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Bombay Boats Peculiar Keel

wind, stern and boat

BOMBAY BOATS PECULIAR KEEL The deck view of these boats is very like that of the famous " America " schooner, long sharp bow, beam carried well aft, round stern, and altogether like an elongated pear ; but the greatest peculiarity consists in their under water profile, as shown in the sketch by the dotted lines, it is exactly the reverse of the usual plan, which is to have the greatest draught of water aft, and to have the keel convex, or " camber " as it is called, whereas these boats have the greatest draught of water forward, at a peculiar looking sharp point, where the long, straight, raking stem joins on to the arched keel, which it will be seen is concave instead of being convex. Now the reason of all this is obvious, these boats cannot tack, they never attempt it, it would be im possible to swing that great yard and sail round the mast with the boat head to wind, and the sail would be useless if it lay aback or to wind ward of the mast as some latteens do ; so the result is, that they always " wear," instead of " tacking," and this they do with great facility.

That peculiar looking forefoot is all " deadwood," it makes the boat very weatherly, and it seems to act as a pivot upon which she turns when the helm is put up for wearing. It should be remembered that it is always the stern of the boat which moves, more than the bow (in all boats) when the helm is put over, and in these boats this movement of the stern is still more increased by their peculiar form, and when the helm is put up, the stern of the boat appears to fly up in the wind, and the bow to remain stationary, and she wears round in a wonderfully small space, and very quickly ; the foremost yard arm is brought in to the mast, and the wind takes the sail round " before all," the sheet is hauled aft on the other side, and the foremost yard arm taken forward again to the bow, and the whole operation appears to be performed with very little trouble.