Indian Dhow, India, Maharasta, 2007 © Darima

Every human has the right to strive for a more prosperous life. Indigenous Sails respects this and aims to facilitate individual boat owners and builders to achieve these aspirations. The website supports initiatives from which owners, builders and operators of exotic traditional boats could benefit.

Currently our focus is on the following ships: the Indonesian pinisi, the Brazilian jangada, the Asian junk and the Srilankan oruwa. In the future, more ship types will be added, such as Arabian dhows, Polynesian outriggers and Egyptian feluccas.

The site highlights the beauty of these vessels and aims to give both westerners and non-westerners a source of practical information on how to sail one. It took months to research and compile the specific information provided here, especially information on the exact locations where these boats can be found. For an outline on the discussion about the pros and cons of sailing the worlds last working sailing boats, click here.

Whenever available we have included hotel and lodging information. When their often neglected local boats starts to attract visitors, then hotels and related tourist businesses will realise their economic potential. In addition, Indigenous Sails provides basic information to those interested in visiting a local shipyard, whether as a tourist or as someone interested in placing an order.

General information related to methods of ship construction as well as the history of each specific type of ship is also provided.  Small marketing workshops are envisioned for boat owners in a selected number of places in developing countries. The objective is to explore the tourist potential of their often majestic vessels, to instruct on safety precautions that will make their boats more attractive to paying passengers, and to strengthen marketing skills to showcase their product.

Promoting tourism is not the only spearhead of Indigenous Sails, however. Organising local sailing competitions is another powerful way to boost popularity and recognition for maritime traditions, especially when not only international but also local sponsors are involved. This already happens in the United Arab Emirates. The annual sailing competition for dhows in Dubai has resulted in a spectacular revival of the local dhow culture in this part of the Middle East.

Ultimately, only when local commerce is involved in realising and strengthening the potential of these boats, then its future looks promising.