The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For the fictional moon, see Felucca (Ultima).

Feluccas at Aswan
Feluccas at Aswan

A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean including Malta, and particularly along the Nile in Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.

Americans are largely unaware of the fleet of lateen-rigged feluccas that thronged San Francisco's docks even before the construction of the state-owned Fisherman's Wharf in 1884. They were built by southern Italian immigrants (who called them "silene"). The light small maneuverable feluccas were the mainstay of the fishing fleet of San Francisco Bay. "These workhorses featured a mast that angled, or raked, forward sharply, and a large triangular sail hanging down from a long, two-piece yard" John Muir described them.

Aden postage stamp of 1937
Aden postage stamp of 1937

The felucca of the Red Sea is depicted on a postage stamp of British Aden (illustration, left).

External link


Vincent Zammit, The Gilded Felucca and Maltese Boatbuilding Techniques

Last updated: 08-16-2005 23:14:00
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46