Sunday, July 18, 2010

Outrigger Boat

Outrigger boats that you see on the photographs and video below are  typical boats which fishermen in Manokwari of Papua island use to catch fish or lobster. The boat is usually dug out of a single wooden log that is taken from the nearby forest. The length of the boat ranges from 4 to 6 meters depending on the cut log which is the raw material for boat building. Outrigger boat is very stable boat. The floats on either sides of the boat are made of light wood locally called kayu gabus or bamboo. Boat with outrigger is more stable than a boat or canoe without outrigger.
With these gabus or bamboo floats attached at both ends of the outriggers, the metacentric height (GM) of the boat can be increased significantly without needing to increase the breadth of the boat and her displacement. The average light displacement of this outrigger boat, which is the weight of the boat when it is empty without a fisherman sitting on it with his fishing gear, is around 50 to 70 kilograms for small boat and 60 to 150 kilograms for larger boat with lengths of 6 to 8 meters. Please, see the following video of how an elementary school Papuan boy in Manokwari Papua dragged his outrigger wooden boat from the beach to the sea to take lobster. He used wooden paddle to move the boat at sea.
Because of its slender hull, the water resistance of the boat is also small. It can be powered with outboard diesel or gasoline engine. Outrigger boat whose lengths are between 8 and 12 meters are usually used to transport passengers from one island to another or from the main island of Papua to many smaller islands.
The advantageous working principle of outrigger boat whose water resistance is small with greater stability has been used in the develop trimaran - a modern high speed marine vehicle that is used as pleasure boat or yacht. Some experimental trimarans are powered with diesel engine and wind.
The traditional outrigger boat in West Papua island that you see in this article does not experience many technological improvements. In the past when modernization had not entered the island, fishermen used paddle to power their boats. Now, although paddle is still used in many smaller boats, larger outrigger boats  that can carry up to  12 passengers are usually installed with a 25 to 40 horsepower outboard engine manufactured by Yamaha. Usually the propeller installed in such boats have three blades made of aluminum.by Charles Roring