The History of Phinisi’s

In the 17th century the Dutch introduced new methods and rigs, including “modern” gaff sails, by building European style vessels in their Javanese shipyards. Soon Sulawesi sailors seeing how effective these new inovations were began to combine their big black rectangular sails with the fore-and-aft sails they saw on the locally built European ships.

Reports from the 1830’s mention locally build vessels, both schooner and ketch rigged, with cloth sails rigged in
immitation of the European manner. The Bugis people
skillfully adapted what they saw to what worked best for their building materials, waters, and winds. The result was the magnificient sailing Phinisi.« Back