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Thailand. Bangkok. Long tail boat ride along the canal (Klong) Noi. The boat is usualy docked at a pier in Tha Tian. The long-tail boat is a type of watercraft native to Southeast Asia, which uses a common automotive engine as a readily available and maintainable powerplant. A craft designed to carry passengers on a river may include a lightweight long canoe hull, up to 30 meters, and a canopy. The sole defining characteristic is a secondhand car or truck engine. This engine is invariably mounted on an inboard turret-like pole which can rotate through 180 degrees, allowing steering by thrust vectoring. The propeller is mounted directly on the driveshaft with no additional gearing or transmission. Usually the engine also swivels up and down to provide a "neutral gear" where the propeller does not contact the water. The driveshaft must be extended by several meters of metal rod to properly position the propeller, giving the boat its name and distinct appearance. Control is achieved by moving the engine with a lever stick attached to the inboard side. Ignition and throttle controls provide simple means to control this simple craft. Tha Tian is a community located in the downtown area and in the center of the urban historic district, called Koh Rattanakosin. 29.03.09 © 2009 Didier Ruef