Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Passenger ship in Indonesia

The transport of people and goods in Indonesia from one coastal town to another is mostly carried out by passenger ships and cargo ships. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with a population of around two hundred and twenty million people. Most of them live in coastal towns and villages that are scattered around more than seventeen thousand big and small islands. Passenger ships operated by PELNI - a state owned company still play significant roles as transport vessels for people and goods. In recent years, deregulation in air transportation system has given more market share for national airlines to operate in all corners of Indonesian archipelago. This new development clearly brings passenger ships in Indonesia into a new chapter of business competition.

Jet planes operated by a number of airlines in Indonesia greatly affect the market share of passenger ships in big coastal cities. However, the number of people who travel by ships is still high. To remain competitive in transporting people and goods, new passenger ships that are ordered by PELNI lines from German Shipyards have been experiencing new design approaches. Because most of the middle class clients choose airplanes to travel, the number of cabins for Class 1 to Class 4 have been reduced. PELNI as the major operator of passenger ships know that by increasing more compartments for economy class, the company can still make huge profit. In addition, in cooperation with Department of Transportation, PELNI extends its service to smaller but rapidly growing towns. The extension of the service needs the construction of new harbors or piers for PELNI ships whose capacity can reach up to 3,000 passengers per vessel. In addition, PELNI also offer car transport service for car owners who want to go to another town by using their own car.
During holiday times, PELNI's passenger ships often carry passengers more than their intended capacities, more life saving equipments have to be installed in the ship to minimize the number of casualties if there is accident at sea. We must remember that the RMS Titanic accident that sank in the Atlantic ocean must not happen again in this modern times.
When transatlantic passenger ships had long ceased from operation in late 1950s when jetplanes began to transport people between Europe and the New World, passenger ships in Indonesia was still at its first page of development. Now even though the whole Indonesia's air space has been filled with airplanes, passenger ships continue to serve people throughout this great maritime nation. by Charles Roring
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Passenger ship from Geelvink Bay

When I was going with Dr. Jaroslav Bacovsky and his friends from Czech republic from Manokwari city to Numfor island, I saw a fast passenger ship at the harbor. Her name is Fajar Indah. Her outside appearance may look like a luxurious cruise ship or yacht. It is totally different from Oasis of the Seas. As a matter of fact most of its compartments are for economic class. The ship goes from Manokwari to Wasior, Serui, Biak, and Nabire. These are small coastal towns in the Geelvink bay of New Guinea island. The passenger ship Fajar Indah II has got three decks allocated for people. I did not go into the ship to see the interior of the vessel but from the outside appearance, I could tell that this ship can carry hundreds of people on board. I walked closer to the ship to see the passenger compartments from her windows. The vessel has rows of economy class beds that are arranged in rows from the front to the back area of the hull.

Because she is a fast ship, she has a slim hull meaning that her block coefficient is small. In addition to smaller block coefficient, when I check the thickness of the shell of her upper hull, I found out that it was only around 10 milimeters or perhaps less. Shipbuilders tend to build fast ships whose hulls are constructed of aluminum materials. Because aluminum is more expensive than stainless still, the price of such vessel will be more expensive. So, it is not surprising to see that the ticket price of this passenger ship is four times higher than her competitor KMP Kasuari Pasifik IV - a ferry boat that travels from Manokwari to Numfor and Biak.
The waters along the northern coast of West Papua are also served by modern passenger ships operated by PELNI, a state owned passenger lines company. Ships such as MV. Dobonsolo and KM Nggapulu that were built by German shipyard. The existance of these big ships do not threaten the market share of small passenger ships that operate in the Geelvink bay of West Papua. Passenger vessels such as Fajar Indah II, KMP Kasuari Pasifik IV and KM Papua Baru have different port of calls that cannot be entered by Pelni ships.
The passenger ships in Geelvink bay of West Papua may be much smaller than RMS Titanic but their functions as important major links that connect towns and villages in the area cannot be ignored. We have to ensure that the safety of passengers is properly addressed and sea accident such as what the Titanic experienced in the Atlantic Ocean must not happen again in the Papuan waters. 
In recent years, smaller airlines operated by Susi Air have entered small towns in coastal and mountainous region of West Papua. Because the carrying capacity of the airplanes is small, i.e. less than 15 passengers, they do not pose serious threat to the economic survivability of these passenger vessels. Charles Roring
Also read
Passenger ship Yap Wairon
Oasis of the Seas

