Junks of the Canton River and West River System

By H Lovegrove, published August 1932


These notes describe nine principal types of contemporary watercraft working in the West River (Xi Jiang) leading into Canton (Guangzhou) and the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) delta. Details are given of their hull construction, fittings, rigging, decoration and the way they were worked. The armament of war junks hired as a defence against pirates is described. Construction of the junk for carrying wood is explained in detail, including the rudder, single-arm anchors and small sampans carried as tenders. These junks, with rafts of additional wood cargo lashed alongside, were drifted down the West River; then a string of them were towed to the delta by a steamer, helped by the river current.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

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