coast and on the shores of Connemara? Who knew that into present times an Arabian lugsail (note the yard and luff: not the Arabian lateen, nor settee) was hoisted, and said still to fly between the second and fourth cataracts on the River Nile as indeed upon the Atlantic waves between Fastnet Rock and the Aran Islands?
"Nora Bheag ('Little Nora' in English which also means 'Little Light' in Arabic) is in the UAE capital as part of a culture exchange programme to celebrate the maritime histories of Ireland and Abu Dhabi around the emirate's historic hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race, which takes place 31st December 2011 to 14th January 2012... Her púcán rig was replaced in 1952 with a gleoiteog rig" (gaff cutter rig).
"... the Púcán, is similar in size to the Gleoiteog but has a lug mainsail (dipping Arabian type) and a foresail. The Púcán is similar in size and shape to the Gleoiteog, but carries a different rig, with a large dipping lug and a small jib. These smaller boats were entirely open." http://galwayhooker.wordpress.com/pucan/
The Irish word "púcán", in English means: small fishing smack
The Arabic "baghlah" literally means: she-mule. Arabic "bagh·la" [buhg-lah] an Arabian sailing vessel, having lugsails on two or three masts, a straight, raking stem, and a transom stern.
The Púcán sail plan:
"...The beautiful boats usually have a black hull and tan or black sails. The
Galway Hooker carries three sails (with the exception of the Púcán, which carries two sails)."
As economic conditions changed, the required crew for Pucan sail handling becoming more expensive, the boats switched to a gaff mainsail. With the foresail (jib) as part of the rig they couldn't wear ship like a big una rig dhow may:
And they certainly couldn't tack their Arabian lug mainsail by passing the sail to windward about the mast like a small Egyptian "dhow"
Púcán Origins (Arabic)
"The origins of the craft are not clear. They have been in use for at least two hundred years, although it has been suggested that the design of the boat may date back further, owing to the Eastern, Arabic appearance of the sails and the craft itself. Many[who?] have suggested this as another example of Coptic influence on the west coast of Ireland. The Connamara area had many boatbuilders and it is thought that they formed these boats especially to suit the area. The
boats were able to sail in shallow waters and thus were ideal for the areas around South Conamara. It is most likely that the báid have their origin in the area as opposed to being inspired from outside. A major spark in the revival of interest was the publication in 1983 of "The Galway Hookers , Sailing work boats of Galway Bay" (Richard J. Scott, d 24/01/08), now in its fourth edition. For the first time detailed construction and sail plans were published. The late Richard (Dick) Scott was also a founder member of the Galway Hooker Association." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galway_hooker
"The rectangular lug sail also spread westwards when the Indonesian seafarers crossed the Indian Ocean to trade with East Africa and to inhabit the island of Madagascar. The rectangular lug sail used today on the Nile boats between the fourth and the second cataract may be a survival of the rig introduced by the Indonesian seafarers (Hornell 1970:215). It is probable that the rectangular lug sail evolved into the lateen in the Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea."
(Cotterell, p252, sketch p251),
Brian Cotterell & Johan Kamminga, Mechanics of Pre-Industrial Technology: An Introduction to the Mechanics of Ancient and Traditional Material Culture (1992)
Cambridge University Press
Lionel Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, JHU Press
Stephen Oppenheimer, Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia, Phoenix
Herbert Warington Smyth, Mast And Sail In Europe And Asia, E. P. Dutton, 1906
Bob Quinn says so.
The Galway Hookers and a Púcán
"The origin of these ancient workboats is shrouded in mystery. ... The rig is kept well within working needs. As a rule of thumb the mast is the same length as the hull, but considerable boom overhang and a high peaked gaff, mean that the mainsail is large. It is carried loose-footed and always laced to the mast, therefore raising or dropping it even off the wind, is a simple task. Two headsails are carried; a staysail and a jib set on a bowsprit, which extends outboard - rule of thumb - the length of the beam. The cut of the jib varies from very low to medium- high footed, and tradition specifies the luff length to be, the same length as the distance from the outboard tip of the bowsprit to the mast."
"Galway hookers fall into four broad classifications;
*Bád Mór (big boat), pronounced 'bawd moor' 35' to 44' overall hull length.
