Modern Indonesian Boats

Indonesian Boats

This webpage is designed to give examples of what types of boats can be bought in Indonesia, and also their cost. In general most boats are still built of wood, which in a non-sustainably sourced, high quality hardwood. Yes the wood is very good, but it comes at the expense of the rainforest, which is being clear felled at an exceptional rate. Each year there is less and less forest left. Aside, I have travelled to Java, Indonesia and was very impressed with the people and the country.

Construction is by making the hull first, then adding frames after. For caulking a layer of bark is insterted between the plank edges. Many small dowels are used to connect the plank edge on edge. The boat builders are highly skilled, usually work in bare feet, have limited tools but make good boats. Most boats are not epoxy encapsulated, my thinking is that this would increase the cost massively and the painted hardwoods have a pretty good life span without it, my guess being twenty plus years.

Engines have now mostly replaced sails. On small boats a thing called a stationary engine is used. This is a small chinese made engine, I think two stroke, that sits on a platform and turns a propeller via a long shaft. These small engines can be had from 100 USD and upwards. For larger boats repurposed diesel truck motors are sometimes used. Proper marine diesel engines are of course available but at higher price. Epoxy resin is available in indoensia at a very low price. I have zero idea how good it is, and have zero idea if it has noxious fumes etc.

Wages in Indoneia. Is hard to know exactly. When I was there in 2018 I was told wages for a labourer were about 100,000 Rupiah per day, which equals ten dollars Australian a day or approx 7.50 USD per day. Wages for skilled workers may he higher, but wages in the outer islands are lower. Often smaller boats are built by a solo builder than lives on a very modest income, and I have real doubts as to whether they even earn 100,000 rupiah a day. If you have more information, please feel free to let me know and I can update this webpage

There are of course many larger steel ships, but these are not shown. Indonesia is moving forward economically and although poor it is continuously becoming more developed. I have only been to Java but was very impressed, always felt safe even when I was the only westerner around for miles

Boat Cost is 775 million Rupiah equals 55,100 USD

Boat Cost is 25 million Rupiah equals 1,777 USD

Boat is 18m x 3.7m and costs 275 million Rupiah equals 19,550 USD

Fishing boat costs 500 million Rupiah equals 35,550 USD

This small canoe takes two days to build and sells for 600,000 Rupiah equals 43 USD

This small canoe takes a week o build and is 5m x 1.1m. Builder is in South Acheh. If you want one you will have to wait as of late 2020 he has a backlog of twenty boats. The basic boats sells for 6,000,000 Rupiah equals 433 USD, however painting, an engine and steering will cost an additional 3 million Rupiah or 217 USD

This boat is from Borneo and is used by fisherman and ferry operators on the river. The builder is complaining that the ironwood is becoming scarces and expensive. The wood alone (as of 2017) for this boats costs 10 million Rupiah equals 710 USD

This boat is used by sand miners in West Java. Description says that the boats are built manually. Price unknown

Boats like this were common in Sumatra, the sailors are complaining that the deforestation is causing the rivers to silt up and become unnavigable, thus cars and trucks are replacing boats. Meranti timber here sells for 2.5 million rupiah per cubic meter, which is 177 USD per cubic meter. I dont know much about Meranti, only that it is desired by local boat builders

They do make some very nice boats for tourists. One type of boat is called a Pinisi which are also used for cargo. I am pretty sure the overhang at the stern is for the head. Am most doubtful as to whether holding tanks are the norm

This boat is 5.5m x 2.2m, is from West Java and takes 1.5 months to build. They say a boat like this should last about 12 years. Price does not include engine.
Sells for 25,000,000 Rupiah equals 1777 USD, price with engine is 35 million Rupiah equals 2500 USD

Large fishing boats as of 2019 cost in West Acheh cost 2 billion to 6 billion Rupiah for boats with capacity of 40 to 60 tonnes. Boats take 1.5 years to build. This is 145,000 USD to 425,000 USD

If you like long and narrow these boats take ten days to build and in 2013 sold for 3 million Rupiah apeice equals 213 USD

These fishing boats take 8 months to build in west Java. Pretty sure they have large diesel engines and onboard refigeration. Capacity is 50t. Boat Cost is 5 billion Rupiah equals 355,000 USD