FAMILY BOATS OF THE CHINESE Some of the Northern junks in China have as many as five masts ; two of these are generally mizens stuck up on the poop, one on each side '.
the after leeches of their sails are stright instead of being rounded as in the Southern junks, and the vessels themselves are wall-sided, have flat bows and sterns, and are in no way such speci mens of naval architecture as to invite imitation,. though they carry large cargoes, and can go into very shoal water.
Almost everything in China seems to be carried by water, along the wonderful system of canals, and a great deal of it is done by sail power, as in many parts the country is low and flat, being only a few feet higher than the level of the sea, and as there are but few high trees the breezes sweep across it quite unobstructed and the lofty brown sails of the numerous boats. may be seen moving about rapidly in all directions, producing a very curious effect, as the hulls are generally out of sight.
The European residents in China apply the Chinese rig to European built boats with, considerable success, particulary at Hongkong, where there is a class of open gigs with very large Chinese sails, which sail extremly well in light winds ; it is a rig peculiary adapted to light variable winds ; there is no shifting over of :sheets, or dipping of lugs, of loss of time of any sort ; nothing to do but to let the sails swing over which ever side the wind takes them ; so that in Hongkong roads, where the wind is usually very light, and very shifting, the China rig has a great advantage over all other rigs ; though I should very much doubt its being able to hold its own in steady winds and strong breezes.