Monday, January 27, 2020
The traditional dhow builders of Oman
I've just got back from Oman, which is a great country to visit.
One of the things I managed to do is drive from Muscat down to Sur and visit the last remaining boat yard in Oman. Here they use traditional methods to build the classic dhows.
No computer design used here, its all from memory and craft experience, with hand tools employed:
They also build models (which I did wonder if they use to test or document designs) and there's a gift shop where they sell things such as the classic ship-in-a-bottle:
Out in the creek there are many examples of the boats created locally:
Oman has a long tradition of sailing across the Indian Ocean, trading with India and East Africa. Its possible that the legendary Sinbad was an Omani sailor.
The oldest ocean going dhow is the Fatah al Khair (The Triumph of Good) which has been preserved for history:
There is probably a lot more I could say, but the Fatah al Khair site was closed (they are working on new maritime museum for which it will be the star attraction) and no one at the boat-building site seemed to speak English. Anyhow, try this and this blog posts for a bit more info.