*Leath Bhád (half boat), pronounced 'la wawd' 32' to35' hull length.
*Gleoiteóg, pronounced 'glowchug '24' to 28'.
*Púcán, pronounced 'pookaun' similar to the gleoiteóg but rigged with dipping lug and jib.
The bad mór, leith bhád and the gleoiteóg, are similar in all respects, differing only in size. All are gaff cutters. However the púcán, in hull form and size similar to the gleoitóg, is invariably an open boat, rigged with a dipping lug mainsail and a jib set on a bowsprit.
Some consider the púcán a better sailing craft, especially on the wind, but handling one on a good breeze is a skilled job. When going about, the mainsail tack has to be swung around the mast and made fast again at the stem.
An Faoileán, having started life as a púcán, is now a gleoitóg. ...
In her trading days she would have been a maid of all work. Fishing or carrying small cargoes on short passages. ..."
THE VOLVO 500 OCEAN RACE NOW
"A century-old Irish sailing boat has been loaded into a container to start a journey to the UAE as part of the Abu Dhabi leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
In exchange, six traditional Arabian dhows will be sent to the Irish city of Galway for the finish of the race in July next year...
Enda O'Coineen is an Irish entrepreneur who is also leading the initiative.
"The old traditional crafts are a great contrast to the modern Volvo Ocean Race machines," Mr O'Coineen said. "Galway hookers, like the Arabian dhows, are part of our culture. They appeal to the romantic and abstract part of us.
"We hope to use the visit to strengthen the relationship between the two countries."
Padraic de Bhaldraithe, who co-authored the book Glorious Galway - Gaillimh na Seod about the history and revival of traditional Irish boats, said there were many similarities between the two types of boat.
"Nora Bheag was originally rigged with a dipping lugsail, which is not too dissimilar to the lateen sails on the dhows," Mr de Bhaldraithe said.
Both were put to similar uses, including personal transport and fishing. The hookers were also handy for moving peat, which was used for fuel.
The term "hooker" refers to four classes of traditional sailing boats from the west coast of Ireland. They all have black hulls with distinctive dark red-brown or black sails.
Nora Bheag is the smallest type, known as a pucan, and was built in 1916.
Irish families have started to revive the old working boats as heirlooms, and they are often used in regattas such as the Galway Races, which attracts more than 200,000 people to the city every year.
"We on the west coast of Ireland regard the sea as a way of joining people, not dividing them," said Mr de Bhaldraithe.
The organisers of the boat swap are not the first to make the connection. In his book Atlantean, the filmmaker Bob Quinn identified a strong historical connection between Arabia and the west coast of Ireland.
"There is a continuity of influence from the Middle East right through the centuries," Quinn said. "And because fish were the main diet of coastal dwellers, fishermen from the south used to sail up the Atlantic coast to follow the delicious Atlantic cod."
History will repeat itself, Mr Vine said, when the dhows arrive in Galway Bay next year."
"The gleoiteog that will visit Abu Dhabi is the Nóra Bheag. Nóra Bheag was built in Galway on the Long Wall overlooking the River Corrib as it joins the sea, by a man called Seán O Dónaill, originally from Lettermullen in Connemara. She was bought by the present owner's (Cóilín Ó hIarnáin) grandfather Pádraic Ó Maidín
in 1938, who lived on Fínis island off Carna in Connemara. She was rigged with a púcán rig (dipping lugsail). She was used to transport animals to and from the mainland, turf from the mainland for fuel, going to Mass on Sundays, bringing goods from the shop and for fishing (dredging scallops in the winter and fishing for lobsters, mackerel, etc. in the summer).
Her púcán rig was replaced in 1952 with a gleoiteog rig (gaff cutter rig). Cóilín renovated her extensively in 1988 and has been sailing her in regattas since."
An interesting dipping lugsail on a trad boat out for a sail at photo 17 here:
Language & *THE BOATS* ---
!!!There's a RICH LINKS TREASURE TROVE DOWN UNDER HERE OLD MATE!!!!!!!
a Mad scientist says "...Irish is a whole 'nuther language. One of the Gaelic languages, it's very ancient and spoken only in parts of Ireland, Scotland and Manx." and further...
