Catamaran from the Coromandel Coast, India.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Although the name is applied to outrigger canoes and double-hulled vesels, the true catamaran was a raft, the name being derived from the Tamil expresion 'tied logs'. On the Coromandel Coast of southern India, several types of these craft were employed. The model represents one of the more advanced types, constructed from five logs placed longitudinally with a bow formed out of three smaller logs. The paddles are of an unusual form, being made from a curved board with a raised edge along one side to provide a better handhold.