The junk is classic Chinese sailing vessel of ancient unknown origin, still in wide use. High-sterned, with projecting bow, the junk carries up to five masts on which are set square sails of panels of linen or matting flattened by bamboo strips. Each sail can be spread or closed at a pull, like a venetian blind. The massive rudder takes the place of a keel, or centreboard. The hull is partitioned by solid bulkheads running both transversely and longitudinally, adding greatly to strength. Chinese junks sailed to Indonesian and Indian waters by the early Middle Ages. Junks were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century AD and developed rapidly during the Song dynasty (960–1279).
The dhow is the generic name of several traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with settee or sometimes lateen sails, used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Historians are divided as to whether the dhow was invented by Arabs or Indians. Typically sporting long thin hulls, dhows are trading vessels primarily used to carry heavy items, such as fruit, fresh water, or other heavy merchandise, along the coasts of Eastern Arabia, East Africa, Yemen and coastal South Asia. Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, smaller ones typically around twelve. The print portrayed is of a Baghlah – from the Arabic language word for “mule”.