Shipbuilding

In Oman traditional fishing boats are still produced by craftsmen from memory, without plans and drawings. From start to finish takes three to six months.

Building a dhow to completion takes between three and six months, depending on the size of the ship.

In this process the wood, teak which is mostly imported from India, is tediously worked with a hammer, a plane and an axe. Nowadays there are circular saws and drills which are used for the more complex work.

By the way, dhow is not an Arabic word but an European collective term. The Omanis differentiate between different kinds of ships, for example a sambouq or badan. The big ocean sailing vessels, called boom, which had a cargo capacity up to 500 tonnes, were still in use up until the 1970s.

Nowadays only fishing boats are built in Sur, all other types of ships had been replaced by fibreglass.

-> Literature:

  1. - Fateh Al Khair Oman´s last Ghanja
  2. - In memory of the sambuq