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30 Meter

Luxury Charter Pinisi / 'KLM'

30m Kapal Layar Mesin - An Indonesian Motor Sailing Yacht
Sail Plan & Exterior Profile | Interior Profile | Exterior Deck & Grand Suite Layout | Main & Lower Deck Layout
Lines Aft | Lines Forward | Sketch Above Aft | Sketch Above Forward

Copyright 2004 - 2016 Michael Kasten

This 30m wooden charter yacht is modeled after the traditional Indonesian Kapal Layar Mesin - literally translated as "boat-sail-machine."  In the West, we would call this combination a "Motor Sailor." In Indonesia they are just called "KLM." For a complete introduction to the history of the Indonesian Pinisi types as well as the relatively newer KLM types, please see our Pinisi History web page. Also please see our larger 36m KLM design... similar but considerably larger...

Much of the information below is virtually identical to that provided for our larger 36m KLM design, since both vessels share the same purpose and the same styling inspiration: the working KLM types of Indonesia.

The Traditional Kapal Layar Mesin...

These craft are extremely common throughout Indonesian waters, and are used as cargo vessels. They are built nearly everywhere in Indonesia in one form or another, and in sizes ranging from 25 meters to over 50 meters. The KLM are in fact the "semi-trucks" of the Indonesian archipelago, just as the sailing Pinisi had been before them.

These KLM are heavily based on the older sailing types of Pinisi (also spelled Phinisi) - so much so that even the KLM are often called Pinisi. The KLM bow is identical to the older sailing vessels - complete with the sailing Pinisi foremast, standing-gaff sail, gaff tops'l, jib sails and bowsprit. From amidships aft though, the KLM differ from the sailing Pinisi altogether...

Aft, the sailing Pinisi would traditionally have had a pointed stern and overhanging aft deck like that on our larger design, the 36m Pinisi. By contrast, the KLM hull has a motor vessel stern. In other words the KLM stern is wide and the "run" is straight and relatively flat. We would refer to this as having a "counter-stern" with a transom at the end. The KLM "transom" is very much like that of a US west coast fishing seiner, being rounded in plan view. The seiner type of stern and the KLM stern alike are built up of "lifts" rather than being planked with "staves" as would be more common on a yacht.

In any case, these KLM always have a broad stern. As with the sailing Pinisi the KLM have an overhanging aft deck, which in this case is quite a lot wider than on a traditional sailing Pinisi. Aft of amidships on deck the KLM commonly have a two story superstructure. On cargo craft, the lower story is at deck level and is used for the galley and crew, while the upper story contains the bridge and captain's quarters. Naturally there are many local variations.

A few photos of traditional KLM types can be found on our Indonesia Pictures web page.

The KLM as a Yacht...

The specific idea we were asked to develop was to create a vessel based on a common local type that could be economically built in Indonesia using locally available timbers, but to refine the type for use as a yacht.

In order to create a luxury yacht using the traditionally built KLM has mainly been a matter of sizing and arranging the cabins for their new purpose and to refine the hull shape for use as a yacht, rather than as a much more burdensome cargo vessel.

As a bonus, the refined yacht hull shape is much more comfortable in the sea than the boxy cargo hull shapes which have a reputation for having a rather harsh and unkind motion when not deeply laden with cargo. After all, a yacht need only carry a load of fuel, food, passengers, and their water toys.

Additional goals have been to provide greater strength and longevity of structure than is found among local craft. Our aim in so doing has been to reduce maintenance, to provide a high degree of comfort, improve the performance under power, and to increase the long term safety of the ship.

The Intent...

The specific requirement was that the interior layout enable the vessel to be used in either of two modes:

1. As a personal world-traveling yacht for a private owner and guests, or
2. For use as a charter yacht with "managed ownership."

By "managed ownership" we mean that the yacht is privately owned, but is managed by a charter company who is able to charter the vessel when it is not being used by the owner. In exchange for its use, the charter company takes care of the vessel's maintenance and repairs, and provides the owner with an income stream.

Done correctly, this is the perfect way to own a boat - no maintenance, it pays its own way, and the owner can step aboard a well maintained vessel nearly any time and simply enjoy their time aboard rather than having to manage the vessel's upkeep.

For more information about how we have accomplished such goals with these vessels, please see our Pinisi Building web page.

 30m KLM Phinisi - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
 Click for Larger Image

The Layout...

The best introduction to the layout is to have a look at the following links:

Sail Plan & Exterior Profile | Interior Profile | Exterior Deck & Grand Suite Layout | Main & Lower Deck Layout 

For the interior, we wanted to achieve maximum size suites throughout rather than allowing any of the accommodations to become crowded.

We also wanted to create an owner's "grand suite" that was large, luxurious and private, but which still had excellent access to those parts of the boat that the owner would think of as being an extended part of the owner's habitat... What exactly do we mean by this..?

We placed the owner's suite on the top deck for maximum view, and also for maximum privacy. We arranged access so that the owner could readily get to the bridge, the promenade deck forward of the bridge, the lounge, and the galley - more or less thinking of those spaces as an extension of the owner's personal space, but also allowing those spaces to be shared by guests. In charter mode, the deluxe suite would command a higher revenue.

