When to go

The best season for sailors who want to visit Indonesia for a sailing trip is between June and September, when the wind is blowing consistently from the east to the west.

,These are no yachts´- sailing performance

Dick Bergsma, Sea Trek Sailing Adventures, 2009

,,Do not expect too much from the sailing performance of a seven sail pinisi. These boats are no yachts and to sail them close to the wind is almost impossible. In the past these boats where following the monsoon winds so they always had a back wind.

They are not build for close hauled courses. Most of the pinisi used for charters these days still do follow the monsoon winds and therefore never have to sail close to the wind.

´´Once we were sailing with one of our pinisi nine knots, but that was exceptional. We made a lot of heel. The average speed under sail is more like four knots, and we often leave the engine on after we´ve hoisted the sails. These boats are almost like flat bottom boats.

These are absolutely not comparable to yachts since they are extremely heavy. A thirty meter pinisi can weigh up to 300 tons. Twelve centimeters thick planks are being used in enormous quantities. These are boats that last a lifetime. But they are also extremely heavy.´´

,,It is a miracle that there are still so many wooden sailing boats with one mast being built in Indonesia, although there are very little sailing skills left. It has everything to do with the special tax status for ships with a mast. And less tax means also less port dues.

There is a strong financial incentive to keep on building pinisi with the mast. But the sailing skills are slowly disappearing, although they are not entirely lost yet.´´