- Location country
Year of construction
- Function of building
Arid - dry and hot all year
A client wanted to build a traditional typical of Bahrain old boat out of fabric. The concept was to make the boat and display it for the Independence Day celebration in Manama.
The idea sounded dull in the beginning. But few sketches and some quite moments of thoughts have formalized the idea of how to do it. Once we knew how to tackle the problem all aspects of work came to view so clearly.
The first step was to get the shape of the boat hull to match that of the traditional Bahraini Boat. This was done by taken digital photos of boats lying on the shores of the city of Manama. Ratios representing width and heights, and measurements of curvatures of the boat hull were taken from these digital photos. The measurements were redrawn with AutoCAD. The hull is 6 meter long and the mast is 10 meter high.
Once the shape was complete 3D Studio MAX was used to give the boat a more realistic look. The work was presented to the customer and we got an immediate approval as the 3D presentation did its magic.
From a fabrication point of view, the biggest hurdle in this project was the forming of the steel masts to mimic that of the traditional Bahrain Boat. We needed to bend steel, CHS of 8 inches with wall thickness of about 15mm, for the support of the sail. We needed to get the right radius of curvature to match that of the fabric. That took a lot of ingenuity on behalf of our fabrication team.
The utilization of the fabric to create the boat in its traditional look was easy. Some details were compromised. For example the hull has got an opening at the bottom. This is surely not found in any boat!! However, for us it was necessary for the fabrication of the steel and fabric of the hull. Similarly for the sail it was manufactured as an independent entity. The mast and the hull are done and manufactured and installed separately. When all parts are put together the picture was complete.
The design philosophy allowed the fabrication and the installation to be manageable to a very good degree.
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Maximum height (m)
Total width (m)
Duration of use
Gulf Shade Bahrain
Thomas Van der Velde