Inflatable Boat

Inflatable boat is a kind of boat whose bouyant apparatus (tube hull) will not absorb water when it experiences damages due to collision, leakages, brakes, or cracks. The inflatable boat does not have hollow hull. The hull tube which is the main buoyant vessel is filled with special foam whose specific weight is much lighter than the specific weight of the water. Inflatable boats are often used by Search And Rescue team, military personnel and any parties who work in unfavorable marine environment. Cities that are located in the lowland areas often experience flooding after heavy rain. I remembered the time when hurrican Cathrina hit New Orleans a few years ago. SAR team used inflatable boats that are powered by diesel or gasoline outboards engines to evacuate people who are trapped during the flood. The boats do not need a lot of maintenance because much of their bodies or hulls are made of rubber and other synthetic materials. Boats that are made of wood and steel need regular maintenance to prevent or minimize corrosion.
Other application of foam as fill material in marine devices is lifebuoy. Inflatable lifebuoy has long been recognized in the marine world. The inflatable lifebuoy will be thrown to crew or passenger of a boat or ship who has fallen into the sea. Classification Societies and SOLAS regulations have certain rules and requirements for the installation of inflatable lifebuoys, rafts and boats in big ships as life saving devices which people can use to escape if their ships are facing severe accidents at sea.
The picture of the inflatable boat above was taken at the wooden boat harbor of Anggrem area in Manokwari city of West Papua. This boat belongs to Indonesian army and has 10 seats powered with two Yamaha outboards. As a matter of fact, if the seats are removed, the inflatable boat can carry up to fifteen people. On the stern part of the boat, we can see the logo of the manufacturer, Hammer and Hammer Shark.
I took the picture using my digital camera Sony Cybershot DSC W-310 when I was guiding a group of tourists from the Netherlands in February 2011. They visited this coastal city for participating in the Gospel Preaching Day both in Kwawi area and Mansinam island. The Dutch travelers were the decendants of WL. Jens. A Dutch pioneer who was working as missionary in late 1800s in the Dore bay of Manokwari. by Charles Roring
Also read: Outrigger boat as tourist vehicle

Monday, March 28, 2011

Passenger Cargo Boat MV. Yap Wairon

Small passenger ships are in high demand in Indonesia - the largest archipelago in the world. For instance, in the northern coast of Papua and West Papua provinces, there are some vessels that transport thousands of people and tons of goods everyday from one town to another. I went to Manokwari harbor yesterday with Dr. Jaroslav Bacovsky. We went there to meet Mesakh Rumbruren who was coming from Numfor island to Manokwari city to return Mr. Bacovsky's passport which he dropped while traveling to the tropical island two days before. While waiting for the ferry boat KM. Kasuari Pasifik IV, we took the chance of exploring a small passenger cargo boat that was mooring at the pier. Its name was KM Yap Wairon. It was a passenger cargo boat. The front hull has been allocated for cargoes whereas the compartments below the superstructure and near the stern of the vessel have been allocated for the passenger decks.
I did not bring my digital camera Sony Cybershot DSC W310. I only had my cell phone in my hand. I immediately activated its camera feature, changed its settings to night shooting and began taking pictures of the main deck of the vessel and the lower decks for passenger accommodation. Passenger cargo boat Yap Wairon travels around the coastal towns in the Geelvink bay. It can carry approximately 300 passengers. This small steel vessel is powered by marine diesel engine. When I explored the vessel, I did not have any chances of entering its engine room but in my opinion it is powered by one main engine.
Passenger boat Yap Wairon is very very small compared to luxurious cruise ship the Oasis of the Seas whose passenger carrying capacity is 6,000 people. It also does not have swimming pools and modern state rooms.
Technically, passenger cargo boat MV Yap Wairon is a robust vessel. It is simple and it transport people and cargoes. There are bananas, and other tropical fruits on the deck of the boat mixed with passengers who wanted to go to Numfor, and Biak islands. I really like this boat because it was the boat that I went by when traveling to Numfor island in October 2010. I have traveled to the tropical island for three times. The first was by MV Yap Wairon whereas the second and third were by KM Kasuari Pasifik IV - a roro vessel. Although airplanes are getting more attractive to middle class people, small passenger cargo boats will continue to give significant contribution to the economic development of Papuan people who live in the coastal areas of the Geelvink bay. 
If you are interested in traveling around the Geelvink bay by boat and need a travel companion or guide, please contact me via my email: charlesroring@gmail.com.
Also read:
Passenger ship Yap Wairon
Passenger ships of PELNI Lines