Bob Cleek has found much about the Galway Hookers and westward on to Boston Paddy Boats:
"This Irishman has been doing a fair bit of research on Irish watercraft of late, catching up on the seafaring history of my grandparents' homeland, Cork and Waterford in particular. I must say that the historic boat thing in Ireland and Britain seems to be way beyond anything we have here. In my internet browsing, I've come across a couple of great sites connected with what is becoming a strong movement in Ireland to record, restore and recreate historic
The "Traditional Boats of Ireland Project" is apparently a govermentally endorsed project to document as much of Ireland's maritime heritage as possible. It operates in conjunction with universities and the government cultural department, which since independence has sought to restore the Irish language and culture that had eroded (or had been intentionally stamped out, depending
upon how Republican you are) over the centuries of colonial rule. They have produced the great book, "Traditional Boats of Ireland" (available from WB Store and well worth the price... it's a huge high quality coffee table book full of academic, but very readable, articles on every type of historic Irish watercraft, of which there are many.) Besides academic research, they are also setting up museums, traditional boatbuilding vocational programs and recreating
extinct working watercraft. One of these, I believe, is Meitheal Mara ("Work of the Sea"), which is a wooden boat buildling vocational program. http://www.meithealmara.ie/
The "Traditional Boats of Ireland Project's" website is a keeper for sure. There are many pages of photos and lines drawings and construction plans for a lot of really interesting (and buildable!) boats of all sizes. The photography and presentation is of the highest quality. Some designs even have computerized 3D features so you can move the computer generated pictures of the particular
vessels around to view them from any angle. They provide a combination of contemporary photos as well as historical pictures.
Another site that is related to the "Traditional Boats... Project" is the "Kinsale Hooker Project." This project is in the process of recreating the presently extinct Kinsale Hooker, a fishing craft of approximately 40' on deck. Their Facebook page has drawn a lot of contributions from the Irish, British, French and Scandahoovian traditional boat communities. There are picture series of pilot boats, fishing boats and so on, as well as a lot of coverage of the
popular traditional boat racing circuit that is taking off like great guns over there. (Click on the single pictures in the Facebook page and lots of other thumbnails come up.) They also provide complete plans for the representative Kinsale Hooker they are building, which were derived from historical research and a single highly detailed model in the National Museum.
Also, another good place to waste some time is the website of the Galway Hooker Association. http://www.galwayhookerassociation.ie/
You'll probably have to click on the "Irish/English" drop down translater in the upper left quadrant of
the page, just above the table of contents. I heard Irish spoken at home when I was growing up, but, sadly, it was spoken by the "grown-ups" when they didn'twant the kids knowing what they were saying, so I never learned it. Reading it is almost as hard as learning to speak it, since certain letters, when placed before or after vowels (I can't remember which) aren't "sounded" at all, but are actually used as accent marks! (Irish is the oldest written literature in Western Europe, but its modern spelling and pronounciation system was standardized only as recently as 1948.)
The Galway Hookers are really interesting craft. There are four basic types based on size, the bad mor ("bawd more") 35' and up, the leath bhád ("la bawth") 35' to about 28', the gleoiteog ("glou-chug") around 28' to 24', and the pucan ("poo-con"), below 24', which often carries a lateen main rather than a gaff main. These are really interesting boats and, from all indications, very seaworthy with high pointing ability and a good turn of speed. They are now actively raced in Ireland. Be careful, if you watch these YouTube videos, you're going to want one!
