Introduction of plank-built catamarans along the north coast of Andhra Pradesh, India – A development of recent origin
M V Rao, K S Rao, M Balaji, V Kuppusamy
Hitherto, the most versatile fishing craft of the poor traditional Indian fishermen - the catamaran is made of solid timber logs of a few selected species of broad-leaved softwoods. Of late, the fishermen find it difficult to get these conventional varieties of timber chiefly because of three reasons, a) scarcity of commodity, b) prohibitive costs and c) competition from match and veneer industries. As the state of affairs is turning more and more indocile, the poor traditional fisherman is compelled to look for alternative ways to sustain his dear occupation and trade. As an outcome of such fervent desire, the fishermen in the north east coast of Andhra Pradesh initiated building up catamarans purely from the wooden planks without sacrificing much of the original shape, convenience and carrying capacity. This paper is intended to bring to light the design of such plank-built catamarans and their advantages.
Keywords: Catamarans, wooden planks, fishermen, Andhra Pradesh, solid timber, India