Tanja sail or tanja rig is a type of sail commonly used by the Moluccans and other Austronesians, particularly in Maritime Southeast Asia. It is also known as the tilted square sail, canted rectangular sail, or balance lug sail in English. 102–103 In historical sources, tanja sail is sometimes incorrectly to referred as lateen sail or simply square sail.:
Also called tanjaq, tanjak, tanja', tanjong, or tanjung sail. The Mandar people call it sombal tanjaq because when the wind blows the lower part of the sail (peloang) would "mattanjaq" (lit. "kick").In colonial British records, it is sometimes written as "lyre tanjong", a misspelling of layar tanjong (layar means "sail" in Malay; layag in Philippine languages).
The tanja sail is a derivative of the older Austronesian triangular crab-claw sail. It developed from the fixed mast version of the crab-claw sail and is functionally identical, with the only difference being that the upper and bottom spars of the tanja sail do not converge into a point in the leading edge.
Early contact with Arab ships in the Indian Ocean during Austronesian voyages is believed to have resulted in the development of the triangular Arabic lateen sail. Mahdi (1999) believed that in turn, Arab ships may have influenced the development of the Austronesian rectangular tanja sail. 13 :102–103 :191–192 A research by Lynn White concludes that the Arab and Indian lateen sail is actually an adaptation the lateen sail from the Portuguese ships (caravel), which arrived post-1498. According to H. Warington Smyth, the Malay tanja sail is an adaptation and development of the primitive square sail, with boom at the head and the foot. The Malay tilted the sail forward, to bring the tack right to the deck, turning the sail into the most powerful of lifting sails on a wind.However, there are also historians who disagree with this. Johnstone, Shaffer, and Hourani considered this sail as a genuine invention of Nusantaran people, which in turn influenced the Arabs to develop their lateen sail. :
Tanja sail can be distinguished by its canted/oblique design. The sail face is asymmetrical in shape and most of the area is elongated to the sides, rather than upward like those of lug sail.
The 3rd century book "Strange Things of the South" (南州異物志) by Wan Chen (萬震) describes large ships which originates from K'un-lun (Southern country, either Java or Sumatra). The ships called K'un-lun po (or K'un-lun bo). He explains the ship's sail design as follows:
The four sails do not face directly forward, but are set obliquely, and so arranged that they can all be fixed in the same direction, to receive the wind and to spill it. Those sails which are behind the most windward one receiving the pressure of the wind, throw it from one to the other, so that they all profit from its force. If it is violent, (the sailors) diminish or augment the surface of the sails according to the conditions. This oblique rig, which permits the sails to receive from one another the breath of the wind, obviates the anxiety attendant upon having high masts. Thus these ships sail without avoiding strong winds and dashing waves, by the aid of which they can make great speed.— Wan Chen, " Strange Things of the South " :262
The invention of this type of sail made sailing around western coast of Africa possible, because of its ability to sail against the wind. 191–192 As noted by Hourani::
"The Malays were also the first to use balance-lug sail, an invention of global significance. Balance-lugs are square sails set fore and aft and tilted down at the end. They can be pivoted sideways, which makes it possible to sail into the oncoming wind at an angle to tack against the wind – to sail at an angle first one way and then the other, in a zigzag pattern, so as to go in the direction from which the wind is blowing. Because of the way the sides of the sail were tilted, from a distance it looked somewhat triangular.... It is thus quite likely that the Malay balance-lug was the inspiration for the triangular lateen sail, which was developed by sailors living on either side of the Malays, the Polynesians to their east and the Arabs to their west.
Precisely when the Polynesians and the Arabs began using the lateen sail remains unknown, but it would seem to have been in the last centuries B.C.E. It is known that the Arabs in the vicinity of the Indian Ocean were accomplished sailors by the first century C.E. and both they and the Polynesians apparently had the lateen sail by then" 102–103 :13:
Most Southeast Asian and Austronesian vessels used the tanja sail. This type of sail brought Malay sailors as far as Ghana in the 8th century,and there is probability these sailor reached the New World as early as 1420 A.D. using Javanese junks. Some examples of vessels that use tanja sails include:
A sailing ship is a sea-going vessel that uses sails mounted on masts to harness the power of wind and propel the vessel. There is a variety of sail plans that propel sailing ships, employing square-rigged or fore-and-aft sails. Some ships carry square sails on each mast—the brig and full-rigged ship, said to be "ship-rigged" when there are three or more masts. Others carry only fore-and-aft sails on each mast—schooners. Still others employ a combination of square and fore-and aft sails, including the barque, barquentine, and brigantine.
A sail plan is a description of the specific ways that a sailing craft is rigged. Also, the term “sail plan” is a graphic depiction of the arrangement of the sails for a given sailing craft.
A junk is a type of Chinese sailing ship with fully battened sails. There are two types of junk in China: Northern junk, which developed from Chinese river boats, and southern junk, which developed from Austronesian ship designs, which have been trading with the Eastern Han dynasty since the 2nd century AD. They continued to evolve in later dynasties, and were predominantly used by Chinese traders throughout Southeast Asia. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout Southeast Asia and India, but primarily in China. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats. Chinese junks referred to many types of coastal or river ships. They were usually cargo ships, pleasure boats, or houseboats. Historically they have ranged in size from small river and coastal vessels to large ocean going ships, and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig, however they all employ fully battened sails.
