Sailing Guide

Selat Riau (Riouw Strait) Indonesia)

Selat Riau (Riouw Strait) Indonesia)



The route from Selat Bangka to Singapore, E of Pulau Lingga and through Selat Riau is the one commonly used by vessels proceeding either way between Selat Sunda (Soenda Strait) and Singapore.

The route is safe, sheltered, and easily navigable, with lights and beacons on many of the dangers. The route E of Pulau Bintan is exposed in both monsoons, and the fairway is encumbered with many dangers, which renders it necessary for vessels to keep off a considerable distance from land.

Selat Riau is available for all classes of vessels, both by day and by night.

Selat Riau, the S limit of which is between Pulau Mesanak and Pulau Telan (Telang), is bounded on the E by Pulau Bintan and on the W by the chain of islands, of which Galang Rempang, and Batam are the main ones.

Numerous smaller islands and shoals front the main shores on each side of the strait. The  strait is about 50 miles in length, in a NW and SE direction, and has depths ranging from 10 to 55m in the fairway, with the least depths being in the S portion of the strait.

The S entrance of the strait is about 17 miles wide for a distance of 11 to 12 miles and then contracts to a width of 3.5 miles between Pulau Karas-kecil (Karas-ketjil) and the shoals to the S of Pulau Tapai.

About the middle of the strait, and 3.5 miles N of Pulau Karas-besar is Pulau Pangkil with dangers extending 5 miles SE; between these and the dangers N of Pulau Karas-besar is the principal channel, about 2 miles wide, with fairway depths of 18.3 to 37m bounded on the W by Pulau Mubut Laut, and the islets and dangers within it, off the NE end of Pulau Galang.

The principal dangers are marked by buoys or beacons. The shores of the strait are, for the most part, sparsely populated, the greater portion of the population consisting of Malays, with the remainder being Chinese.

At Pulau Lobam, about 10 miles NW of Pulau Pangkil, the strait is about 2 miles wide between Johannes Shoal and Orion Rock this is the narrowest part of the strait.
North of Tanjunguban, the W extremity of Pulau Bintan, the strait rapidly widens to its N entrance, where it is about 10 miles in breadth.

Less water than charted was reported (2001) in an area approximately 2 miles E of Pulau Tundjuk.

The tide in the China Sea comes from the N; and being divided by Pulau Bintan, sweeps around its shores and flows into Selat Riau at both entrances, the current from Singapore Strait at the N end meeting that from the S, NE of Terumbu Soreh.

The tidal currents in the S approaches to Selat Riau E of Pulau Lingga and the other islands has the flood current running NNW more or less parallel to the islands, with indrafts into the several straits, and the ebb in the opposite direction.

In the N entrance, on the W side, a portion of the flood current entering the strait is deflected between Malang Orang and Karang Galang and runs as an eddy to the NW, with the flood to Singapore, or in the reverse direction to the flood current entering the main passage of Selat Riau.

The ebb takes the reverse direction, circling S of Karang Galang, where it joins the main current ebbing NE. This must be guarded against when near Karang Galang.

The main body of the S current follows the trend of the W shore past the Karas Islands and turns gradually to the W into Selat Dempo, much of it diverging to the S through the channels dividing the several groups of islands lying between Pulau Mesanak and Selat Dempo, and a portion turning off to the NW in the direction of the Karas Islands.

This is joined by the currents flowing through Selat Telan and adjacent channels.

To the E of Pulau Pangkil, between it and the Pulau Tapai, the flood current from the N entrance is met by the flood current coming around the E side of Pulau Bintan and through Selat Telan and adjacent channels, which curves around Pulau Mantang, and thence taking a NW direction.

The direction of the flood current at Tanjung Pinang and N into Teluk Bintan is N. The flood current at Pulau Terkulai runs SE, toward Tanjung Pinang. The current sets W through Selat Bulan and Selat Tiung, on the W shore of Selat Riau.

The monsoons and currents of the China Sea very much affects the regularity of the currents, which are strong, and at springs rush with considerable velocity through the channels among the islands, forming numerous eddies and stirring up the mud.

In the narrow N part of Selat Riau, abreast Tanjung Uban, this is particularly the case, the current running from 3 to 4 knots, and sometimes even 4.5 and 5 knots.

