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Early Boat Models from Egyptian Tombs

At the bow of the old Egyptian sailing vessel stood the "look out" to take soundings, and, with fender in hand, to guard against collision. The captain stood amidships, and the man who was in charge of the steering paddle at the stern.

When speed was of greater importance than comfort to the people of old Egypt, vesse;s of this type, propelled by sixteen oarsmen, who kept stroke but sat looking forward and not backward as in modern boats, wereused on the Nile.

From Wonders of the Past