Chinese Junks

My junk designs encompass many families from flat bottom to multi-chine and round bottom. I have no designs for V bottom junks. They fall basically into four families. 




This is a flat bottom junk with a pram bow and leeboards.  She is a good coastwise sailing vessel; however, when modified for yachting purposes, a centerboard versus leeboards is a more practical solution for obtaining lateral plane. Most are built with a shoal keel, eliminating the leeboards and centerboard.




Multi-chine and round bottom junks, based on the Hainan junks, range from 42’ to 150’ in length. The most popular ones are OOTHOON at 41’(shown above), K’UNG FU-TSE at 48’(shown at left), and LUK CHIN at 54’ which have been built in both steel and aluminum. The 54' junk has also been built as a round bottom steel hull. The larger sizes are usually round bottom since, in larger sizes, most builders prefer this type of construction and are equipped to handle the bending of round bottom frames. These are excellent sea boats. The larger ones incorporate daggerboards, while on the smaller ones used for yachting I have substituted a long shallow keel which opens up the whole interior to an infinite variety of arrangements. Most of them have made long voyages and, as such, I like to keep the engine and fuel tanks very close to the center of floatation and center of buoyancy.  I also use the engine room with bulkheads at each end to isolate all machinery. This provides good working conditions around the engine.  Most vessels have access doors for passage through the engine room; whereas, in others the engine room bulkhead is not pierced and access is from the deck only. 

Shown is an 18.5 meter (60’) cargo junk displacing 42 tons in ballast, which is under construction at the present time in Timor. This family of cargo junks has a distinct type of hull form that has no direct counterpart in China, but is a combination of several types plus some modifications that stress performance to windward. They are modest carriers and are primarily used in the Indian Ocean. They range from 60’ to 90’ on deck. 

It will be noted that these junks are rather narrow and deep. Unlike the Hainan type of junk, these vessels are seldom used for bulk cargoes, but instead haul refrigerators, stoves, sinks, tiles and other building materials as well as other cargo that can be packaged. The windward ability at the expense of other points of sailing was necessary because she also ventures into the islands at all seasons rather than wait for the fair winds of a monsoon.

Shoal draft fishing junks range in size from 40’ to 75,’ the more popular ones being in the 50’ to 60’ length. They are flat bottom and can be beached, but are excellent sea going vessels. Out of season, many of them do carry coastwise freight. Like the sharpie, there are limitations on the amount of headroom available, depending on length. In trying to compare these with Western hulls, they are sort of a cross between a dory and a sharpie. Throwing in their Chinese ancestry, they have the wider stern galleries. Most have a daggerboard, but some have found it advantageous, even though it is foreign to them, to use a centerboard since the trunk then splits the hold in half longitudinally for better stowage of ice and fish.