African miracle: reviving a sailboat on the beaches of Tanzania

In a small corner of the world on the east coast of Africa, in Dar es Salam in Tanzania, there is a fishing community that goes out to sea every day in traditional sail fishing boats. In the Swahili language these canoes are called angalaua , have an average length of 16 20 feet, and could be described as the ancestors of trimarans. In fact, these boats have a central hull made of mango log, and two side hulls. The fishing fleet includes about 30 of these canoes, but others were in disuse due to the local community’s inability to make them seaworthy again.

Ngo Vpm’s action, embedded in health and environmental projects, included repair and maintenance of the fleet to improve the productivity and safety of fishermen at sea. An action also directed at supporting traditional, non-invasive fishing, while discouraging the dynamite poaching that has become widespread in the area.

Under the supervision of a local shipwright, Juma, an assessment was made on the actual marine suitability of the canoes and then the actual restoration phase began.

Stained wooden parts (rockers and crossbars) are replaced, caulking was done using extinguished car oil. The structural rigging has been replaced.

To complete the equipment renewal, the canoe in this photo will be fitted with a new Swahili Tanga mainsail.

In addition to fishing, these canoes can be used for day tours in the protected area of Sinda Island and/or coastal cruises (adventure-sports), with possible overnight stay in Lodge and/or Tent south to Mafia Island. A way to experience old-time sailing while supporting the fishing community.

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