Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for definition: dhow
Dhow: A lateen-rigged sailing vessel that originated in the Middle East. Early dhows were of shell-first construction. Most dhows are known by names referring to their hull shape.

The ghanjah was a large two- or three-masted vessel with a curved stem and a long sloping and often ornately carved transom, originating from India.

Image of ghanjah

The baghlah was the traditional two-masted deep-sea dhow; it had a transom with usually five windows and a poop deck similar to European galleons or caravels.

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Other large seagoing two-masted dhows were the double-ended boom, which had a long stem pointing to the heavens, often with a bowsprit flying a jib, and the sambuk.

Image of dhow - boom

The smaller battil featured a long stem topped by a large, club-shaped stemhead and a sternpost decorated with cowrie shells and leather.

The badan was a much smaller and single-masted, shallow draught boat, used for fishing and oyster diving.

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