Cruise! Kerala scrap dealer’s catamaran beckons – The New Indian Express

Express press service

KOCHI: CA Kunjumon’s life is not another rags-to-riches journey. Starting out as a junkyard worker, the Class 4 dropout dreamed of owning a cruise ship. Saving every penny he earned from his business, he built one. Kunjumon bought a passenger boat and started operating a service for tourists in the backwaters of Kochi about 15 years ago.

To realize his dream, he rented out a lakeside property in Vypeen in 2016 and began work by establishing a boat building yard. Six years later, Minar, his double-deck catamaran ocean cruiser, has been launched and is ready to enter service in a fortnight. And Minar has the distinction of being the only private catamaran-class offshore cruise ship in the country to achieve Indian Registry of Shipping (IRS) registration.

“About 150 tourist boats operate from Marine Drive in Kochi. But they only sail in the backwaters. My dream was a double-hulled luxury cruise ship that could take tourists to the sea. When I started, I didn’t have the resources, but the work was never affected. A team of 16 people have been working day and night for six years to turn my dream into reality,” Kunjumon said.

The ship’s design was done by naval architect and IRS consultant Vijith Menon. KA Joseph of Aismar Boat Builders, who has 43 years of boat building experience, carried out the project. “As it was my dream, I got involved in the work from scratch.

We installed a huge mold to build the twin hull. Although the estimated cost was 2 crores, the actual expenditure doubled that amount. I channeled all my income into the project. Workers were employed on daily wages. Antony, a carpenter with 30 years of experience in the construction of marine boats, was in charge of the work. Except for three months during the lockdown, work has never been affected,” said Kochi resident Kunjumon.

However, his biggest challenge was to provide a platform for tourists to board the ship at Marine Drive in Kochi. “The lack of a marina or terminal at Marine Drive is a big drawback. We are planning to approach Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation and Greater Cochin Development Authority to develop a marina where all including the elderly and disabled can board the vessel. As we plan to start service in November, we will apply for permission to build a temporary platform,” he said.

Minar will organize a two-hour cruise over a distance of 17 km from morning to evening at affordable rates. The target group will be the families of NRIs. People with disabilities will be accommodated free of charge, Kunjumon said.

KOCHI: CA Kunjumon’s life is not another rags-to-riches journey. Starting out as a junkyard worker, the Class 4 dropout dreamed of owning a cruise ship. Saving every penny he earned from his business, he built one. Kunjumon bought a passenger boat and started operating a service for tourists in the backwaters of Kochi about 15 years ago. To realize his dream, he rented out a lakeside property in Vypeen in 2016 and began work by establishing a boat building yard. Six years later, Minar, his double-deck catamaran ocean cruiser, has been launched and is ready to enter service in a fortnight. And Minar has the distinction of being the only private catamaran-class offshore cruise ship in the country to achieve Indian Registry of Shipping (IRS) registration. “About 150 tourist boats operate from Marine Drive in Kochi. But they only sail in the backwaters. My dream was a double-hulled luxury cruise ship that could take tourists to the sea. When I started, I didn’t have the resources, but the work was never affected. A team of 16 people has been working day and night for six years to turn my dream into reality,” Kunjumon said. The ship’s design was carried out by l “Naval architect and IRS consultant Vijith Menon. KA Joseph of Aismar Boat Builders, who has 43 years of boat building experience, led the project. “As it was my dream, I was involved in working from scratch. We set up a huge mold to build the twin hull. Although the estimated cost was 2 crores, the actual expenses doubled that amount. I channeled all my income into the project. workers were employed on daily wages. Antony, carpenter ier with 30 years of experience in the construction of marine boats, was in charge of the work. Except for three months during the lockdown, work has never been affected,” said Kochi resident Kunjumon. However, his biggest challenge was to provide a platform for tourists to board the ship at Marine Drive in Kochi. “The lack of a marina or terminal at Marine Drive is a big drawback. We are planning to approach Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation and Greater Cochin Development Authority to develop a marina where all including the elderly and disabled can board the vessel. As we plan to start service in November, we will apply for permission to build a temporary platform,” he said. Minar will organize a two-hour cruise over a distance of 17 km from morning to evening at affordable rates. The target group will be the families of NRIs. People with disabilities will be accommodated free of charge, Kunjumon said.

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