So here is an interesting fact that came up from building Big Boat. The trees on Nusa Lembongan have long been used by the local islanders for making their boats and the traditional design for the area is the out rigger. This is a boat that has a very shallow draught but is kept stable by two bamboo floats held in place on curved wooden arms.
They Grow Them!
These curved wooden arms are specifically grown. They get a young tree or new branch and weigh it down so that it starts to grow in a curve. Once the wood has set to that shape, the weight is removed and the branch or tree curves back up again. These trees can still be seen as you ride around the island. Llook out for them as you go around the mangrove road.
It takes about eight years for a outrigger to fully mature. It is then cut and shaped to suit the boat being built. Our Big Boat has six of these scarfed onto end of each arm. They were by far the most expensive pieces of wood on our boat!
The other major pieces of wood on our boat are the mooring bollards. Again, these are from specific trees that the local use just for this purpose. They are hard wearing and tough enough to take the day to day strain of keeping the boat secure on its moorings. Ours are now over thirteen years old and the ropes have carved deep grooves into their surface.
Re-cycle, Re-claim, Re-use!
We also did a lot of recycling for our boat. There were many parts of the old boat which were still in good repair. We simply adapted them for the new boat. There are still some parts of the roof on our boat that date all the way back to our original Big Boat!
In the next thrilling instalment, we slap on the paint…and talcum powder!