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A Dictionary of the World's Watercraft (Hardback)

From Aak to Zumbra

Maritime > Chatham Books > Chatham: Sail

By The Mariners Museum
Chatham Publishing
Pages: 696
ISBN: 9781861761828
Published: 1st July 2003
Last Released: 14th September 2008



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An unsurpassed and must-have reference work. Extraordinarily good value - over 5,600 entries. Genuine appeal to a wide range of scholars, sailors and enthusiasts. Few books published in the last decade in the maritime field can be genuinely classed as unique, must-have reference works: Aak to Zumbra is such a book. This remarkable volume, many, many years in the making, lists, in alphabetical order, more than 5,600 boat and ship appellations and is illustrated with over 400 drawings. For nearly all of human history the coasts and oceans, and rivers and lakes have offered paths for exploration, settings for warfare, routes for commerce and colonialism and, of course, sources for food. And for all these activities an incredible variety of indigenous watercraft have been fashioned by sailors and fishermen and shipwrights: Aak to Zumbra surveys them all and contains descriptions of form and function, means of propulsion, crew size, particular design features, as well as notes on construction methods and materials. There are, literally, thousands of cross-references, starred for easy reference, and the book contains a wealth of vernacular and specialised terms. The inclusion of little-known, rare and extinct types, notes on cultural traditions, along with a reading list and a geographical index add to this book's extraordinary value as a reference work. Its publication at the beginning of the twenty-first century is both important and significant. As Basil Greenhill writes in the Foreword: 'It is within this context of developing international interest in the ethnography of the boat and the withering away of maritime cultures that this great work is to be appreciated' Scholars, enthusiasts, libraries, researchers and sailors will want a copy of this book on their shelves. The foundations of this work were laid by MURIEL PARRY who, under the aegis of The Mariners' Museum at Newport News in Virginia, set out so ably to deal with the problems of nomenclature associated with such a project. She also drew the illustrations. The work was completed and edited by the Museum's editorial board.

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