Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PELNI Ships in Indonesian islands

Passenger ships operated by PELNI, an Indonesian state owned passenger liner, play very important role in transporting people and goods from one to another island in Indonesia. PELNI has around 25 ships which all of them powered by marine diesel engines. Most of the passenger vessels were ordered from shipyard in Germany.

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PT PELNI stands for PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia or National Indonesian Shipping Company. There are millions of people living along the coastal lines of thousands of islands in this country. They need passenger ships such as the ones that PELNI has to travel to other islands within the country. The sea fare is very cheap compared to the fare which cruise ships in Europe charge to their passengers.


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PELNI Ships are usually named after mountains or volcanoes in Indonesia. They are KM AWU; KM Binaya, KM Bukit Raya, KM Bukit Siguntang, KM Ciremai, KM Dobonsolo, KM Dorolonda, KM Egon, KM Fudi, KM Ganda Dewata, KM Kelimutu, KM Kelud, KM Labobar, KM Lambelu, KM Lawit, KM Leuser, KM Nggapulu, KM Pangrango, KM Sagiang, KM Sinabung, KM Sirimau, KM Tatamailau, KM Tidar, KM Tilongkabila, and KM Umsini.

PELNI Ships are modern German built vessels that are specifically built for simple Indonesian passengers who do not need vacuum toilets, and card lock doors. They are not as luxurious as cruise ships in the Europe but they are very comfortable and affordable. If you are a person who is interested in traveling and meeting ordinary people (and not wealthy pensioners) across the largest archipelago in the world, then PELNI passenger ships are your perfect choice.

Indonesia has thousands of beautiful islands with beautiful white sandy beach, pristine corals, and mountains, tropical rainforest and most importantly nice and friendly people. These are the real wealth of Indonesia which is waiting for explorers like you. by Charles Roring. Also read: Passenger Ships of PELNI Lines

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Port of Tanjung Perak Surabaya Indonesia

Port of Tanjung Perak has been visited by boats and ships from around the world since the era of Majapahit kingdom hundreds of years ago. It is one of the busiest ports in Indonesia that support the economic activities of the country. Port of Tanjung Perak is located in Surabaya, a trading city in Indonesia. It is also near the biggest naval base of Indonesia, Pangkalan AL Armada Timur. As the second largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya is seen as center of commerce beside Jakarta and other big cities.

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Ships carrying cargoes and passengers arrive and leave Tanjung Perak every day. Ships from other islands in Indonesia bring raw materials to Surabaya whereas ships from Surabaya bring manufactured goods to other islands. Ships that need repair will go to Dock of Surabaya whereas ship owners who need to order new ships can go to PT PAL, the largest shipbuilder in Indonesia. All of the ship repairers and shipbuilders, as well as other marine suppliers, make port of Tanjung Perak as their headquarters. In other words, Port of Surabaya is the center of Indonesian shipping and marine industry. If we visit the port, we will see hundreds of ships and boats at its harbors.

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It is not surprising to see that the marine pollution in this region is high. The color of sea water is not clear blue anymore. It looks brown-bluish now. The wastes from Surabaya city and from ships all dump in Port of Tanjung Perak's waters. Concrete actions from port administrators, marine industries, ship owners and city administrators are needed to clean the sea water around the port. by Charles Roring

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trimaran and Tricycle

In the design of high speed marine vehicle, we know that there are ship types such as Catamaran, Trimaran, or Jet Foil. Fast ship needs twin boat and trimaran to stabilize the ship when moving fast on sea surface. Trimaran especially is further improvement or development of traditional outrigger boat used by Pacific islanders when catching fish around the coastal region near their villages.

