Weekly Photo Outing

One of my favorite places anywhere, is a boat yard!  They’re smelly, greasy, loud and busy.  They’re also full of colorful boats and even more colorful marine craftsmen who really know how to swear and have a great time doing it!

Boat Yard

This boat yard is located in Samut Songkram right on Rama II (Highway 35).  It services mostly Thai fishing boats.  Thai fishing boats are traditionally generous with both curves and color, a perfect combination for great pictures!

Dolly for boat

In the above image you can see the dolly on the tracks used to drag the boats from the water.  I used a 12mm rectangular ultra-wide angle lens for this shot.


In this image you can see the cable and pulley system which pulls the dolly.  What you don’t see is the small diesel motor which provides the pulling power.

The screw (propeller)

The screws (civilians call them “propellers”)  are always made of a high quality brass to resist corrosion. This screw has been stripped of it’s natural patina and inspected for cracks and other damage.

The bow

Here you can see a wonderfully colored and textured anchor positioned across the bow (civilians call this “the front”) of the ship.

Water weight compartment

Here is a hull laid wide open.  Isn’t it interesting that even ancient Thai fishing boats were built with several watertight compartments to help keep her afloat when damaged?  Can you picture the skeleton of a whale and then compare it to the above photograph?

Colorful boat

This is an active and seaworthy fishing vessel.  It’s fully rigged and ready to get underway with minimal notice.

The belly

The underside or belly of a vessel is rarely seen outside of a boat yard and this image reveals a few mysteries.  Notice the blue steel towards the stern (civilians call this the “rear.”)  This is the guide that holds the shaft that turns the screw.  Notice the many strips of wood that make up the hull?  It’s amazing boats are still built this way.

The screw

Here is a solid brass screw with it’s natural patina still attached to the shaft.  On the far left you can see the rear of the rudder.  I used a 12mm ultra-wide angle lens and was approximately 6 inches from the nearest blades which is what makes the nearest blades loom to the front of the frame.  You can do things with an ultra-wide you just can’t do with a standard 24mm or greater.  The images of this outing were either shot with the long end of a 70-200, or the short end of the 12-24.  Properly used you’ll always get a much more interesting perspective from a 12-18mm focal range than if limiting yourself to 24mm and greater.

Boats at Samut Songkram boat yard

Another ship docked and at rest.

oats at Samut Songkram boat yard

Notice the tall superstructures?  I love all the windows, colors, and even color matched rigging.  Has anyone noticed that Thai fishing boats have the same basic color scheme and look as Thailand’s big rig trucks?  Perhaps I should venture down to the local airstrip and have a look at their planes.. ;o)

You can see the rest of the images from this outing in the Samut Songkram Boat Yard gallery at Bangkok Images by clicking this link.