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Old 18-06-2011, 02:28   #1
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Singapore Straits

Hi, Does anyone have good knowledge of the best route to transit Singapore from the Malacca Straits, heading to Borneo?

It will be a daytime passage, 7-8 kts boat speed. Looking for the cleanest route.

If only transiting, does one need to contact the authorities?

THX.
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Old 18-06-2011, 02:54   #2
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Re: Singapore Straits

I didn't bother the authorities. But wow is that a busy place. I tried to stay in shallow water, and between islands, and along the shore, where I knew ships would not be. But then there were plenty of smaller ships with the same idea. The two dicey areas are where you cross the harbor entrances.

Ships that show as "Anchored" on the AIS are only waiting for you to get in front of them before silently springing to life.

The impressive thing was the ships, seemed to be especially friendly and always turned to give me room...not much room...a few dozen meters seems to be the rule.

3 ships a minute 24 hours a day....or something like that....the fun continues for many miles either side of Singapore.

Borneo is great, as is Pulau Tioman. Has the Rainforest Music Festival already passed. That's not to be missed. Malaysian Borneo's best city is Kuching.
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Old 18-06-2011, 05:51   #3
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Re: Singapore Straits

We were worried about Singapore too, but the only hairy part was crossing the channel near Horsburgh, when entering the South China Sea. The ships seem to go full speed there and the distances between them were just enough for us to get through without getting too close, but we are making only 5-6kn, so should be piece of cake for you
Around Singapore we also went close to shore. Just watch for the currents, that you probably know. I remember it is written somewhere to contact the authorities about crossing the channels, but we didn't.
Also we don't have AIS and the ships that were aiming at us didn't seem to notice us at all.
South of Hornsburgh, we sailed straight for Kuching (actually Santubong) and didn't see almost any traffic. Just dolphins and couple of fishermen near Borneo.
And Kuching is just lovely!
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Old 18-06-2011, 06:35   #4
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Re: Singapore Straits

We went the other way and found that going between the islands was difficult because Singapore has reclaimed a lot of land. A LOT. And our charts didn't have the reclaimed areas. Vast!

The easiest place to go is along the shipping route edge. 50 meters outside the channel is deserted, but 200 meters out has local boats or shipping and tugs maneuvering. So I would stay within that 50 meter zone.

Crossing the straits can be interesting because the visibility is Asian low, about 3 miles, and the ships come 3 abreast every few minutes. Each channel is 1.5 miles wide so there is no way you can get across between one group of 3 abreast ships.
Cross at right angles to the traffic flow. Fast.

Anything in the chart of the channel that looks like a large square is probably a turning area for ships to cross the traffic separation. It can be quite daunting when a ship hits one at 15 knots and does a 90 degree turn in front of you.


It certainly is great fun and I recommend 2 routes:
1) On the Indonesian side of the channel is away from most ships.
2) On the Singapore side to get the full Singapore Straits effect!!

It really is quite an exciting adventure! Theres no place on earth like it and you will be gobsmaked by the number of ships, both moving and anchored, and by the vast range of things floating from normal cargo ships to big things that do something with oil drilling - some of the biggest structures on earth and they float!

Enjoy it!


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Old 18-06-2011, 06:47   #5
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Re: Singapore Straits

Our waypoint from borneo was about 001 16.872 N 104 34.686 E (probably was inside that rock)

So you do all the straits!!


Interesting area near Borneo (we came from Kumai) was 003 10.350 S 110 19.387 E (watch your N and S and just crossed the equator) the area is very shallow and the bottom is weirdly rippled. The depth variation si 18 meters to 6 meters every 50 to 100 meters. So there serious problems in the area. I would not like to be there in a storm because I think they are current and wave made ripples in the sandy bottom.
It was calm and we were motoring but it was at night and it really was quite freaky.


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Old 18-06-2011, 22:42   #6
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Re: Singapore Straits

Thank you all for your comments, cheers.
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Old 19-06-2011, 22:53   #7
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Re: Singapore Straits

The most important part of a Singapore transit is to get the tide right.

Aim to get to Raffles Light at high tide if transiting west to east (low tide if going the other way). This will improve your transit time by about 4 hours. Get this wrong and you can be pushing upto 4 kts of current at times. Get it right and you get a push all the way through.

Stay just north of the main Singapore Transit TSS all the way through and don't cross to the south until you reach the Malay Peninsula to the East of Singapore.

My advice would be to do the Singapore bit in daylight (if tides allows)and then stop for the night on the Malay peninsular (or even just inside the river there - on the way to Sabana Cove Marina). The next day cross the Straits and head for Borneo.
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:06   #8
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Re: Singapore Straits

Reading everyones posts as we intend to cruise from Borneo to Singapore. Does anyone stop anywhere on the way or is it to difficult due to the Indonesian regulations. Would be nice to anchoe somewhere between.

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Old 30-10-2011, 17:47   #9
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Re: Singapore Straits

KK Labuan, Miri, Kuching are places to stop along the way and these are all in Malaysia so no probs.

If you really want to day sail, you can hop to Anambas group (Indo) and the Tioman group (Mal), then Sing. But Anambas has a bit of a history of unpleasantness.
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Old 30-10-2011, 19:44   #10
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Re: Singapore Straits

i came threw there a couple of years ago,had a bit of motor problems so stopped at raffels marina,was pleasantly surprized at the cost of work done and friendlyness of the marina staff,steak,frys&salad $10 kiwi in the crew bar.singapore tugs really dont no p&s.keeping just to the side of the main channel markers seemed to be the best move'not alot of wind so good light air sails are needed,the small 2or 3 man fishing boats are a bit of a worry at nite,some have no lights.
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