Boats of the World Photo Gallery

 
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Brilliantly colored outriggers easily maneuver the shallow coral reefs of the Indonesian archipelago. Long ago, fishermen developed the tradition of painting their handcrafted boats in rich colors to look like elegant dragonflies.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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Most Europeans may have seen the sea as a barrier, but the Vikings perfected their boats to become their primary means of communication, travel, and expansion. While a horseman could only cover 30 miles in a day, 20 powerful Norsemen could row over 120 miles of blue terrain in that time.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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Venice's romantic version of a taxi, the gondola, dates back to the 11th century, though the boat's ornate façade didn't come into vogue until the Baroque period. Today, as much craftsmanship goes into the forcola, which, like a car's gearshift lever, has five places that the oar can pivot for direction and motion.  
Credit: Digital Stock 
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The raft today seems a much outdated flotilla, reminiscent of Huck Finn's time, but south of the bustling waters of the Mississippi, rafts in mellower areas of the Caribbean are still a normal means of transportation.  
Credit: Index Stock 
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The floating markets of Thailand have long enchanted photographers. Women in flat-topped conical hats expertly maneuver the small wooden boats laden with fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The color, beauty, and tradition of the bustling canals have saved the markets from extinction.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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Forever the dare-devil's favorite, Niagara Falls saw its first successful oar-toting combatant in 1888. Walter G. Campbell and his dog 'Jumbo' took on the rapids in a small clinker-built boat. Unfortunately Jumbo was propelled out of the boat, but 19-year-old Campbell survived and met instant fame. Today, the Maid of the Mist is the preferred mode of tourist travel past the falls.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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The inland fishing crafts of Kerala, India, are built to withstand strong currents and tidal movements. The materials used to create the rafts illustrate the fishermen's resourcefulness; buffalo skins, banana stems, earthen pots, wicker, and cowhide are just a few of these resources.  
Credit: Corbis 
 
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