YachtCharterFleet undertook an exclusive 5-night cruise through the Indonesian archipelago on board the 51m/167ft luxury yacht ‘Dunia Baru’ and soon discovered what makes her the finest phinisi ever built.
Eight years in the making, Dunia Baru began life on the outskirts of the Kalimantan jungle where a 20-strong team of native Konjo Boat Builders hand-crafted her majestic hull and superstructure from locally harvested ironwood and teak.
Delivered to her owner, Mark Robba, in 2014, luxury phinisi Dunia Baru certainly cuts a striking figure on the water. Indeed, she wonderfully recreates the lines of a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship, otherwise known as a phinisi.
These vessels have been crafted in Indonesia for more than five centuries now and Dunia Baru certainly shares a number of traits with her predecessors, added to which are multiple design features and innovations that make her an unrivalled addition to today’s charter market.
Such interplay between modern and tradition present throughout her 51 metres is excellently demonstrated in her hull which, although crafted using traditional building methods and donning a conventional appearance, was actually pioneered by American architect Michael Kastern.
What cannot be known by the eye alone is that the streamlined structure surpasses all previous levels of stability, safety and handling demonstrated in the phinisi canon, and thus setting the bar high for the remainder of the build.
When stepping aboard Dunia Baru via her port-side boarding platform guests are welcomed by her wide, sweeping foredeck, a typical phinisi trait where, under the cover of a retractable sun awning, an alfresco lounge formed of two long sofas facing a rectangular coffee table takes centre stage.
Further forward, a mast and rigging attached to handmade fixtures on the bulwarks soar skywards as five bark-coloured sails flutter in the breeze. Turn around, meanwhile, to see a second mast ascending from the flat-topped, boxy superstructure aft, supporting two further sails.
As her bow begins to converge to form its tall, narrow tip, a raised, horizontal strip is furnished with a scattering of bean bags, creating a casual lounging area where guests can soak up the surrounds during the day and star gaze when the sun goes down.
Spanning across the widest point of Dunia Baru’s main deck and forming the forward-most part of the superstructure is the main salon, accessed via the wraparound decks.
Split in half, the open-plan space is made up of a U-shaped sofa and square coffee table to port, and a rectangular, wooden dining table and benches to starboard.
A small library of books fill the beautifully crafted shelves opposite the simple eating area, while the sofa faces a 60-inch flat screen television.
A popular place to cool off when temperatures soar outside, the salon is surrounded on three sides by a continuous expanse of rectangular windows, allowing natural light to flood inside and guests to remain connected with the exotic scenery of South East Asia.
As well as providing opportunities for lounging, dining and socialising, the main salon also serves as the technical hub of the charter yacht.
Movie nights are possible thanks to the television’s connection to a comprehensive media centre and a state-of-the-art surround sound system, and satellite TV can be watched here too when coverage permits.
A central docking station controls a Sonos music system integrated into 14 zones throughout the yacht or guests can download the Sonos app onto their smartphone and connect to the system directly.
Likewise, smartphones and tablets can sync to the yacht’s satellite to download digital editions of the latest newspapers, available in a variety of languages, and 3G Wi-Fi and satellite internet are available as well.
Three of the master builders even remain on board today, demonstrating the meticulousness embodied in Dunia Baru
The aft section of the main deck presents one of Dunia Baru’s most alluring features: a unique eat-in galley. At its centre is a large island around which are nine bar stools on one side, providing a perch for guests while the Chef is at work opposite.
Throughout the day, guests can drop by here whenever they are in need of refreshments, order directly with the Chef and eat at the bar-like island, allowing for a more spontaneous style of dining not often possible on a luxury yacht.
Designed to be the social heart of a yacht charter, the galley opens up through double doors aft onto an alfresco dining area, where more formal occasions can be enjoyed around a long, rectangular table capable of seating 14 guests.
More importantly for Head Chef Tom Brett, the specially-designed galley incorporates everything necessary to undertake extensive blue water voyaging.
A commercial range and tepanyaki grill make up part of the central island and there is even a professional standard prep-room.
Bringing his passion for eating clean, wholesome, organically grown food together with his culinary artistry, Tom proved to be exquisite at his craft while YachtCharterFleet was aboard, creating light, healthy and delicious dinners using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Located above the galley and alfresco dining area is an elegant master suite and private terrace, which shares the upper deck with the helm, navigation systems and Captain’s quarters forward.
In a prime position, the aft terrace provides wonderful panoramic vistas across the ocean and is furnished with a large daybed, offering a peaceful retreat for the principal charterer alongside serving as a massage table.
Accordingly, a qualified masseuse can form part of the crew at the request of the principle charterer, with each guest staying on board receiving two complimentary massages.
The cabin itself is bestowed with fantastic views too thanks to a continuous stretch of windows, and this also ensures the room is flooded with natural light throughout the day, illuminating the central, handcrafted four poster bed, desk to port and seating to starboard.
