Sunday, December 29, 2013

Arabian Dhows and the Leech-Tacker

A very interesting video of Arabian dhows racing off a Kenyan resort. They sport a lateen rig, boomless and attached to a bowsprit. In watching these craft tack there are one or two crew whose job I designate as the leech-tackers. Their job is to hang onto to the leech to help the sail get around in front of the fore-gaff, a fair distance since the sail is tacked to a bowsprit. Not only do they hang on to get the sail around, they hang on until they are well outboard on the leeward side. Picking the opportune moment, the leech-tacker drops into the water, hopefully close enough to the side to haul himself onboard before the dhow gets going.

These are not planing boats. Offwind they merrily plow along with a fair number of the crew camping out at the bow. Watching the crew scamper up and down the smallish round trunk planks is also entertaining.

(At the 2:31 mark a bowman just barely saves himself from pitching off the bowsprit while going downwind.)

Boat Excursions Around Lamu Archipelago from The Majlis Resort Lamu, Kenya on Vimeo.


Peter Belenky said...

Lots more (large!) dhow racing videos from Abu Dhabi here:

-and in Dubai:

and some fabulous art by Alastair Houston:

Tweezerman said...

Thanks Peter for the heads up.

I've changed your links into clickable links.

Youtube video

Daily Mail Article

Art by Alastair Houston