The double-masted ships known as phinisi were invented by Indonesian boatbuilders some 500 years ago. Equally artful and utilitarian, the vessels became so central to the country’s identity, and so crucial to the evolution of the fishing and sailing industries, that they received UNESCO world cultural heritage designation in 2017.
Building on that heritage is Amandira, a classically styled phinisi available for charter at Amanwana luxury resort on Indonesia’s Moyo Island. Cape Town– and Singapore-based Deirdre Renniers masterminded the interiors of the 170-foot-long custom superyacht, which cruises the deep blue waters of the archipelagos. “We wanted the design to tie in with the traditional architecture of the boat as much as possible, but in a contemporary and understated way,” she explains.
As a nod to tradition, the design team utilized the Indonesian staple, teak, for numerous custom elements, including the king-size beds in three cabins, and double bunk beds in the other two. (The yacht sleeps 10 guests and 14 crew members.) Teak paneling—rendered waterproof via polyurethane coating—clads the bathrooms; planks of the same timber form a 10-seat table in the dining area as well outdoor furnishings on the foredeck. Deftly brightening up all that wood is wallpaper interspersed between the cabins’ timber framework plus unfussy linen curtains, secured by crisp leather straps.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Renniers, though. “Because the boat curves both vertically and horizontally, everything had to be custom designed to fit, and to accommodate some kind of extra storage,” she notes. “And as the boat is constantly moving, we needed to ensure that no fittings rattled—and no objects could fall or slide off counters.” Or, for that matter, the decks: The oversized loungers—and even the outdoor dining table—had to be able to be stashed or secured while the yacht is sailing. In a fully 21st-century innovation, said table transforms into a stable daybed, the perfect spot for sipping a cocktail as the sun sets.
By Jesse Dorris