Saturday, November 25, 2023

Poujade's and Piétri's books on traditional Vietnamese boats: free dowloads

16 detail illustrations of blocks and pulleys from traditional Indochinese boats
Blocks and pulleys onVietnamese sailboats. From Sailboats of Indochina (Voiliers d'Indochine) by J. B. Piétri. 

Thanks to a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous, I'm delighted to present two more works on the boats of Vietnam for free download: Sailboats of Indochina by J. B. Piétri, and Bateaux en Indochine by Jean Poujade. They join a page of other free downloads of books on Chinese and Southeast Asian watercraft.

Piétri was a fisheries officer for the French colonial government in Indochina, and he evidently travelled the coast intensively and documented everything he saw. His work, presented in English translation, is an encyclopaedic survey of boat types by geographic area, with detailed descriptions and fine illustrations of construction methods, fittings such as rigging details, achors, and rudders, and how each boat type is used. The French edition of 1949 (Voiliers d'Indochine) was translated by Stephanie Dumont and published by the Vietnam Wooden Boat Foundation, Port Townsend, Washington, in 2006. I have attempted unsuccessfully to contact the VWBF and the translator for permission to make the book available. I welcome the parties to contact me to discuss the matter. I will respect copyright requests by its current owner.

Poujade's shorter work, presented in the original French, consists of brief essays on a small selection of boat types, accompanied by pleasing drawings in pencil. Poujade was an officer in the maritime law department of the French colonial navy in the Far East.

Small Vietnamese fishing boat with high-peaked lugsail and three crew rowing
A small Vietnamese fishing boat. From Bateaux en Indochine by Jean Poujade.

REVISION, 28 Nov. 2023: The French original of Piétri's work, Voiliers d'Indochine, is also available for download.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Download Volume 2 of Worcester's Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze

Miao-Ch'uan boat Low and narrow, heavily built on eight bulkheads, with long bow sweep and short towing mast
Miao-Ch'uan boat, from Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze, Vol. 2, G.R.G. Worcester

Now available for free download is Volume 2 of G.R.G. Worcester's huge and detailed work, Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze: The Craft of the Lower and Middle Yangtze and Tributaries. It joins Volume 1 and other books on Asian watercraft on our page of free downloads

Among the hundreds of craft included are the lovely Miao-Ch'uan or Miao boat (above). The one shown, at 47' LOA, beam ~5', and depth 2', is a typical size for the type. Although slender and graceful, they are heavily built on eight bulkheads, for use in rapids. During downstream travel, control is maintained with the long bow sweep; to move upstream, the craft is tracked with a line fixed to the short mast. They were used to carry cargoes of beans, cotton, yarn, and gypsum, and by hog farmers to carry pigs, meat, manure and feed.

The tiny double sampan below, a little more than 5' long and 5' broad, was used by fishermen on calm waters, using a long-handled net to scoop up fish between the twin hulls. It was light enough to pick up and carry home at the end of the day.

I-Change boat drawing: plan, sheerline and section views
Ichang "Water Shoes", from Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze, Vol. 2, G.R.G. Worcester

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Download G.R.G. Worcester's "Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze, Vol. 1"

Construction drawing of a small skiff propelled by a yulow.
A skiff propelled by a yulow, or stern sculling oar. From Worcester, G.R.G., The Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze, Vol.1 (1947).

Now available for free download is G.R.G.Worcester's monumental study The Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze (1947), Volume 1: Introduction: and Craft of the Estuary and Shanghai Area. It contains lengthy descriptions of an amazing number of boat and ship types and dozens of plates of very clean construction plans similar to the one above, although most are of larger vessels. The Introduction details propulsion methods, rigging arrangements (like the image below), rudder configurations, anchors and other fittings.  

Details of spritsail rigging from a junk.
Details of spritsail rigging. From Worcester, G.R.G., The Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze, Vol.1 (1947).