Ngalawa/Dhow Mods

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Greg B, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Greg B
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Dar es Salaam

    Greg B New Member

    Hi folks,

    I live in Dar es Salaam and interested in buying one of the traditional working boats they have around here and updating the rigging to improve the performance.

    There are two types of lanteen rigged boat that fisherman use here: dhows and ngalawas. Both are lanteen rigged and have to be jibed, rather than tacked, to change directions when sailing upwind.

    The hulls, even new, can be bought pretty cheap. I was thinking of getting a dhow, rigging it like a Sea Pearl 21 with two roller furling triangular sails and lee boards, but then I saw this picture of an ngalawa from the late 18oos/early 1900s from Zanzibar and got excited.

    The cutter rig with bowspirt and topsail might be a bit much, but what do folks think would be the best option for a new rig on a ngalawa (or dhow)? Two laser sails? A balanced lug with a jib? What other modifications would you make? Lee boards on the dhow? Any way of estimating mast placement and sail area for the new sail plan you suggest?

    These boats are heavy for their size -- both are made from mango wood. The ngalawas can be carved from a single mango tree. The dhows are also heavy, but have no ballast.

    Boat boats are beachable and can carry a crowd -- 6 easily on a big ngalawa, more on a dhow.

    Here are some images of traditional ngalawas:

    Hard to find good images of a dhow that's the right size -- around 25 to 30 feet. Here's one: Free Image on Pixabay - Fukuchani, Zanzibar, Dhow

    Very interested to hear your thoughts.

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