Calico Jack, the Documentary Part I

Rising a wooden sailing boat in Indonesia : Stories, Skills and Magic of the Bugis seafarers of South Sulawesi.
Calico Jack's crew
Tana Beru, Sulawesi Selatan
6 Team Members

Our Story


Calico Jack's crew is an international and eclectic team who has been brought together by a dream: building a beautiful sailing boat, set sails to explore the world and share with other travellers the thrills of life at sea. All of us have gathered time, money and skills to design and build a ship while filming and documenting the process.


Calico Jack is a 25 meter Indonesian wooden sailing boat (Pinisi) currently being built in Sulawesi on Tana Beru’s beach.  A team of local shipwrights are using their ancestral knowledge and techniques to build the superstructure from iron wood and teak. The work started in August 2011 and we are getting ready to launch in July 2012 to take the second step: fitting the boat with the latest green technology equipment and finishing the interior design with local talents in Bali.



Our aim is to combine ancient traditions and modern developments to create a unique and “green” vessel. Eventually, Calico Jack will set sails and offer guests the opportunity to learn sailing and diving in beautiful locations and welcome on board project makers willing to explore mind-blowing parts of the world.




We are creating a 2-part  (2x52 min) documentary of the whole process from the laying of the keel to the hosting of the sails. Filming the trails and tribulations, conducting interviews with the craftsmen, explaining the how’s and why’s and documenting the construction of maritime history coupled with modern technology.



The first part will focus on the history and the fascinating culture of the Bugis seafarers of South Sulawesi. These master shipwrights and sailors have been building wooden boats for centuries working from an oral tradition without drawing or plans. The building of Calico Jack gives us the great opportunity to document their knowledge and skills “on the job” while learning more about the legends, traditions and beliefs that root their lives in the supernatural. A lot of magic involved.


This film aims to be informative and insightful: exotic location, beautiful yacht, lots of excitement and heartache, fantastic chance to get knowledge with compelling content and an insight into lives of people from fascinating cultures. All the interviews are conducted in native languages to allow freedom of expression adding authenticity to the documentary. The use of subtitles will ensure that the film fits every audience. Eventually, we would like to submit this compelling series to television networks around the world.


On board are filmmakers, editors, photographers, underwater videographers, sound engineers, music composers and computer wizards. We have all the gear needed to film in Hi Def quality and we have already captured fantastic footage: the magic ceremony of the laying of the keel invoking the spirits for protection and luck, the master of ceremony explaining the symbolics involved in the rituals, the craft men at work shaping wood above fire and rising a ship on the beach barefoot and bare hands… and this is just a beginning.


Documenting the birth of Calico Jack in Indonesia is the first step to promote what is designed to be a great creative and exploring platform. Calico Jack will be a sailing and diving school as well as a multipurpose inventive space for talents. By making this film a success we aim to kindle inspirations, develop ideas and gather resources for further productions while sailing.


Your Support...


What we require is mainly support for the post-production costs. The final edit will be carried out in Bangkok and 3D animation will be programmed to show how technology can be applied on a traditional sailing boat. The funding will also contribute to conducting interviews with experts and collecting historical material for the film. Financial support will also be helpful to replant the trees of the very precious wood that has been used plus more for future generations. A trip to the forest of Kendari on the East Cost of Sulawesi is planned. It will be the chance to learn more about the usage of raw materials and the efforts made to protect the natural resources in that area. Underwater filming will also take part in showing the beauty of the region, highlighting the importance of environmental awareness.


This campaign is flexible. If we reach our goal and more thanks to your support (that would be brilliant), all the extra fundings will contribute to the budget of the 2nd part of the documentary: The green technology fittings & the interior design in Bali.


We are lucky to work as a team and to have gathered the means to initiate this great project. Your participation to the achievement of the first part of this documentary is a pledge to many adventures and compelling documentaries ahead.


Amazing Perks...


Be part of it and jump on board!


