boat model

Model boat known around the Singapore and Malayan coastline as a 'sampan kotak' or bumboat, used for fishing or carrying cargo. The model has a raked stem and transom stern with a broad beam and shallow draught. The stern extends beyond the transom board with an additional section of planking either side. This gives the sampan its unique ‘winged’ appearance. The hull contains decking and the exterior of the hull is decorated with black lines and wave-like patterns. The model is possibly made from ivory(?) and features writing on the base of the hull.

Sampan kotaks vary in size, the larger of these vessels carry masts and sails. The smaller of these vessels are propelled by oars. Bumboats tend to be smaller models of sampan kotaks and are now often propelled by motor. It is likely this model represents a small sampan kotak, but this is not completely clear. Both types of vessel are said to be Chinese owned, the bumboat serving as a ferry and the kotak as a fishing boat.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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