As for the hookers,
Chapelle discussed a "Boston Hooker" in "Ameican Small Sailing Craft,"
commenting accurately that the type was brought over intact by Irish fishermen and boatbuilders starting with the Great Famine emigration in around 1850, mainly to Boston, but also in limited numbers on SF Bay and that the type was pretty much extinct in the US by the turn of the last century. He compared the lines taken off in the 1930's (IIRC) of what was likely a hulk without a sail plan. He writes that the Boston Hooker evolved to reduce tumblehome, straighten the curve of the bow and fine the entry, decrease the rake in the sternpost, and
to include a laced mainsail foot. Chapelle's research apparently did not include actually studying the Irish Hookers in their native habitat, but rather he relied solely on lines taken in the late 1800's and published by Dixon Kemp (pictured above). (These were the only published lines extant at that time, as the boats were built "by eye.") Indeed, the differences Chaplle notes do exist between the Kemp specimen and Chapelle's Boston version, but what Chapelle overlooked was that the evolution he notes was not unique to Boston Hookers, but to Galway Hookers in general. In Ireland, there are hookers built in the late 1800's, restored and still sailing, and hookers built in the natural course of workboat evolution up to about WWII, as well as many replicas. Looking at these, it is easy to see that Kemp's specimen was likely built some time well before the lines were published, as they depict an early version, but the Boston
specimen Chapelle compared them to was likely built in the early 1900's and was really not all that different from what was being built in Galway at the same time. As the boats were all built "by eye," there is also a considerable variation in detail from boat to boat and builder to builder. Moreover, perhaps because the rig wasn't available, Chapelle's depiction of the rig on his Boston Hooker is decidedly "unhookerlike." Characteristic to the hooker is that the angle of the gaff is parallel to the angle of the headstay. Not so on Chapelle's Boston Hooker. There are, AFAIK, only two extant photos of a Boston Hooker, these from the Fisheries Commission Reports upon which Chapelle relied heavily in much of his research. Only one of these pictures shows the sails set, and it is apparent that this old photo does show a rig similar to what Chapelle published, but it is also apparent that the boat is old and decrepit and that the rig may well have been cobbed together from "spare parts." The high peaked
gaff is, in good measure, what gives the hooker its remarkable windward ability. It make no sense to conclude that Irish fishermen and boatbuilders, who continued to emigrate to the Boston area throughout the lifespan of the Boston Hooker would not bring with them from the Old Country newly evolved details with them over the same span, nor that they would abandon the high peaked gaff for
one that lacked the windward drive of the Irish original. So, although I hold Chapelle in awe, on this point, for my money, the Irish and the "Boston" hookers are really one and the same type of boat and since we now have much more reliable historical data and exemplars of the Galway Hookers, I'd expect they'd be the measure if one were to build one.
Boats and LANGUAGE
"Gaelic is the language of the bádóirí (boat people) and sean nós (old style) singing, dancing and music will feature prominently."
Lateen and settee rigs side by side
A photo of a pucan hull
Baltimore, Ireland - near Cape Clear and Fastnet Rock
Egyptian navigation on the Indian Ocean using biotelecommunication is as crazy a notion as can be. It never works for me, you know. Maybe they just hopped a ride on an Indonesian boat as they could have done so very easily.
However, joining the dots: the second cataract is under water and silt behind the Aswan Dam, but the fourth cataract of the Nile where the pucan sails ply the river is way up river into Sudan and across where it bends around not all that far from Port Sudan on the Red Sea. -- Not far from those ancient Indonesian shipping lanes to Madagascar.
All the Indonesian/Turkish/Semitic/Arabic/Celtic/Geographical/Genetic/Disease/Language/Pucan/Irish/American/Chapelle/etc related dot-points listed are verified facts, the connections and historical hypothesis self-evident as a wonderful new orthodoxy rather than old tripe.
Richard Carsen of DreamBoats saw much of it years ago and said so over time in MAIB.
It keeps coming:
It keeps coming: I mentioned the Nile non-dipping Arabian-lug sails. Did I mention the non-dipping-dipping-lugsails from old Celtic regions fronting the English Channel westwards such as on the Beer Luggers? -- No jib nor staysails there...
nor on the Dorna from Galacia
Recall the boats of the Celts in the Battle of Morbihan
( and clever Brutus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimus_Junius_Brutus_Albinus
and seafaring recorded in ancient Amorica
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "prairiedog2332" <arvent@...> wrote:
> Not quite sure how this works - called a Beer Lugger as it originated in
> that area of Devon UK.
> --- In email@example.com, <philbolger@> wrote:
> > My mistake:
> > Phil actually referred to it as the 'Peak-Halyard' keeping the yard
> peaked/vertical, as slacking the regular halyard without it would have
> made its tip rotate through an arc to actually hit the deck. So, the
> sail stays partially 'up' hanging off the temporarily vertical yard,
> making pushing yard and sail towards the new lee of the mast much
> > Susanne Altenburger, PB&F