The perks offered aim to get many more people involved, share a dream adventure and the enjoyments of life at sea in South East Asia. Exclusive documents and voyages... Contribute to documenting the creation of a work of art designed with craft and care... Calico Jack! 


On board, kayaking, fishing, sailing, diving, filming, chilling and discovering will be part of the odyssey around the beautiful islands of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Calico Jack will sleep up to 12 guests in comfortable and stylish cabins with en suite bathrooms. Our caring crew of sailors, dive instructors and talented chef will provide loving service along the journeys.


Calico Jack will work on an all-inclusive basis aside from flights, diving courses/certifications and alcoholic beverages. All the cruises at stake will depart in 2013/2014 from Singapore or Malaysia. Several dates will be suggested to you but we are very committed to settle on a time that will fit your schedule. A menu and a drinking list as well as itinerary proposals will be sent to you before boarding to ensure that you design your journey your way.


You will receive cards, albums and invitations at the end of this campaign. Trailer, Dvd and Cruises will be enjoyed next year... there's a boat to build... but time flies! A tiny bit of patience... you won't regret it! 


This is a great chance to take part in an innovative project and to gain a pass to valuable and privileged experiences at a beneficial rate!


Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the word and share our campaign!

Find, join and share our page on facebook “Calico Jack Adventures” to follow the adventures.

Check out our website where you’ll find regular updates of stories, photos and short films about the development of the whole project. The design is almost completely definite... junk rig! More infos and plans are on their way...

Join in for the creation of new projects!

We are very open to suggestions and ideas to broaden CJ’s perspectives. Filmmakers, journalists, inventors, engineers, researchers, musicians, gardeners, scientists, travellers, acrobats, businessmen … we would be delighted to welcome enthusiasm and new skills on board. Please contact us at to share inspirations and mind storms. In our basket of ideas at the moment: a home made brew of CJ rum and an experimental marine herbs and vegetables garden. To be filled and fulfilled!

Find This Campaign On
raised in 2 months
5% funded
No time left
$20,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 5, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Thank you

    Your name in the final credits.

    0 claimed
  • $10USD
    A big thank you

    Your name in the credits.

    0 claimed
  • $25USD
    A 1000 Thanks!

    Our eternal gratitude for your support, your name mentioned on the website and in the credits of the film + a beautiful Greeting Card from CJ's crew designed with love.

    4 claimed
  • $50USD
    + CJ's project's album

    A 1000 thanks + the Project's presentation album: learn more about the various aspects of the whole project illustrated with stunning pictures of South Sulawesi and the ship.

    0 claimed
  • $100USD
    + Exclusive Trailer

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Receive the Exclusive Trailer of the documentary including amazing underwater footage of the seabed of the region of Bonto Bahari!

    2 claimed
  • $500USD
    + DVD of the film

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Exclusive Trailer + The final edit of the Complete Documentary on DVD posted to you ! From the first plank to the hoisting of the sails... Epic journey and great stories...

    1 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    + CJ's VIP card

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Exclusive Trailer + The DVD of the film + The Very Imaginative Pirate card, A Must! Priority list on bookings, 5% discounts on voyages & diving courses, free extras, regular promotional offers, secret venues updates and invitations to special events on board!

    0 claimed
  • $2,000USD
    + Sunset Cruise

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Exclusive Trailer + The DVD of the film + CJ's VIP card + Get an invitation for 4 persons to sail overnight into the sunset... cocktails, funky music, and beautiful sceneries! The blend for a memorable party...

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    + Love cruise

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Exclusive Trailer + The DVD of the film + CJ's VIP card + Get an invitation for a 1 week sailing cruise (2 pax). Take one of your loves for an adventure and settle in the comfort of a lush cabin for a custom-built journey.

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    + King's cruise

    A 1000 thanks + Album + Exclusive Trailer + The DVD of the film + CJ's VIP card + Get an invitation to charter the whole boat for 1 week (12 pax max). Share and relish a privileged holiday with mates, lovers, family and let Calico Jack fulfill your wildest dreams at sea.

    0 claimed
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