And they did. Luckily for them, the original owner was willing to part with his yacht, which he had enjoyed mainly as a personal watercraft. An American businessman, Mark Robba had enough resilience to bring the Dunia Baru to life, even though the road to that was long and riddled with challenges. In the hands of Jing-Yi Wee, the exceptional boat would become even more spectacular.
First of all, Dunia Baru (translated as “New World”) is a Phinisi. Back in the 17th century, these two-masted vessels carefully carved out of the woods that grew in Indonesia were used as cargo ships. They carried the most precious goods, such as rare spices, sandalwood and fabrics, along one of the most famous trade routes at the time (the Spice Route).
While most of the luxury motor yachts today are designed for series production, Dunia Baru is literally impossible to replicate, which is what fascinated its new owner. The main reason can be found in the vessel’s bones and essential features, like its wheel and balustrades.
All of these were carved by hand, from an exceptional wood that is currently protected, so it can no longer be used for yacht building. This is the Ulin Ironwood, sourced from a tree that’s indigenous to Indonesia and that can live up to 1,000 years,
Another element that makes it special is that this isn’t a replica of a traditional sailing boat, built in a modern shipyard. This Phinisi was literally born in the Sulawesi jungle. This is where it was built by the famous local craftsmen of Sulawesi, known as the Konjo Boat Builders. Due to the challenges that came up along the way, it took eight years for the custom boat to be completed. The fact that we can admire this unique boat today is owed to Mark Robba.
Adding to its unique character, Dunia Baru was also the first and only wooden vessel to operate in Indonesian waters with a BKI Class certification. This approval from the BKI (Indonesian Classification Bureau) confirms the Phinisi’s safety and high construction standards.
A floating work of art, this sailing yacht blends the traditional design, furniture, and style, with the latest yachting amenities. Its seven cabins can welcome up to 14 guests, with an 18-people crew attending to their needs. All of the cabins feature en-suite bathrooms, and the master suite is remarkably lavish for a yacht this size.
Try to picture wraparound windows that offer amazing views, a private study, and, best of all, a generous private deck – the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, relax, or even meditate. The open kitchen, centered around a Teppanyaki grill, is another inviting area on board. Unlike the cold and formal galleys of conventional yachts, it’s as stylish as all of Dunia Baru’s onboard spaces. Plus, it blends seamlessly with the wider outdoor dining area.
Able to cover up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 km) this luxurious Phinisi is one of the most coveted options for sailing around Indonesia, as well as Thailand and Myanmar. Although it’s aimed at wealthy customers (weekly rates start at $120,000) the Dunia Baru also supports scientific research.
For example, in 2020, a scientist was hosted onboard for two weeks, in support of the Black Coral Research Program. Plus, the owner also helped built an eco-friendly Learning Center in a local village, as a way of giving back to the community. During their luxurious vacation trips, passengers can also visit the Center and learn more about sustainability.