Terengganu is well known for its artisanal skills in boat making for centuries. Using no blue prints and no nails, the boat makers of Pulau Duyong are world famous for crafting boats by hand. And we are not just talking about fishing vessels used by our fishermen; bespoke ocean faring wooden boats have been built here. Private individuals from the USA and New Zealand have known to have purchased their boats from our boat makers. Indeed, the skills and craftsmanship of Terengganu boat builders have attracted the attention of many yacht and boat enthusiasts from all over the world.
The skills of these boat builders are highly prized due to their meticulous attention to detail where their crafting is only guided by pure memory and past experience. As mentioned, the original boat builders of the past do not rely on blue prints but their numbers are unfortunately dwindling.
Using only the best woods, in this case, cengal wood, whose availability or lack of it have been known to have delayed orders. Craftsmanship and integrity are what have shaped the vocation of these boat builders and they will not settle anything less than the best.
The number of boat builders from Pulau Duyong has dwindled to just a few. However, the government has taken steps through its agencies to train the younger generation in the craft and hopefully to keep this heritage industry alive. It would be a sad state of event if this industry is not revived soon. And it is hoped that with visitors descending on Pulau Duyong to learn about the glorious past of the boat building industry, this would encourage and boost the young to take on the vocation and continue on and preserve this industry which has been the pride of our history for centuries.