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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2010
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One of the main things - to break the cycle of European snobbery. And look around. And it turns out that apart Europe and Mediterranean there is a lot of another water In all corners of the Earth people went to lakes, rivers and seas under different sails. Until Europeans arrived and destroyed local civilizations.

Ancient Polynesians, real residents of America, Asians - everybody were the sailors. During centuries small but strong Russian sailing boats visited the northern seas. Chinese sailors were on the east coast of Africa long before the Europeans. And the Australian banks were known to them when Cook was not even a trace. Etc.

Good idea to break the vicious circle of European-American "historical books" and "Viasat History TV", and the World will become much more interesting But... If You want to know all these things, You have to learn many languages. Because...
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I have a book on my Shelf called " The Last Sailors" the final days of the working sail. Neil Hollander Is the author, I believe.

As I recall it gave a bit of history from all corners of the planet with regard to working sailboats.
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Old 07-10-2010
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Self....its a common enough failing amongst the dreaded newbie to answer a query that has sat festering in the SailNet vault since time immemorial. Its no big deal of course, we were all dreaded newbies at one time or another and most have fallen into the same trap. Just don't expect an answer.

All of which was said tongue in cheek. Some of the old farts around here have a totally unrealistic view of their own comedic talent...or so I have been told by my other half.

Anywho, welcome to SailNet, enjoy.

Oh yes, a word of warning. You will almost certainly be dumped on by a fella called Sailing Dog because of your grievous offence in replying to an ancient thread. Ignore him. Everyone else does. After all he sails a multi.
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Old 07-12-2010
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Sailing must be as old as the ability to make cloth, or to stitch animal pelts together.

What I'd like to know is, who were the first sailors (meaning, i guess, "what were the first boats") who could actually get to windward? Like at least a close reach, with the ability to come about and actually make good against the wind?

Could some of the Lateen rigs ("ancient Sunfish") have done it?
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Old 07-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Sailing must be as old as the ability to make cloth, or to stitch animal pelts together.

What I'd like to know is, who were the first sailors (meaning, i guess, "what were the first boats") who could actually get to windward? Like at least a close reach, with the ability to come about and actually make good against the wind?

Could some of the Lateen rigs ("ancient Sunfish") have done it?
I believe it were the Greeks, with a kind of spritsail, in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean seas. The latin rig was created inside the Roman empire (2nd century AD). Latin rigs were used by Vandals (few people know that they have dominated, for more than a century, the Med : it was then called, the Vandal sea).

The concept was developed by Bysantine and Muslims sailors (the "Dromon" and the "Dhows) and later perfected by Portuguese Sailors that have created the "Caravela", the boat that was used extensively as a "discovery" boat. It was strong, it could sail against the wind and it was fast, by the standards of the XV century.

Lateen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 07-12-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Thanks, PCP, I was thinking about the Caravels too, since they had kind of a fore-and-aft rig, no wonder they were so versatile in exploring new places.
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Old 07-12-2010
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550 years later, they still look elegant


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Old 07-12-2010
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David,

1) I think your professors would be much more impressed if you took a few trips to the library to research this topic. I'm sure there are a number of scholarly works on early sailing vessels and exploration. (Wikipedia and Internet surfing in general are definitely frowned on in academic circles).

2) When you do go to the library, make sure you look into the exploration and trade voyages made by early Polynesians. They were crossing pretty big chunks of the Pacific Ocean when Europeans were still afraid to sail out of sight of land.
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Old 07-13-2010
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ive got some of the bowditch books, and i believe one of them has a decent consice history of sailing. ill check ye ole library tonight and see if i cant find the title for you
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oh, and for a really neat read check out slocums sailing alone around the world it is a perennial classic.

Joshua Slocum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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