The 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih combines traditional and modern design to bring authenticity and comfort to her itineraries in the Ring of Fire region stretching from Bali to the Philippines. Though she has a traditional hull and rigging, like traditional Indonesian sailing vessels called Bugi schooners, Ombak Putih is formally a ketch, with her foremast higher than the aft mast. She has a storied past, well fitting for her memory-making itineraries in Indonesia today.
Ombak Putih Review
Choose Ombak Putih for an intimate sailing adventure along unique Ring of Fire routes. The vessel's beauty is the perfect match for the stunning region and waters in which she plies. Read about Ombak Putih's history and specifications below, and then contact the experts at AdventureSmith Explorations to compare this vessel with others in the region.
Ombak Putih's construction followed age-old and well-established design principles. Throughout Asia, the Buginese people from the island of Sulawesi are well-known for their shipbuilding skills; most remarkable about Ombak Putih is that this huge handmade structure was made without any drawings, fully relying on the intuitive craftsmanship of its builders as passed along through many generations. A Dutch naval architect was hired to recalculate and verify all dimensions for ultimate seaworthiness, as well as design the interior and the deck house. Only first-quality timber was used, therefore making the hull considerably thicker than most other wooden vessels (ranging from 10cm down below to 6cm near the deck). The entire hull from the keel up to deck level was made from carefully selected and seasoned ironwood (ulin). Other safety measures include a 'work horse' Detroit Diesel engine, a brand that has proven its durability and reliability over the last 50 years (most ships of the US Navy have Detroit Diesel engines), anchor chains instead of wire rope and many safety features demanded by the Australian coast guard for ocean-going vessels.
Construction on Ombak Putih began in May of 1996 on the banks of a muddy river. In October her planking and hull were finished and all moulds and stringers were in place. The engine, water, fuel and septic tanks were placed in February 1997, then the inner deck (floor of cabins below deck) was laid and construction started on the 12 cabins.
In May of 1997, one year after construction started, six men started digging. In Batulicin, boats are not towed into the water. Instead, men dig away the soil underneath, thus creating a small canal out of which the boat is eventually pulled. Digging mud is a heavy and dirty job. It takes six men about one month to dig a small canal of 164 feet tall, 23 feet wide and 10 feet deep. On May 27, 1997, the Ombak Putih was launched, complete with the Buginese tradition of a goat being ritually sacrificed and its blood scattered over various important places of the ship. Ombak Putih's small crew then sailed her to Surabaya where suppliers were waiting to install air conditioners and electicity, outfit the bathrooms and so on. In August of 1997, she was ready to set sail for Bali to start her first trip with guests.
Ombak Putih is fitted with all internationally required safety and communication equipment such as SSB and VHF radios, life jackets, life rafts and satellite telephone. Her crew is a well-trained, well-seasoned Indonesian crew of 16, several of whom have worked on the vessel since she was launched, complemented by a multilingual European cruise director.
Common Areas Aboard Ombak Putih
Ombak Putih's Main Deck is dominated by the 82-foot-tall mainmast and a large deck table where guests can have dinner under the stars. On the deck house level on the aft side of the boat, a spacious sun deck (with canopy for some shade) overlooks the sea. Here you can read in a comfortable deck chair or dream away on a comfortable day bed or teak furniture. There is ample space for both guests and crew. A large deckhouse is low enough to maintain the original sail plan, while still providing sufficient sleeping and living quarters for the crew. There is a large galley and a spacious air-conditioned lounge with a television, VCD and music center.
Take advantage of the marine world around you by using the complimentary snorkeling equipment on board, or the two sea canoes. There is a freshwater on-deck shower for rinsing off after activities. Scuba diving in Komodo National Park may be arranged on select itineraries at an added cost.
Dining Aboard Ombak Putih
Free tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices and mineral water is available on board Ombak Putih, as are excellent meals and snacks. You'll enjoy a welcome drink and chilled towels to refresh you upon embarkation. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated upon request. Wine, beer and other alcholic drinks are available for purchase on board; however, Indonesia has high import taxes for alcohol, so guests are permitted to bring their own wine or liquor, which should be stored in cabins as there is limited space in the ship's coolers.
Cabins Aboard Ombak Putih
Ombak Putih features 12 cabins, four with double beds (cabin # 2, 6, 8, 12), four configured as twin-bunks (cabin # 4, 5, 10, 11) and four configured for triple occupancy with a double and an extra singe bed (cabin # 1, 3, 7, 9). Each cabin aboard Ombak Putih has individually controlled air conditioning and its own private bathroom with hot shower, wash basin, toilet and toiletries. Towels and beach towels are regularly changed. There is ample space to store your belongings and still move about with ease. Valuables and travel documents can be stored in the ship's safe. Voltage on board is 220 volts. In each cabin there is a socket suitable for 2-way European plugs. An added bonus is mattresses and light blankets available on the Top Deck for sleeping under the stars, an unforgettable experience that a cruise in the tropics affords.
Ombak Putih Deck Plan