[Original caption] Catamaran-Native Fishing Boat. These, as well as the canoes of Ceylon, are very picturesque. The fine human figures of the crew, the dark sails against a deep blue sky, would give an artist continual delight. Some catamaran consist of three planks of wood lashed together, one of which serves as keep and the other two as sides. The rowers stand or kneel and paddle with a bamboo. [end]
The modern word catamaran comes from the Tamil word kattumaram or "logs bound together." Catamarans are among the most ancient of boat forms, said to have been used to take Austronesian settlers throughout Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia tens of thousands of years ago. The double hull construction helps to stabilize the boat.