Introductory To Commercial Coastal Fishing Boat Building In Malaysia
Commercial fishing boats which are operating within local regional water are very much of traditional design and production. It is run domestically. This means that these vessels are not subjected to international classification societies regulations. It is licensed by local maritime port of authority. This results in a more simplified building and approval process.
Most of the boats are made of fiberglass moulded via extensive joinery works and a small number of vessels which are made of steel. Most boat owners would prefer to have fiberglass boats due to maintenance issue. Fiberglass is known for light weight and corrosion free and that would mean savings in terms of time in docking and hull maintenance works to be carried out. The boat is light which will also save in fuel consumption.
Comparatively to steel boats, more works to be done during docking. For example, hull painting and renewal of sacrificial anodes compared to just cleaning of barnacles for fiberglass boats.
Potential Of Steel Hull
A survey on fiberglass boat building was conducted in Sandakan, Sabah, East Malaysia. It is evident that a lot of timbers to be used for preparation of fiberglass moulding. It is labour and material intensive which is not efficient compared to steel boat building. Timbers are now in strict control by forestry authority due to environmental issue. One fact is that skilled carpentry workers are few and far between nowadays. With fishing boat demand is still continuing, this can lead to suspicious quality issue of the boats.
As a result, steel boat is a good alternative to this running problem. One of the reasons on why lesser boat builders engaged in steel boat building is because of the lack of knowledge of efficient steel production in boat building.
It is to note that this is not an issue for large scale marine and offshore construction where it is commonly practised in almost all shipyards. However, as mentioned earlier, commercial fishing boat building is still very much run domestically, such technical know-how is not well and widely applied.
With good steel production engineering and proper marine coating system, production and maintenance issue for these fishing boats which are made of steel can be solved effectively. As such, boat owners are willing to own steel boats provided this is well taken care of.
One important fact to know that commercial fishing is very much controlled by local maritime authority. While there is abundance of fishes, but any fishing method that will cause harm to environment will not be allowed.
As per the latest fishing boat licensing regulation of East Malaysia, boat owners are no longer be granted trawler license. This is due to the harm that is brought upon by trawling to the sea bed. This results in a change of trend where boats are now adopting light attraction fishing method. One of the advantages in using light is that no trawling is involved and that in turn will make the boat construction easier and savings in investment of deck machineries.
Following this, it is therefore clear that lighting is an important feature for these light attraction fishing boats. Without such, boat owners will not be able to fish and generate their revenue. It is to note that the current lighting system which is in used in most of the light attraction boats are of high wattage halogen bulb. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to switch to LED lighting systems for a more greener approach.
Although the up front cost of LED lights are more expensive than halogen bulbs, it is the long term running cost which will benefit owners in the end. Conventional halogen bulbs will have to be replaced every 2 to 3 months where as LED lightings can last far longer generally upto 50,000 usage hours. Most of the LED lights come with warranty period which is an indication of assured and confidence in usage period.
Insteel is the authorized sole agent in Singapore for Aeon Lighting Technology (ALT) of Taiwan to supply and install LED lights used in marine environment. We choose to use ALT IP68 Marine LED products in our design. There is absolutely no doubt on the quality and technology. This is an important selling point of our boat which has vast potential for customers to come back to us for their subsequent boats once it is in operation.
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