MUKAH: Kueh Brother Fibre Boat Manufacturer, located in Kampung Penakub Bazaar here, is no stranger to boat owners around Mukah.
They are known for their meticulous and high quality work, which has prompted customers to keep coming back to them.
Despite being closed for a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, owner Kueh Tian Liang is very grateful because his boats are still in high demand.
“I am also grateful that our fiberglass boat manufacturing operation is operating as usual during this conditional movement control order (CMCO). Only outsiders can no longer be allowed to enter the factory due to safety factors.
“At Kueh Brother Fibre Boat Manufacturer, we produce more than 20 types of boats with those measuring 21-feet, 19-feet, 18-feet and 15-feet long being the most in demand.
“Apart from that, we also have some moulds used as a base for the shape of the boat,” he said.
Commenting on the prices of his boat, the 53-year-old said the prices of his boats start from RM2,000 for small boat without an engine, RM8,000 (small boat with 9.8 horse power or 9.9 horse power engine) and RM600,000 for a large boat complete with interior accessories as well as an engine.
“Usually small boats can be completed within four days while large ones take about four to five months.
“To ensure that the boats produced are of high quality, we only use wood measuring 20 to 30 feet long instead of a combination of a few short ones,” he explained, adding he was able to earn a gross income of more than RM50,000 a month by selling more than 10 fibreglass boats.
Speaking on the challenges he faced during his more than 10 years as an entrepreneur, Kueh said his main challenge at the moment is workforce.
According to him, currently he only has five workers who work from 7am to 4pm and with a very limited workforce, they can only produce about 20 boats in a month.
In fact, he pointed out that the lack of interest in boat making among the younger generation is also one of the factors that contributes to his problem.
Further elaborating, he said he will probably hire foreign workers in the near future if there are still no locals interested.
Apart from receiving orders from customers around Mukah, Kueh said he also receives orders from other areas such as Kuching, Bintulu, Sebauh, Miri, Niah, and Kuala Niah.
He is also very grateful to his customers for helping him promote his boats.
“Apart from receiving orders to make new boats, we also repair or upgrade old boats.
“To improve the quality of our boats, I also welcome feedback from customers.
“And for those who want to learn about boat making, you can visit my company once Covid-19 subsides,” he said, adding that he intends to open a larger factory in the future so he can produce ships.
Members of the public who want to get more information or are interesting in buying a boat can contact Kueh at 019-8886796 or 084-872199.
Those living in Mukah can go to his factory in Kampung Penakub Bazaar.