VESSEL REVIEW: Kopra Vallam – Classic design meets modern materials

Fitting somewhere between a house boat and a Shikkara sightseeing boat is the Kopra Vallam, a traditional craft for day trips along the waterways of India’s south west.

Traditionally made from timber, cane and reeds, this new take on a classic features a single skin GRP hull from Samudra Shipyards. The superstructure too is composite with a bamboo covering that has been fastened by coir, a traditional cable made from coconut fibres.

The 12-metre-long vessel will take groups of seven to ten passengers on gentle tours of the waterways around Cochin. The slender beam of 2.5 metres and shallow draught of less than a foot allow Kopra Vallam to navigate even the narrowest of routes and canals. The hull is divided into four watertight compartments that guarantee redundant buoyancy in most conditions.

The four watertight compartments are the fore peak and storage in the bow, freshwater storage with 200-litre capacity, waste collection tank and engine room and rudder compartment.

Typical cruising speed will be around six to eight knots, ensuring that passengers get plenty of opportunity to view the surrounds. Propulsion is courtesy of a single Simpson SC213 diesel driving a three-blade propeller. A 100 litre fuel tank offers plenty of range.

Controls for the engine and steering are positioned at the mezzanine level with direct mechanical links connected the helm to the engine and rudder. Flooring is a combination of GRP with hollow longitudinal and transverse frames bonded to the hull whilst the fore peak, pantry and aft peak are vinyl sheeted.

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Kopra Vallam
Type of Vessel:Day cruise boat
Port of registry:Cochin
Owner:OGO Cruises, India
Designer:Unnimohan.M, India
Builder:Samudra Shipyard, India
Hull construction material:GRP
Length overall:12.0 metres
Beam:2.5 metres
Draught:0.27 metres
Depth:0.87 metres
Main engine:Simpson SC213 diesel
Cruising speed:6-8 knots
Fuel capacity:100 litres
Freshwater capacity:200 litres

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