Lorcha (boat)

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A junk (left) and a lorcha (right) in 1936 near Sambu Island, Indonesia.
"Picture of a lorcha model in the Macau Museum, 2011"
Model of a lorcha in the Macau Museum, 2011

The lorcha is a type of sailing vessel having a Chinese junk rig on a Portuguese or European style hull. Because of its hull structure, the vessel is faster and can carry more cargo than the normal Chinese junk. The advantage of a junk rig was in its ease of handling and resulting ability to be sailed with a minimal crew, together with its relatively low cost of construction. Owing to its simplicity, it was also easier to repair.


The vessel was developed around 1550 in Macau, then a Portuguese colony in China.[1] This hybrid type of vessel sailed faster than traditional pirate ships and it began to be used by British traders after the First Opium War.

The Vũng Tàu shipwreck is a lorcha that sunk near the Côn Đảo Islands and has been dated to about 1690.[2]

A type of lorcha sailing lighter was used formerly in Bangkok to carry rice out to ocean ships over the bar of the Chao Phraya river.[3]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Skene's Elements of Yacht Design, 8th Edition 1973, Francis S. Kinney, Page 164. ISBN 0-396-06582-1.
  2. ^ "Excavation of an oriental vessel of c. 1690 off Con Dao, Vietnam". The International Journal of Nautical Archeology 21.3: 221–244. 1992. 
  3. ^ Mast & Sail in Europe & Asia: Chapter 11

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