The boats of Hanoi, Vietnam

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hanoi, vietnam, boats, pedlars, ferries

hanoi, vietnam, boats, pedlars, ferries

hanoi, vietnam, boats, pedlars, ferries hanoi, vietnam, boats, pedlars, ferries hanoi,

Small boats of North Vietnam

Just back from a business trip to Hanoi, my brother Matt Atkin has sent me these photos from the country. He reports that North Vietnam is an astonishing place where goods are still moved using carts and oxen, and from these photos it’s a place where traditional small boats are very much in evidence.

I can’t condone the use of cute children to sell goods – though I guess it’s better than some of the alternatives, even for the kids involved – but what astonishing scenery and boats!

The little craft seem to be woven from slender wooden or bamboo laths and then sealed, I’d guess with pitch. Can anyone confirm this?¬†Also, they’re rowed forward without the aid of any complicated rowing machinery.

This is only a small sample of the photos Matt sent over, so I’ll put some more up in the next few days.¬†Thanks Bruv! (See them here.)

There’s an interesting thread on Vietnamese boats at the Woodenboat Forum and an English language website devoted to the boats of Vietnam here.

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The carvel-built Mouseboat in Vietnam is launched and sailing well!

OSM 016

OSM premiers essais 006 OSM 005

Miles away in a place where the weather is much warmer than it is here, Jacques Molinaris’ carvel-built Mouseboat called OSM has been launched and sailed for the first time from a Vietnamese beach. He writes:

‘Good evening Gav.’

OSM is born, I launched her four days ago. She is a nice little fast boat, even if some things have to be improved like the shape of the sail and the kick-down rudder system.

‘I think she is heavier than the ply original design: about 90kg.

‘Sailing conditions are often difficult in NT bay and unhappily I have been rolled down by the shore surf when landing. Nothing broken on the boat (she is very strong) but I got a sprained knee! I’m forbidden from walking for three weeks but I am happy with my boat… See you again


It sounds like a success to me, even if the water Jacques sailing upon is a little wilder than I had in mind when I designed her! Get well soon Jacques – I want to know how she goes please when you get those little details right.

For more on this boat and the free plans for building it, click here.

The Vietnamese Mouse makes more progress

const 28 nov 09 006

const 28 nov 09 010 const 26 nov 09 007

Jacques Molinari’s TheEdge Mouseboat is looking very smart

The carvel-built Mouseboat built to the free TheEdge plans that Jacques Molinari is building in Vietnam continues to make progress. He’s now reached the point where he’s making sails and launch day is approaching.

I’ve recentlyseen some film of a plywood-built boat to the same plans sailing, and I have to say it seems to perform pretty well. Good luck, take care and remember this is really a pond skimmer Jacques!