Mayang (boat)

Perahu Mayang is a type of fishing boat from Java, Indonesia. This type of boat is used mainly for fishing and trading. Historically, this indigenous vessel is also favored by European skippers and private merchants for trading in East Indies: 50% of them were using mayang and pencalang.[1] It is mostly used in northern coast of Java. The major production site is in Rembang, Central Java.[2]


The name mayang comes from payang (a type of seine) used by local fishermen. Thus the name can be translated as "using payang".[3]


Major portion of mayang hull is built using teak wood. The hull shape is broad, flat-bottomed with pronounced bow and stern. It is deckless, but may have covered "house" in the middle of the boat. Mayang also built with watertight bulkhead. In 18th century, Mayang is described as having a crew of 6, 9,15 to 12,2 meter long; with 7,24 metric tons burthen.[2] A boat from 1850 had a beam of 3 m, a length of 12 m, and a depth of 1 m. There were at least 9 compartments for storing fish (called petak), three of them in front of the mast separated from each other by bulkheads. The planks are all fixed by treenails (pasak) into the bulkheads.[4] Mayang has 1 mast with 1 sail of tanja, lateen, or crab claw type, with the tanja being the most common. It is steered using 1 axial rudder or 2 quarter (side) rudders.[5] For defense, mayang has no cannon, but has 1 swivel gun and 2 snaphaunces.[6] Modern mayang is also equipped with engine, and some of them also had keel. Modern mayang is about 10-15 m long, 2-3 m breadth, with 0.5-0.9 m high hull. Mast height is 8-9 m, with sail area about 14x16 m.

Linggi (the foremost part of the frame) is about 2.1 m high, about 1.2 m in width and adorned with traditional motifs like flower, horse head, wayang figure and writings in bright colors. Its striking feature is the high mast with very long pembawon (the topmost bamboo used to tie the sail, in case with tanja type sail). To furl the sail, a bamboo situated parallel to the hull called penggiling is used. Mayang has shallow draft which makes it suitable to go to shore and rivers. The large sail propel the boat with relatively high speed, when the wind is unavailable row or paddle can be used instead.

See also


  1. Liebner, Horst H. (2002). Perahu-Perahu Tradisional Nusantara. Jakarta.
  2. Knaap, G.J. (1996). Shallow Waters, Rising Tide – Shipping and Trade in Java around 1775. Leiden: KITLV Press.
  3. Pramono, Djoko (2005). Budaya Bahari. Gramedia Pustaka Utama. pp. 112–113. ISBN 9792213767.
  4. Horridge, Adrian (1981). The Prahu, Traditional Sailing Boat of Indonesia. Oxford University Press.
  5. Barnes, Ruth (2015). Ships and the Development of Maritime Technology on the Indian Ocean. Routledge. p. 231. ISBN 9781317793434.
  6. Knaap, Gerrit (1999). Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 411.

Further reading

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