JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Meet the Vietnamese men who make invincible racing boats 

Tuesday, October 02, 2018, 10:57 GMT+7
Meet the Vietnamese men who make invincible racing boats 
Pham Nhut builds a wooden boat at his own workshop in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A family in central Vietnam has been well known for passing down for generations the craft of building wooden boats that can win coveted prizes at domestic racing competitions.

Four generations of the family, many of whose members share the name Pham Viet, have created race boats as a quite satisfactory livelihood.

One of them, Pham Nhut, a 67-year-old resident in Quang Nam Province, said he received boat building techniques from his father, who had inherited them from his grandfather.

Nhut recalled he began learning the trade at the tender age of 15 before becoming accomplished in it two years later.

Hundreds of wooden boats have been produced during his career, which has spanned more than half a century.

His two younger blood brothers, Pham Viet Ngon and Pham Viet Dat, also follow in their father’s footsteps, running a boat building facility next to their sibling’s for around three decades.

The three men’s business has been on the upturn as demand for race boats has soared since the times of their father, with the maximum number of boats made exceeding ten in a year.

“We’ve got a pretty high amount of money a year for feeding our family,” Ngon said.

One of Pham Nhut’s sons, Pham Phu Phuoc, makes a boat at his workshop in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
One of Pham Nhut’s sons, Pham Phu Phuoc, makes a boat at his workshop in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The financial benefit has also motivated Nhut’s two sons to stay in the job while preserving the family’s practical skills.

Boats the family makes measure 12-17 meters in length, weigh 600-800 kilograms and can carry 10, 12, 17 or 25 paddlers.

The watercraft, each typically taking one or two months to be completed, are made of light and sturdy wood that is smoothened to reduce friction with water.  

Nhut said he usually modifies the design of a boat during the process of making it and attends every race of the vehicle to see its performance himself.

Pham Nhut holds trophies given by winning boat racing participants. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Pham Nhut holds trophies given by winning boat racing participants. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“It’s indescribably happy to see a boat you make yourself comes first in the race,” Nhut said.

Many boats produced by the family enabled their crews to claim first awards in multiple years straight at competitions held around Vietnam.

Nhut’s home interior is decorated with boat racing trophies, not won by him but given by the participants from such contests as a gesture of gratitude to him for his talent in making successful boats.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news