RoRc Report - Malaysia

RoRc Report - Malaysia

This region is often a stopping point for circumnavigators with more boats laying up in Malaysia than in the past.

By RoRCs Bob and Judy Howison - 19/04/2018

We are preparing Kinabalu for our cruise to Borneo, Raja Ampat and further east. We can recommend Pangkor Marina, Malaysia as a place to haul out. Close to Lumut, the Malaysian Naval base, it’s possible to source most bits and pieces for maintenance and refurbishment. Owner James Khoo is only too pleased to give advice and help at any time of the day, and his office staff couldn’t be more helpful. Accommodation at a hotel close by or in Lumut can be
arranged at very reasonable prices, or a car/accommodation package, while the boat is on the handstand. We have ordered boat parts, classed as “spares for yachts in transit” and they have been couriered from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia tax free with no problem. Always on the lookout for OCC boats, we have spotted “Lochmarin” on the hard stand with us. Pangkor, Langkawi and Phuket, Thailand have good haulout facilities and secure storage for people wanting to fly back home or to just take a break.

The arrival of the SE/SW monsoon at this time of year sends cruisers off in different directions. Some have already left for Capetown to cross the Indian Ocean and others are braving the voyage to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal. The Gulf of Thailand is inviting at this time of year and the islands off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand offer many cruising possibilities. Cruisers who want to stay in the Pacific region join rallies heading east, as we are doing, and benefit from the amazing hospitality of the Malaysian and Indonesian Governments, including an escort from the Malaysian Navy through the hazardous waters of north east Borneo.

I guess the big news in this region is the whole new approach by the Indonesian authorities who are making a sustained effort to welcome cruising yachts to their waters. It is true that plastic continues to be a problem and there is a growing awareness of the need to clean up and recycle, but unfortunately it will take a long time. Away from the cities and urban areas, the islands abound with sheltered anchorages, pristine coral reefs and are relatively unexplored. Indonesian archipelagos with towering volcanoes from Papua (Irianjaya) to Sumatra, 103 degrees E, north and south of the equator, have indigenous communities still practising traditional arts and customs; gentle people with friendly smiles. Although we lived in Singapore for many years, we had no idea of the diverse nature and tropical beauty of this region.

We look forward to sharing our new adventures with you. Any questions, please contact us by email,

Photo: 'Kinabalu' - Winners of Cruising Class Raja Muda Regatta 2017, Malaysia. Bob Howison, Skipper (r), Judy Howison (3rd from right), Lydia Strickland and Bill Strickland (Regional Rear Commodores USA (SE)

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