Chinese Junks Part IV The Twaqo

By Lieut. Commander D.W. Waters RN, published August 1946


Seen in considerable numbers in the late 1940’s in the waters of the harbour of Singapore, the Twaqo essentially a Chinese sailing craft, is the local coaster of Singapore and surrounding coasts. Designed primarily for the stowage of as much non-perishable cargo as possible it has a large central open hold, small decked- in fore and after peaks and very full lines. The mast, stepped vertically at the after end of the fore-peak, carries a balanced lug sail stiffened with battens and reflects the influences of South China junks. Strongly built in Singapore by traditional Chinese “rule of thumb” builders, of length 50 ft. and breadth 18 ft. 6 in., probably of chengai wood and brightly coloured, they have a crew of two or three and usually carry cargoes of sand, stone, gravel or firewood.   It seldom ventures from the waters in the vicinity of the islands.  The Twaqo comes from that family of Chinese junks which owes its origin to Antung traders.

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Manpower & Life at Sea | Shipbuilding & Design

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