On the main deck, we reserved the fore deck for entertaining outside - where most of one's tropical living will be done anyway. On the main deck aft, we put a generous lounge within the forward end of the house for the best view, and filled the rest with a large galley, walk in refrigerator, and computer / communications / media room.

On the aft main deck is a covered "veranda" arranged to serve dual use as a dive shop and as a covered exterior buffet / lounge, open to the air. Quite a good place for open air sleeping too...!

Below decks forward are two large deluxe guest suites amidships, and accommodations forward for two stewards and a laundry room. Below decks amidships is the engine room, below the lounge. Below aft are cabins for the rest of the crew.

In total, there is sufficient accommodation space for a ship's complement of two owners, four guests, two stewards, cook and cook's assistant, captain, first mate, engineer, second engineer, and two deck hands - the preferred arrangement for chartering.

For private use, there need not be such a large crew, though if you wish to be thoroughly pampered... you can be! We do observe though that on a yacht of this size, each crew member must be well versed in several talents...!

Can One Build a New Wooden Yacht Economically...?

Yes one can. This of course is the ultimate goal...! Unfortunately, due to the extraordinarily low cost of building these vessels, there will always be a steady supply of misguided Westerners who approach the local boat builders with the idea of turning one of their locally built craft into a yacht or charter boat at the lowest possible cost. Most often the result is extremely poor - mainly due to very inadequate planning and non-existent project management.

In other words, these half hearted attempts to create a yacht will inevitably result in an ill-conceived and poorly executed vessel, i.e. one that has not been 'designed' nor built to any standard, nor even effectively 'managed' during construction. Although the local builders are very capable of producing excellent results with their own local vessel types, when those indigenous vessels get arbitrarily modified by various 'owner requests' during construction, the final product can be shockingly bad - even to the point of being unsafe...

Consequently there is a very large difference between those vessels and the likes of what we have outlined here...!

How to Do It Right...?


When one of these vessels is planned well, and is subsequently finished according to the plans and specifications, the result can be a world class yacht. Whether used as a private yacht or in charter mode, this kind of vessel will offer a generous measure of luxury to anyone who steps onboard.

The KLM design described here is now under construction in Kalimantan (early 2007). That vessel will be launched approximately in mid-year then transported to Bali for the installation of systems and interior finish.

For complete information about a traditional Indonesian Pinisi of our design that is now sailing, please see the 36m Pinisi web page along with the various links there to images of her construction, and to her 2004 Homecoming Voyage - a story of a rather special charter onboard the 36m Pinisi. Another traditional Indonesian vessel of our design is the 36m Kapal Layar Mesin, now under construction in Kalimantan (early 2007) and soon to be launched and transported to Bali for the installation of systems and interior finish.

For more information about how we have accomplished such goals with these vessels, please see our Pinisi Building web page. 


If the KLM / luxury yacht / managed charter yacht concept is of interest, we offer our local knowledge and a thorough set of drawings and other documentation that take full advantage of traditional methods, and up to date world class structure.

For the most complete review of the KLM there are Study Plans and Estimating Plans available. When complete Building Plans are purchased we will be pleased to make local introductions to a proven team for building the vessel and an extended team for managing the construction. Please see our Plans List page for plans cost and ordering information.

For complete information about a traditional Indonesian Pinisi of our design that is now sailing, please see the links below.

30m KLM Phinisi - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
 Click for Larger Image
Lines Aft | Lines Forward | Sketch Above Aft | Sketch Above Forward

More Information...

An interesting article on our work with these vessels appeared in the New York Times, called The Traditional Pinisi - And Then Some.  For a taste of what is possible with these craft, please see our Dunia Baru web page where you will find excellent as-built images.

If this or a similar Pinisi / luxury sailing yacht is of interest, we offer a thorough design service. Our preference is to take advantage of traditional methods to the maximum extent possible, but to bring the construction standard up to a classification society compliant structure. We offer our custom design services by which we can modify these types of vessels to suit a variety of requests to change the size or to modify the layout as needed, and then follow that up with our local knowledge in order to facilitate construction.

For complete information about our work with these vessels please see the following links, or for more information please inquire.

Our articles about building an Indonesian Pinisi or KLM:
Pinisi History  |  Pinisi Building  |  The Ultimate Charter Pinisi
Sailing vs. KLM Types  |  A Cargo Pinisi as a Yacht...?

Pinisi and KLM designs that we have created or have planned:
30m Pinisi, DATU BUA  |  36m Pinisi, SILOLONA
38m Pinisi, AMANDIRA  |  50m Sailing Pinisi

27m DIVE Charter KLM  |  30m Charter KLM  |  33m Charter KLM
36m KLM, DUNIA BARU  |  40m Charter KLM  |  50m Charter KLM

Descriptions of our adventures with these boats:
Silolona "Homecoming"  |  Indonesia Boatbuilding Images

Five Schooners and Two Arabian Dhows Suited to Building in Indonesia
17m Flores Privateer  |  20m Sulawesi Privateer  |  31m Komodo Privateer
36m Tern Schooner  |  36m Lombok Privateer  |  45m Kalimantan Privateer

22m Arabian Baghala  |  36m Arabian Baghala

Two junk rigged KLM types for construction in steel:
25m Lady Destiny  |  55m Lady Destiny