Vietnamese Fisherman Opts for Cummins and Fiberglass


Cummins Vessel Reference #788

Vietnam, with a coastline of 3,260 kilometers, excluding islands, claims 12 nautical miles as the limit of its territorial waters, an additional 12 nautical miles as a contiguous security zone and 200 miles as an exclusive economic zone. This adds up to a lot of water to protect as well as a rich coastal fishing area.

Bui Mong on his new boat.

In an effort to increase the fisheries production of the coastal fishing area the Vietnamese government has instituted a program to encourage investment in the fishery. Known as “Directive No. 67” it provides low interest loans to assist qualified fishermen to build new boats or upgrade existing boats. Many fishermen who qualified have opted for wooden boats built by the excellent Vietnamese craftsmen. (see:


Vietnam continues a strong wood building tradition alongside a growing fiberglass sector.

Wanting a thoroughly modern boat, fisherman Bui Mong approached the innovative Institute of Ship Research and Development (UNISHIP) in Khanh Hoa province on Vietnam’s central coast. In association with University of Nha Trang the small shipyard has launched several fiberglass vessels this year.


The new Cummins-powered fish boat ready to be launched.

Owner Bui Mong demonstrated to the bank that he was both deserving of a boat loan and capable of repaying it. From his birth in 1970, on a farm in Quang Ngai, one of the poorest areas of Vietnam, he ventured out to complete his military requirements and then took a job cooking on a small squid boat. As do many workers new to the fishing industry he learned the trade in “the school of hard knocks.” As cook he was the most junior on the boat and had to respond to the demands of the other 20-crew members.


Ready to gear up and go fishing.

He persevered and, when he got the opportunity to assist the boat’s engineer he asked questions and learned to maintain a diesel engine. In time he gained the confidence of the vessel owner and, with higher pay, began to save for his own vessel. With some partners he bought a small squid boat. With continued hard work and careful study of the other fishermen he gained confidence. More good fishermen wanted to work with him. As he explained to Cummins DKH (Vietnam) LLC Engine Sales Engineer Nguyen Cam Linh, “He wrote down carefully all information on each of his trips, like location, wind direction, current and others, day after day. The record became a fishing manual and he learned by heart each season, characteristics and areas of Vietnam’s sea so that he became a ‘walking encyclopedia of the ocean’. By then he owned 100% of the boat.”


Good packing capacity plus good power.

Moving from the squid fishery to a surround net, he developed techniques for daytime, as well as night time, fishing. While his successes in fishing grew, he suffered personal tragedy when his wife died of cancer. Her treatment had used all of the family’s reserve savings. Then his boat was lost in a storm. After his rescue he found himself on the beach with no more than he had started with. But he had knowledge and a reputation as a successful fisherman.

When he applied for a loan under the government’s Directive No. 67, he was asked why he wanted to build a fiberglass boat with a big expensive engine, when there were less expensive options available. He explained that, the larger, more powerful boat with a modern reliable engine would enable him to travel further and faster while catching more fish to repay the loan. The use of fiberglass, while initially more expensive, would reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs. Recognizing that Bui Mong had not only his fishing knowledge but solid entrepreneurial skills backed by a solid business plan, the loan was granted.

In June of 2016, a proud and determined Bui Mong took delivery of a 24 by 6.5-meter fiberglass vessel from UNISHIP. With a molded depth of 3.5 meters and a 10,000-liter fuel capacity, the new boat, named Ju Mong Truong Sa, is large enough to fish well off shore. The packing capacity of 70 cubic meters in eight compartments will allow efficient use of ice while providing storage for significant catches of tuna and other species. Mong got his powerful and reliable engine, a 12-cylinder Cummins KTA38 MO delivering 800 HP at 1800 RPM through a Dong I marine gear with 4.95:1 reduction. This gives the boat a 12-knot top speed. A power takeoff on the main engine provides for the hydraulic steering. Other auxiliary requirements are met by three refurbished 60 KVA (Kilo Volt Amperes) auxiliary generator sets.

The strongly built vessel features working decks formed with three-layer, sandwich type construction to provide strength and better noise and heat insulation. With accommodation for a crew of 20 the boat is fully outfitted for roaming and fishing throughout the Vietnamese waters.

For further information:

Institute of Ship Research & Development (UNINSHIP)
44 Hon Ro,
Phuoc Dong, Nha Trang,
Tel: 84 58 3715189
Fax: 84 58 3714025

Nguyen Cam Linh
Engine Sales Engineer
Cummins DKSH (Vietnam) LLC.
35 Le Van Thiem Street, Thanh Xuan,
Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Tel: 84 4 3557 9525 | Extension: 140
Fax: 84 4 3557 9526
Mobile: 84 904 186 786
Web: |

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website,

Redirecting to

The information you are looking for is on

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.