The caravel is a small highly-maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave it speed and the capacity for sailing windward (beating). Caravels were used by the Portuguese and Castilians for the oceanic exploration voyages during the 15th and the 16th centuries, during the Age of Discovery.
A lateen or latin-rig is a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, and running in a fore-and-aft direction.
Outrigger boats are various watercraft featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. They can range from small dugout canoes to large plank-built vessels. Outrigger boats can also vary in their configuration, from the ancestral double-hull configuration (catamarans), to single-outrigger vessels prevalent in the Pacific Islands and Madagascar, to the double-outrigger vessels (trimarans) prevalent in Island Southeast Asia. They are traditionally fitted with Austronesian sails, like the crab claw sails and tanja sails, but in modern times are often fitted with petrol engines.
Proas are various types of multi-hull outrigger sailboats of the Austronesian peoples. The terms were used for native Austronesian ships in European records during the Colonial era indiscriminately, and thus can confusingly refer to the double-ended single-outrigger boats of Oceania, the double-outrigger boats of Island Southeast Asia, and sometimes ships with no outriggers or sails at all.
A fore-and-aft rig is a sailing vessel rigged mainly with sails set along the line of the keel, rather than perpendicular to it as on a square rigged vessel.
The crab claw sail is a fore-and-aft triangular sail with spars along upper and lower edges. The crab claw sail was first developed by the Austronesian peoples some time around 1500 BC. It is used in many traditional Austronesian cultures in Island Southeast Asia, Micronesia, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar. Due to its extraordinary performance and ease-of-operation, it has also become very popular in modern sport sailing. It is sometimes known as the Oceanic lateen or the Oceanic sprit, even though it is not restricted to Oceania, is neither a lateen sail nor a spritsail, and has an independent older origin.
The junk rig, also known as the Chinese lugsail or sampan rig, is a type of sail rig in which rigid members, called battens, span the full width of the sail and extend the sail forward of the mast.
Literally, the word pinisi refers to a type of rigging of Indonesian sailing vessels. A pinisi carries seven to eight sails on two masts, arranged like a gaff-ketch with what is called 'standing gaffs' - i.e., unlike most Western ships using such a rig, the two main sails are not opened by raising the spars they are attached to, but the sails are 'pulled out' like curtains along the gaffs which are fixed at around the centre of the masts.
Paraw are various double outrigger sail boats in the Philippines. It is a general term and thus can refer to a range of ship types, from small fishing canoes to large merchant lashed-lug plank boats with two outriggers (katig) propelled by sails
The settee sail was a lateen sail with the front corner cut off, giving it a quadrilateral shape. It can be traced back to Greco-Roman navigation in the Mediterranean in late antiquity; the oldest evidence is from a late-5th-century AD ship mosaic at Kelenderis, Cilicia. It lasted well into the 20th century as a common sail on Arab dhows. The settee sail requires a shorter yard than does the lateen, and both settee and lateen have shorter masts than square-rigged sails.
A sail is a tensile structure—made from fabric or other membrane materials—that uses wind power to propel sailing craft, including sailing ships, sailboats, windsurfers, ice boats, and even sail-powered land vehicles. Sails may be made from a combination of woven materials—including canvas or polyester cloth, laminated membranes or bonded filaments—usually in a three- or four-sided shape.
The djong, jong, or jung is a type of ancient sailing ship originating from Java that was widely used by Javanese and Malay sailors. The word was and is spelled jong in its languages of origin, the "djong" spelling being the colonial Dutch romanisation.
Bangka are various native watercraft of the Philippines. It originally referred to small double-outrigger dugout canoes used in rivers and shallow coastal waters, but since the 18th century, it has expanded to include larger lashed-lug ships, with or without outriggers. Though the term used is the same throughout the Philippines, "bangka" can refer to a very diverse range of boats specific to different regions. Bangka was also spelled as banca, panca, or panga in Spanish. It is also known archaically as sakayan.
Padewakang were traditional boats used by the Bugis, Mandar, and Makassar people of South Sulawesi. Padewakang were used for long distance voyages serving the south Sulawesi kingdoms.
Palari is a type of Indonesian sailing vessel from South Sulawesi. It was mainly used by the people of Ara and Lemo Lemo, for transporting goods and people. This vessel is rigged with pinisi rig, which often makes it better known as "Pinisi" instead of its name. In Singapore, palari is known as "Makassartrader".
Orembai or Arombai is a type of plank boat from the Maluku Islands of Eastern Indonesia. It is mainly used for fishing and transport. This vessel is used as far as Batavia, where in the 17th century it became popular to go out "orembaaien" on an evening rowing on the river or city canals.
Lancang is a type of sailing ship from Maritime Southeast Asia. It is used as warship, lighter, and as royal ship, particularly used by the people of Sumatran east coast, but can also be found in the coast of Kalimantan.