Felucca on the Nile at Luxor

A felucca (Arabic: فلوكة‎, romanizedfalawaka, possibly originally from Greek ἐφόλκιον (Epholkion)[1]) is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in the eastern Mediterranean—including around Malta and Tunisia—in Egypt and Sudan (particularly along the Nile and in protected waters of the Red Sea), and also in Iraq. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.

They are usually able to board ten passengers and the crew consists of two or three people.


Despite the availability of motorboats and ferries, feluccas are still in active use as a means of transport in Nile-adjacent cities like Aswan or Luxor. They are especially popular among tourists who can enjoy a quieter and calmer mood than motorboats have to offer.

San FranciscoEdit

Feluccas at fisherman's wharf at the foot of Union Street

A large fleet of lateen-rigged feluccas thronged San Francisco's docks before and after the construction of the state-owned Fisherman's Wharf in 1884.[citation needed] Light, small, and maneuverable, the feluccas were the mainstay of the fishing fleet of San Francisco Bay. John Muir said of them, "These workhorses featured a mast that angled, or raked, forward sharply, and a large triangular sail hanging down from a long, two-piece yard".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ El Houssi, Abdelmajid; Foscari, Ca’. Retour sur l’étymologie de felouque (PDF). p. 20.
  • Muscat, Joseph (2003) The Gilded Felucca and Maltese Boatbuilding Techniques. Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza, Malta. ISBN 99932-41-45-8

External linksEdit