Replica-boat maker not abandoning ship yet

KUALA TERENGGANU - The emergence of 3D printers is not likely to take the wind out of a veteran replica-boat maker's sails.

Wan Nordin Wan Abdullah (pic) said he was not overly concerned with the advent of 3D printing technology.

"People are excited that 3D printers can print anything. Some have even claimed that they can make boats, both replica and real, with it but I dare them to test the quality.

"It can never match the work of a true replica-boat craftsman," the 60-year-old said when met at his workshop in Pulau Duyung in Kuala Nerus yesterday.

He said it was essential for a craftsman to have the experience of handling a sail boat to ensure the quality of a replica.

"Only those who have sailed can make the best boats. Although the products are only replicas, the same dedication and discipline is required to produce detailed finishing like the real ones," said Wan Nordin, who has sailed the world since his 20s.

He added that he could build a life-size boat but needed a team to do so.

"I can make real boats but I cannot do it alone. Making replicas requires less space and I can do it all by myself," he said, adding that his speciality is in making the rigging.

Currently working on a meter-long boat replica ordered by a French sailor, Wan Nordin said many boat owners around the world sought his expertise in replicating their boats.

"These replicas are usually kept inside their boats and they must look exactly like the real thing," said the father-of-five whose daughter is a sailor who competed in the last Sukma.

He, however, lamented the lack of interest among youth to learn the skills and said he would love to train the younger generation.

He is currently teaching two trainees, one of whom is under the Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation programme.

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