Dhow Icon
Belongs to All Eastern and Indian factions
Crew 11
Guns 3 (one front, one on either side)
Firepower 68
Range 400
Accuracy 40
Reloading skill 30
Hull strength 900
Speed 19
Maneuverability Low
Tech requirement None
Produced from Trading Port or higher
Special abilities Can engage in trade
Cost 500 SP/ Unavailable MP
Upkeep 50

The Dhow is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


A dhow is a traditional Arab sailing vessel, rigged with a lateen sail. Although an ancient design, it is an efficient and handy craft, particularly for coastal work - and pirates!

The design of the dhow has remained unchanged over hundreds of years; it simply doesn’t need to be improved. Used throughout the Arab world as trading boats, pirates also favour them because of their good handling, and relatively high speed. That said, the design may well be Indian in origin, later adopted by Arab seafarers. A well-handled dhow has the advantage over many European rigged ships, in that it can stay out of the firing footprint of most lumbering ships and yet is quick enough to be able to escape in even the lightest of breezes.

The lateen (or triangular) sail is also ancient design. It is not, however, perfect for all conditions. The canted lateen yardarm is difficult to handle in stormy conditions with a small crew. This may explain why the sailing rig is favoured in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and around the Arabian peninsular rather than the Atlantic. The construction method of stitching the planks together is a unique feature of the dhow.

Historically, Europeans tended to use the term “dhow” indiscriminately to mean any vessel rigged with lateen sails. An Arab sailor would make a much finer distinction, based on the hull configuration.

General InformationEdit

Dhows are the Eastern variant of trading ships. Compared to Indiamen, dhows are less expensive to build but more expensive to maintain; they also have more firepower per cannon, but have fewer cannons and are weaker defensively. For the most part, they are too weak to take an active role in naval combat, and must rely on other ships to protect them as they engage in trade. However, as they have guns at both the bow and stern, they can wear down ships pursuing them while retreating--although this is a long and arduous process.

Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Other Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship

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