The stunning wooden styling continues into the en suite and balances remarkably well with modern fixtures to ensure the ambience remains authentic while adding a touch of luxury.
Similarly, the six double guest cabins on the lower deck all remain in keeping with the overall look and feel of Dunia Baru while exuding a subtle touch of exotic opulence.
All slightly different in size and layout, the staterooms fan out from a central corridor and take on their own identity through the use of individual colour themes, textiles and artworks.
Inspiration was sought from Balinese furniture stores, Indonesian culture and the Owner's own travels to top hotels around the world, and all offer an uncluttered and serene environment in which to unwind after a busy day on the water.
The key notion guiding Dunia Baru throughout her construction was to create the ultimate example of what is possible with a phinisi
Much of Dunia Baru’s interior was crafted in Bali - where she was towed after her hull and superstructure were completed - and the finished product likewise showcases the remarkable skill and finesse of the craftsmen and carpenters of Indonesia.
Throughout the construction process, the Konjo Boat Builders were challenged to go beyond the usual limit of their artisan skills, and their outstanding success is evident throughout the whole yacht from the all-wooden door hinges and bar stools to the cabinet doors and intricate inlays.
Two of the master carpenters involved in the build, who are fifth generation shipwrights, even remain on board today as part of the crew to ensure an expert is always available to fix any problems that may occur.
True rarities, the pieces of art featured on board Dunia Baru have been sourced from talented local artisans, all hand-picked by the Owner and his wife around Bali. Consistent with the yacht’s traditional styling, the expertly crafted sculptures appropriately accent both the communal and guest spaces.
In the main salon, for example, a bust of the Buddhist protector of seaman, Kwan Yin, is both aesthetically impressive and relevant to the yacht’s broader theme.
By evoking the landscape and spirit of Indonesia, the work ultimately enhances the unique experience of vacationing on board a traditional phinisi.
Before guests retreat to their cabins for the night, however, Dunia Baru undergoes a total transformation. As darkness falls, she comes alive with the glow of 350 multi-coloured LED lights, elevating her well beyond the realm of a traditional phinisi.
Inlaid in the bulwarks, hull and eat-in galley, the lights cast brilliant rays of rainbow hues into the surrounds, creating a striking image on the water and wonderful atmosphere on deck.
The effect even continues into the interior, where the staircase to the lower deck lights up in vibrant colours. Yet, the standout feature at night is undoubtedly the foredeck, which effortlessly converts into a cocktail lounge.
The sofas extend to connect with the central table and extra cushions are added to create a comfortable, raised lounging area, illuminated with colourful lights integrated into the wooden furniture.
Whilst she captures the essence of a classic Indonesian vessel, Dunia Baru is fitted with all of the latest navigational equipment. Superbly integrated, the state of the art technology found in the bridge does nothing to distract from the overall flow of the phinisi.
Indeed, the space is finished with the same high-quality carpentry as the guest areas and is spacious enough for guests to gather behind the helm when the yacht is underway.
Allowing the captain to cruise with incredible ease and efficiency, the implementation of such technology naturally helps to plan a course around Dunia Baru’s charter grounds.
Just as finely integrated as the navigational equipment, the central engineering of Dunia Baru has been seamlessly installed below deck.
Sourcing all of the necessary mechanical equipment from the US, the Owner personally selected and oversaw the fitting of the incredibly high-end parts in collaboration with a team of engineers from Massachusetts. Just as impressive as the engine rooms on the latest motor yachts, the arrangement is immaculate and treated to extensive maintenance during the off seasons.
Such engineering ultimately sets Dunia Baru apart from other similar yachts, with her traditional style backed up by a wholly modern performance and reliability.
Cruising the world’s most biodiverse waters, Dunia Baru is fittingly equipped with specialist dive equipment and a crew member is a qualified PADI dive instructor. Beginners and pros alike will be able to take advantage of the facilities as well as the teaching to discover the region's world-class dive sites.
The yacht is also stocked with an extensive range of water toys such as jet skis, water skis, kayaks, paddle boards and inflatable ribs, offering even more ways in which to explore the spectacular waters of South East Asia.
The key notion guiding Dunia Baru throughout her build was to create the ultimate example of what is possible in phinisi construction and it's clear she has surpassed all expectations.
For a more detailed look at her journey from conception to delivery, be sure to take a look at our article on building Dunia Baru.
A winning combination of innovative engineering, indigenous boat building and carpentry skills, top quality materials and practical yet aesthetic design features that have never been seen on a superyacht before elevate Dunia Baru beyond the other phinisi in her class and allow her to offer an unprecedented charter package.
Meaning ‘new world’ in Indonesian, S/Y Dunia Baru certainly opens up an exciting new way of exploring her native waters of South East Asia in luxurious authenticity.
For further information, please contact your preferred charter broker.
Konjo Boat builders
|Gross Tonnage395 GT|
|Max Speed12 knots|
|Cruising Speed10 knots|
|Fuel Consumption30 LPH|
|Range 1,100 nm|
|Range at 10 Knots|