About the Mei Wen Ti
The Mei Wen Ti is a 54-foot, 40-ton, custom-built Chinese junk boat designed in the tradition of a 500-year-old fishing vessel, similar to those Marco Polo would have seen upon arriving in the region. The boat was hand-built of exotic Douglas Fir, Camphor and Teaks works. Had it remained in China, the Mei Wen Ti would have most likely been used to transported fish and other cargo up and down the Yangtze River and China’s vast canals and waterways.
“Clear across the yard, behind a big unpainted metal building, sat the partially-built junk under an enormous makeshift canopy. The junk looked beautiful sitting there atop a wide variety of old, bent fifty-gallon drums and wooden support structures. On top of each metal drum was a small pile of wooden pieces stacked up to fit the contour of the hull. I was amazed that such a large vessel could be held up on what appeared to be junkyard leftovers. Wow, it’s big! I thought. Several workers were aboard the aft deck as I walked around and around the junk in utter amazement. Scaffolding was attached to the large bamboo poles that supported the roof and went around the sides of the junk. Leaning against one side was an old, rough hand-mde wooden ladder. I stood there looking up at enormous wooden vessel. How fantastic the junk looks; it’s so solid and massive.”
A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.