The Story of Dhoni Boats – A Time-Honoured Vessel of the Seas

Have you heard of a Dhoni? In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t have anything to do with Indian cricket superstar Mahendra Singh Dhoni! Here’s what you need to know.

Maldivian Fishing Dhoni | Img by: Ibrahim Asad via wikimedia commons | CC BY 3.0

What Are They?

Dhonis are in fact, traditional sailing vessels that you will find in the Maldives. Used by fishermen as well as Maldives luxury resorts including the likes of Heritance Aarah for special cruises, these vessels are very much a part of the local heritage.

Its Origins

The design of these relatively small traditional boats is believed to have been inspired by the Arabian sailing dhow which was a popular trading vessel in days of old. Dhonis were typically made from coconut wood since such trees were found in abundance and generally took 60 days to be constructed.

Modern Transformation

While originally such boats utilised a sail, in time diesel engines were introduced which increased speed. Instead of coconut wood, some dhonis began to be made using various imported wood, while others incorporated fibreglass. Alifushi Island located in the Raa Atoll is the main place where dhonis are made.

Multi-use Vessels

The Dhoni which has become one of the symbols of the Maldives has a wide range of functions. Apart from being used for fishing, it is a popular mode for transportation of goods and people between the islands. It is also widely utilised for everything from diving safaris to sunset cruises for tourists as well.




Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+


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