- year built
- crew members
- 131 feet
- 28 feet
- 11.5 feet
- cruising speed
- 7-9 knots
Katharina is a 12-guest sailing vessel whose adventures explore the Ring of Fire, the string of volcanic islands that stretch out from Bali east to the Philippines. Katharina is a mix of traditional and modern design. Her hull and rigging are traditional, while the deck house and interior are custom designed to cater to Western tastes of space, privacy and comfort. While Indonesian traditional sailing vessels are customarily referred to as Bugi schooners, strictly speaking, Katharina is rigged as a ketch, the foremast being higher than the aft mast.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Katharina review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our small ship cruise experts have been aboard the Katharina firsthand. Please read our Katharina review below then contact our experts to compare the Katharina with other small cruise ships and yachts offering Indonesia cruises.
Katharina is a gorgeous sailing vessel that AdventureSmith Explorations is proud to represent among our many small ship cruises around the world. She is a modern vessel with rich, cultural roots. The founder of SeaTrek Sailing Adventures discovered her under construction in 1998 while he was paying a courtesy visit to some old Buginese friends who had moved to Batulicin. He spotted her slender hull under construction on the riverbank and made a deal with her builder, based on the Buginese principle that all boats are always for sale even before they are launched. This story, of how Katharina was rescued from a hard life of carrying cargo, is now an important chapter in the history of SeaTrek Sailing Adventures. She was baptized Katharina, and a French naval architect redesigned the superstructure and the interior of the hold.
The Bugis people of south Sulawesi, once feared as pirates, are known as the most skillful ship builders and sailors of Indonesia. Their vessels, perahu (smaller fishing boats) and pinisi (cargo carriers, like Katharina was intended to be), were and still are hand-crafted entirely from timber. The pinisi are elegant two-masted schooners with mainsails, top-sails and three jibs. Today, while still hand-built by native craftsmen from tropical hardwood and still with traditional rigging, they usually hold an engine in addition to the sails. The construction of of a pinisi hull always follows age-old and well-established design principles. What is most remarkable is that these huge handmade structures (in the case of Katharina, a total weight of 300 tons of wood) are made without any drawings, fully relying on the intuitive craftsmanship of its builders as passed along through many generations. Contrary to Western boat-building practice, the Bugis method of hull construction is to start with the planking and fit in the beams later.
Katharina is different from most traditional pinisis because she became a joint effort between western naval architects and traditional Bugis skills. The superstructure and the interior were redesigned to accommodate small groups of passengers for cruising in the Indonesian archipelago, offering an excellent standard of reliability, safety and comfort. Her spacious air-conditioned, en-suite staterooms, the dining/recreational area and the large deck space with comfortable chairs and sun beds make the Katharina perfectly suitable for extended passages and leisure cruises.
Common Areas Aboard Katharina
The deck area of Katharina is dominated by the 82-foot-tall main and top masts and a large central table around which you can enjoy meals alfresco. Just aft is the main lounge and bar, accessible on the port side and featuring a television, DVD player and music center. On top of this main cabin there is a sun deck with deck chairs and comfortable day beds. Guests enjoy unlimited use of snorkeling equipment and two sea canoes. Redesigned in 2014, the salon and central dining areas now feature an upper deck shaded lounge.
Dining Aboard Katharina
Free tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices and mineral water is available on board Katharina, 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 staterooms as there is limited space in the ship’s coolers.
Safety & Sustainability Aboard Katharina
Katharina 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. Much attention is given to her maintenance; she has an annual docking period and periodical checks of all the technical installations on board. In 2014, Katharina received a complete overhaul of all auxiliary systems and was equipped with solar panels, wind generators and deep cycle marine battery systems so she would have the smallest possible carbon imprint.
Deck Plan & Cabins Aboard Katharina
The staterooms were completely redesigned in 2014, including natural light and a new state-of-the-art air conditioning system. Each stateroom aboard Katharina has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All staterooms have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) 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. And 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. Voltage on board is 220 volts. In each cabin there is a socket suitable for 2-way European plugs. Two triple cabins offer a third bunk suitable for a child, increasing the guest count to 14 by request.