What Is a Log Ship? Definition, Meaning and Concept

A log boat is a boat that is made from a single log that has been hollowed out to reduce the weight of the log and maintain buoyancy. The gap also creates room for passengers and cargo. Log ships are among the oldest ships known to have been used by human societies, with a number of extant examples being thousands of years old; Log boats probably survive to be found by archaeologists due to their relatively solid and dense design, and it is entirely possible that other boat designs are almost as old and simply have not withstood being found.

Also known as dugout or monoxylon, the log boat has been independently invented by various human societies, some of which continue to use log boats to this day. Log boats can be built by creating a controlled fire inside a large log to hollow it out, or by carving the log with the use of metal tools. For added stability and extra space for cargo, the boat can be equipped with outriggers, and the boat can be controlled with paddles, poles, or sails, depending on the preference of the person building it.

For societies to build log boats, they need access to trees that are suitable for building. In addition to simply being large, the tree used for a log boat must also have relatively light wood for maximum buoyancy, and some cultures have had specific taboos on particular tree species that limit their construction options. Log boats can be made from trees that are felled specifically for the purpose, or from trees that have fallen naturally, as long as the fallen wood is salvaged before it begins to rot.

The crudest log boat can be a simple hollow log with a thick interior, while more complex versions can be elaborately carved and painted. The craftsmanship of some traditional logging ships is legendary, especially those of the Polynesians, which were used to successfully explore much of the South Pacific on voyages that traversed vast expanses of open water. Several modern expeditions in the 1970s attempted to replicate the navigational achievements of the Polynesians using similar vessels, illustrating how remarkable these voyages were in an era before sophisticated navigational instruments, high-tech ships, and the support of aircraft and boats. search in the event. from an accident

In addition to being used for navigation and cargo transportation, a log boat may also have ceremonial uses. Some maritime societies have traditionally buried high-ranking members of society with log boats filled with useful grave goods, or have carried out burials at sea by launching their dead into log boats. Vessels for ceremonial use tend to be much more ornamental, and can be less structurally sound and in some cases actually intended to sink.