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The Story of Sandokan

In the last days of summer, we got a visit from Marino and Biserka Ivančić, the first owners of the Sandokan leut. They brought photos of his launch back in 1978. With lot of memories they talk about the agreement on the construction of the ship, the ideas they thought of when arranging the buy and the master who built it.

The ship had a reputation. When they sailed with her on the Adriatic, everyone looked and admired her, they say. Sandokan, a leut 8.53 m long and 2.90 m in width, was made by the late Šime Jušić, a shipbuilder from Betina. They say they wanted a traditional leut as they saw it in Betina and Murter, but modernized and slightly different. Šime was highly recommended to them, and they also saw his earlier works. They wanted the boat to be powered only by engine and coloured in black, which was rare at the time. Marino and Biserka say that many  people tried to talk them out of the idea of painting her black, but they didn’t give up. Unlike other leuts at that time with high standing cabins, the Sandokan had a somewhat lower, aesthetically acceptable cabin, in which one could not stand on one’s feet. They had rounded windows installed. The boat was arranged for a longer stay at sea, with toilet, kitchen, cabin with five berths and two extra. She had a radio station, an echo sounder, rubber water tanks, a 4-cylinder Mercedes diesel engine (still works today). It’s an interesting story, and it’s documented with pictures of how the launch looked like. In order for Sandokan to leave the workshop, a part of the wall had to be torn down, and in order to get her out of the yard onto the road, another wall had to be torn down, the courtyard wall. They pushed him down the road from Juha’s (Šime Jušić’s nickname) workshop to the main square where a crane placed her into the sea.

Due to troubles with maintenance, they sold the boat in the early 1990s to the Španja family, the current owner, and the boat is located in Brodarica. Due to her current purpose – sea sponge harvesting – the new owner made a new, taller cabin and adapted it to his work. Sandokan is still sailing after 42 years. The first owners say that even today they always remember Sandokan while sailing.

The video of the launch available at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eveKnOWvMhM 


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