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On land there is also a term called tricycle or triseda. This is a popular vehicle in Indonesia which is used by kiosk or shop owners to deliver goods to their customers. My father just bought a new one. On the picture above, one of our workers was riding it. I see from the design, it looks like a small truck but with only three tires. If at sea a trimaran-hull increases the stability of the boat at high speed, I am doubtful if tricycle or triseda has similar properties in terms of stability. Four wheels will be more stable on the road than three wheels vehicle. From the fuel consumption point of view, the tricycle is lighter and the trimaran has finer body. So they are more efficient during operation.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Modern Trawler Ship and Traditional Fishing Practice

Modern trawler boat or ship has been criticized by many marine environmentalist to be the cause of major damages to coral reef in various parts of the world. We cannot deny that the ships with their high capacity fishnet can catch tons of fish, big and small, in just one trawling. Naval architects and ship designers have to adapt or be aware of the criticism by designing fishing vessels which are more environmentally friendly. For instance, to protect damages both to the propulsion system and the coral reef, the marine propeller has to be protected with nozzle. The shrouded propeller will not greatly damage the coral reef if the ship is moving on shallow water.



Naval architects and fishermen must also stop installing bottom trawling equipment in trawlers to further protect the marine environment. In addition, the hoze size of the fishnet has to be bigger to enable smaller fish to escape during the trawling. In cooperation with local marine authorities, certain coastal areas have to be assigned as No Take Zone areas to provide space for fish to breed sustainably.

In the Pacific region where the indigenous people still live in traditional ways, their sea water territory has been heavily exploited and abused. It is sad to see that the indigenous people of Papua cannot stop modern fishing fleet taking fish just several miles from their beach. It is also ironic to see how the indigenous Papuan have to struggle at night catching fish with only very simple fishing gear such as fishing spear and bamboo torch. I will write more about this issue in another post about how local Papuan catch fish at night. by Charles Roring. Also read: Sustainable Fishing Practice by Papuan Woman; Efficient propulsion system in ships and boats

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sustainable Fishing Practice by Papuan Woman

Today I am not going to talk about cutting edge fishing boat design. As naval architects, it is easy for us to deal with trawlers, purse seine, or skip jack by reading books related to this subject. There is a famous book entitled Fishing Book of the World edited by Jan Orlof Traung. The book discusses every aspect of fishing vessel design and method of catching fish. The topic of my today's post is about paintings.




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Click the above painting to read the background story of the painting. Well, today I only want to present you a painting of a Papuan Woman who was catching fish using very traditional or simple method. As you can see from the picture, she uses a fishing rod and line that is made of twisted gnemon's fiber. Gnemon Gnetum is a kind of plant which mostly grows in Papua island. People also call it Melinjo. Its young leaves are cooked as delicious vegetables. Its fruits are raw material for making crackers. The bait is tied on the tip end of the line without a hook. When the fish bites the worm, she will immediately pull up the fishing rod and collect the fish in a pocket that is also made of twisted gnemon's fiber. There is no nylon or modern fishing equipment involved in this fishing practice. Or in other words, I can say that this is really a sustainable fishing practice. She does not polute the water environment. She only takes what she needs in a proper amount. There are various beautiful watercolor paintings and drawings which I am about to upload to the blog.




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This above artwork is watercolor painting of Paradise bird. These paintings were made by Paul Warere a brilliant West Papuan artist whose artworks can be seen in my online Painting and Drawing Gallery. I launched the blog last week in order to promote artworks from Papuan artists as well as empowering their economy so that they can make a living from their art expertise. by Charles Roring. Also read: Watercolor pencils drawing of Papuan Catching A Bird and Watercolor pencils drawing of Papuan Drinking Enau

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sea Travel and the Maritime Industry in Indonesia

Indonesian people have traveled from one island to another for years. Sea travel is not seen as tourists journey but business one. As the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands big and small. Before the introduction of modern passenger ships from Germany by Pelni lines, the islands between Asia and Australia continents had been served mostly by small steel cargo vessels, ro-pax ferries, and thousands of traditional wooden boats.

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Sea travel and maritime industry are two inter-related sectors that support the mobility of travelers and goods in Indonesia. Airplanes from tens of airline companies in Indonesia cannot replace the vital role of passenger - cargo ships that have existed in this country for years. So, although the number of flights continues to rise in many cities and towns in Indonesia, it is not enough to fulfill the needs of means of transportation to move goods and people. Ships and boats still play significant role in Indonesian islands.

