Tiger Blue encompasses the age old tradition of phinisi boat-building without sacrificing any modern comforts. She is 112ft/34m long with a deck width (beam) of 25ft/7.6m. She has two masts and seven sails.
Under power she cruises at an average speed of 8/10 knots on calm seas, showing she is one of the fastest boats in the traditional fleet.
The Boatbuilder - Haji Abdullah - is one of the top builders of premier liveaboards in Indonesia. The boats start their life on the beach at Haji Abdullah's boatyard at Tanaberuh near Bira, South Sulawesi.
As the keel was laid in 2008, a ceremony called 'potong lunas' was performed by the local imam (religious head), who marks the part of the keel which will be chopped off and offered to the sea. This ensures a trouble free construction of the boat, good luck and safe passage to the boat throughout her life.
A cockerel was brought to 'donate' a few drops of blood which were dripped onto the keel which was blessed with prayers. After the keel piece was sawn off, Haji Abdullah threw it to the sea and everyone then celebrated the beginning of the boat construction by eating and drinking the offerings near the keel. Attendance at the ceremony with Haji, his family and workmen, was very special for the boat's owners as it marked a great beginning.
On the beach in Bira the boat carpenters worked under a palm thatch roof using adzes, axes and very basic tools. Handcrafted from teak and cenggal wood, it took over a month for Tiger Blue to be winched by hand down the beach and into the water after which her mast was fitted. She was then motored to Makassar where the interiors and details were all fitted out by local carpenters.