Help us maintain a traditional wooden sailing boat here in Langkawi, Malaysia




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  • Description


    Hello, my name is Chris. We are a Swiss-Malaysian family and operate a small restaurant and had been running a charter business with a small fleet of boats here in Langkawi.

    While we stopped this charter business, we are still in good contact with one of the boats that worked with us. This boat is quite unique as it is a traditional Malay wooden junk schooner of almost 100 feet and the only one of her kind for charter in Malaysia. The builder/owner/skipper of this boat had a very similar boat built in the 80ies and sailed it round the world. This Malaysian boat is built in an archaic technique with wooden dowels and caulking bark. The art of building these boats is rapidly dying out and very few masters have still been practising this skill on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

    Now, beginning of September 2019, this boat is sitting on her mooring in Kuah, main town of Langkawi while the owner just returned from a trip to Germany. He is trying to assemble a team to take the boat up on the hard and do the yearly maintenance work on the hull like antifouling paint etc. The work in the boatyard will be hard work for about 14 days to max 4 weeks and the helpers will learn a lot about how a wooden boat is built and maintained. As a reward for their help the owner will take the team for a sailing cruise around the Langkawi Archipelago. There will not be much chartered sailing done until the boat will probably start her yearly charter job for the hotel from November to the end of April. In case you like to stay long time on board and help, check it out! The slipway promised to haul us out in October.

    If you are a trained electrician, a carpenter or a mechanic, the skipper will be most happy to show you how a wooden boat sails and feels in return for your help. But even unskilled helpers are welcome. No sailing skills are required, but a will to work and an ability and a liking for manual labour. Volunteers should be physically fit - no couch potatoes!

    Caution: Since it takes a while to get familiar on a boat, helpers who want to come for a week or two are not accepted. Short term helpers do not need to apply, helpers are expected to stay on after their training if they fit into the team. Minimum stay is one to two month!

    This is an opportunity to live on board a unique sailing boat, learn what it means to maintain a wooden classic and learn how to sail a traditional junk rigged boat.

    Check it out!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Helping with Tourists
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will meet people of all walks of life, on the island you can still find old kampongs (villages) where the Malays live as in the times before tourists arrived. You can practise your skills in Malay language and explore a virgin rain forest.

  • Help


    Maintain a wooden boat. Maintenance includes polishing the stainless, cleaning before and after a charter, oiling, some ropework, which we will teach you.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    German, English, Malay

  • Accommodation


    You will live in one of the guest cabins on board with private toilet / shower. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided by the owner of the boat or cooked on board.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Langkawi is a well known holiday destination in Malaysia, an archipelago of 99 islands at the edge of the Andaman Sea, 60 SM north of Penang. A substantial part of the island is covered with virgin rainforest, good for jungle trekking and bird watching: eagles and hornbills are abundant. Watersport (exept for diving or snorkeling), kayaking, bike riding. You can explore the island with a rented motorbike or just relax in a tropical environment. Quite frequently we see groups of dolphins, even in harbour.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25hours a week max

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Host ref number: 115213745811