Traditional Boats and Rigs of China, The


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by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

In no region of Art and Crafts have the Chinese shown greater independence of thought than in ship and boat building. The striking originality which pervades their architecture, their painting, and their life on shore, is even more characteristically displayed by them afloat. At the hands of Western travellers the Chinese junk has received little but mockery and thinly veiled contempt; the writer treats it with his smartest ridicul, the artist in glaring caricature. Yet, examined fairly, the only excuse for such treatment, seems to lie in the wide gulf which separates the thoughts and ideas of the whilte and the yellow races, and makes it apparently almost impossible for the one to come to any true understanding of the other. As an engine for carrying man and his commerce upon the high ant stormy seas, it is doubtful if any class of vessel is more suited or better adapted to its purpose; and it is certan that for flatness of sail and for handiness the Chinese rig is unsurpassed.

26 pages


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