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The growth of population in Indonesia is around two percent every year with the current population has reached more than 220 million people. This figure puts this country as the fifth most populous nation in the world. Such a large number of people scatter around thousands of islands from Sabang to Merauke. Besides having a lot of population, Indonesia too has high economic growth.

Indonesia's high economic growth, in the middle of world financial crisis, needs the provisions of various types of ships to support it. Indonesia needs hundreds of small passenger ships to serve the mobility of the Indonesian people and cargo ships to transport goods. Big cities in Java and Sumatra needs raw materials from Kalimantan, Papua and Sulawesi islands whereas small towns in the remote islands need cargo ships to deliver manufactured products to support the economic development. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Efficient propulsion system in ships and boats

There are many factors that influence the fuel consumption of ships or boats. Naval architects know that the interaction between the propeller, the hull and the main engine greatly influences the fuel consumption of ships whether they are big or small. So, in order to obtain ships that have optimum propulsion efficiency, naval architects must design the ships with the propulsion system that are fully integrated.

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This is not an easy thing to do because every propulsion unit is contradicting one to another. For example an efficient hull form must have lower block coefficient with streamlined shape that in the contrary reduce the carrying capacity of the ships or boats that are being designed. In addition, the use of diesel engine is seen as a highly efficient main engine that is now used in many ships but we must not forget that diesel engines have vibrations and exhaust gases that will not be comfortable for crews and passengers.


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Besides the hull form and the main engine, the propeller plays very important role in the design of the propulsion system of a ship. Marine propeller is usually located under water at the stern of a ship or boat. If the propeller is well designed and manufactured by experts in ship's propulsion, the fuel and financial savings will be greatly significant throughout the operational years of the ships or boats. by Charles Roring. Also read: How to estimate ship's length for a new design

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trimaran a fast passenger boat

Trimaran is a high speed marine vehicle that looks like catamaran. It consists of one main hull and two other smaller hulls balancing each other at both sides of the boat. The fine and streamline shape of the boat enables her to move fast on sea surface even when the height of the wave has reached 2 meters. This type of boat is suitable for cruising or traveling from one island to another in certain regions such as the Carribean or the Pacific islands.

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Yesterday while I was watching Luxe TV, I saw the promotion of a passenger trimaran - Patrol One. The inside interior of the boat is similar to that of private jet plane. Passenger cabin is arranged in rows of black seats at port and starboard side separated by an aisle. It cannot be said that this boat is a luxurious one. Operating this boat is like driving a sport car. We can see it from the design of the "driver's steering wheel" which is similar to a Formula 1 car. According to the company that operates patrol one, the cost of the boat is 2 million US dollars.

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From naval architecture perspective, actually this type of boat is only a reinvention of outrigger boat or canoe which traditional fishermen in the Pacific islands use to catch fish or transport people and small number of their daily goods. In this region the Pacific islanders call it kole-kole. The outriggers are installed to stabilize the boat or canoe.


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The demand for high speed marine vehicles with low energy consumption or efficient propulsion system is increasing every year. Naval architects answer this by designing ships or boats that have unique hull forms. As a result, boats like catamaran, trimaran, pentamaran are released to the public. The hull shapes of these type of boats experience improvements. Now we can see boats that are called SWATH or Small Waterplane Area Twin Hulls. They are similar to catamaran but they have different hull forms. The propulsion system is still the same as conventional displacement ship, i.e. propeller. The main advantage of this boat is that her superstructure is located clear off the water. It makes her more stable even when she moves at high speed in rough seas.

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Trimaran at this time is specially built for small boats. Its advantage in fuel economy enables her to find wide applications in yacht, ferry, and even in naval ships. Large deck area is also favorable for fishermen. In the future, more ships or boats with better stability and propulsion properties such as catamaran and trimaran will frequently be seen on waters across the globe. by Charles Roring