The Tongue and Groove Seam of Gujarati Boatbuilders

By James Hornell, published November 1930


Hornell explains the unique construction method used by the shipwrights of the Gujarat coast to ensure the water-tightness of the hulls being built. Two handmade ā€˜Vā€™ shaped grooves and tongues are cut into the longitudinal edges of each plank prior to fitting to the frames. Before attachment the upper edge of the lower plank is coated with red ochre, followed by a thick layer of adhesive and then a caulking layer of soft cotton. The next strake is then hammered down firmly to the treated plank and iron spikes driven obliquely through the joint to secure it permanently.

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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