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Shipbuilding is a traditional industry on beautiful Phú Quốc Island
Vietnam’s Phú Quốc Island is famous for its untouched white sand beaches. Along with a thriving tourism industry, this island boasts a large fishing industry. As such, it has long been home to boat builders.
“Shipbuilding technologies are now quite developed. We’re helped by advanced equipment, yet still employ traditional know how such as choosing the timber, molding it, heating up wooden boards over flames and joining these boards with wooden bolts”, explained a senior worker at the Tuyen Cuong Dry Dock. The timber used to build boats must be waterproof, resistant to cracks and economically viable. Shipbuilders heat wooden planks to bend them to form the keel, which takes great skill. The island’s shipbuilders are known for their neat joints and wooden bolts.
To start work as a shipbuilder requires about one year of training, but chief workers have a decade of experience or more.
A small boat cost around VND2 billion and the larger one can cost up to VND10 billion.
This trade has a history that spans centuries on Phú Quốc. Throughout ups and downs, the island’s shipbuilding industry has endured, allowing generations of sailors and fishermen to head out to sea and support their families.