5 ft 8 in
5 ft 8 in
A round open boat is obviously not intended for the open sea or for speed. What is less obvious is that the circle encloses the largest area possible for a given perimeter.
A round boat, provided the water is calm, is therefore the cheapest form of construction for a small cargo-boat, since it contains the greatest cargo space for the minimum of material. Cost is important because these forms of boats are, in Iraq for example, used for one down stream voyage only. The boats are then sold as fuel.
This Parisal comes from the river Cauvery in Tamil Nadu (Southern India). It would have been used for cargoes, ferries and perhaps the tending of fish traps and nets.
The first Parisal must have been covered with animal skin, more recently cotton was used but the state-of-the-art Parisal is now covered with a patchwork of polypropylene sacks held together with tar.
We are indebted to Mr Peter Badge of Cheswick, the Chief Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, for obtaining this boat for us.
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