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Sites around Selat Riau (Riouw Strait) Indonesia)
Flying distances - Direct line

Pulau Soreh (Indonesia)

Pulau Soreh, lying NE about 2 miles ENE of the NE end of Pulau Pangkil, is a small, low islet inhabited and covered with coconut trees. it is surrounded by a narrow sandy beach and a reef which extends to the distance of 0.25 mile in places.
17 Feb 12

Pulau Mubut Laut and Mubut Darat (Indonesia)

Pulau Mubut Laut and Mubut Darat, about 0.5 mile W, lie about 3.7 miles N of the W end of Pulau Karasbesar.
Pulau Mubut Laut is 56m high and inhabited; it is the larger and higher of the two islands, and easily distinguished by its prominent position. It rises to a round peak, ...
14 Feb 12

Pulau Penyengat (Indonesia)

Pulau Penyengat is a hilly thickly-wooded island located 1 mile W of Tanjungpinang; it is about 1 mile in length, 0.3 mile in breadth, and surrounded by a reef to the distance of 0.2 mile.
A conspicuous tree, the top of which is 38m in height above HW, stands on a hill at the W ...
18 Feb 12

Pulau Los (W pulau Bintan)

Pulau Los, about 0.5 mile W of the W end of Senggarang, is small, wooded, and low at the sides, but in the center is a hill 41m high; the islet is surrounded by a narrow reef on which there are some rocks.
23 Feb 12

Tanjung Pinang harbour (Pulau Bintan-Indonesia)

Tanjung Pinang (Tanjungpinang) is the main town of pulau Bintan. It is situated on the NW point of the peninsula. Fort Crown Prince (Krooprins) stands on a 71m high hillock located S of the town.A pier extends about 0.15 mile NW of the town, with a flagstaff standing on the end of ...
24 Feb 12

Teluk Bintan (W Bintan)

Teluk Bintan (Bintan Bay) indents the coast to the E of Pulau Ujan, into which several small rivers discharge. Kapal and Ketir are two low, wooded islets lying on a bank that dries on the E side of the entrance to the bay.
23 Feb 12

Pulau Tunjuk (Indonesia)

Pulau Tunjuk (Tandjuk) (Toendjoek), lying about 1.25 miles N of Pulau Cemara, is flatter than the latter and is entirely covered with vegetation. It is 0.3 mile in extent and surrounded by a reef which projects about 0.2 mile off the E side; a ridge, with rocky patches, some of which ...
15 Feb 12

Pulau Korekrapat (indonesia)

Korekrapat lies nearly 3 NM SE of Tanjung Maralagan. Dempo Point is the E end of the island.Korekrapat is the easternmost islet of those lying in and fronting the bay formed between the two Galang Islands.
12 Feb 12

Tanjung Maralagan (Pulau Galang)

Tanjung Maralagan, the SE end of Pulau Galang, is high and thickly wooded.
11 Feb 12

Kijang port (Bintan-Indonesia)

Kijang, a bauxite port, is situated about 3 miles N of the S entrance of Selat Kijang.
Timber products and general cargoes are also handled.Tides—CurrentsTidal currents can be strong by Tanjung Tili at the S entrance to Selat Kijang, setting across the channel towards Pulau Siulung. ...
11 Feb 12

Pulau Pandjang (Indonesia)

Pulau Pandjang, 2 miles long, lies with its S end about 4 miles NW of Kepulauan Melor.
13 Feb 12
Local Area

Pulau Bintan (Indonesia)

Bintan Island or Negeri Segantang Lada is an island in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia. The capital Tanjung Pinang, lies in the island's south.
Bintan, is the largest among the 3200 islands of Riau Archipelago and is located 10 km E of the Batam Island.
Bintan is very close ...
24 Feb 12

Sumatra (Indonesia)

Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatera) is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands.
The longest axis of the island runs approximately 1,790 km (1,110 mi) northwest-southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. At its widest point the island spans ...
7 Jan 12

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering about 20% of the Earth's water surface. It is bounded on the north by Asia (including the Indian subcontinent, after which it is named); on the west by Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, ...
6 Apr 12

Selat Riau E side (Indonesia)

Transiting Selat Riau from S presents few difficulties.
The normal care and prudence required in narrow waters should suffice in the fairway. Some difficulty has at times been experienced by strangers in recognizing the entrance to Selat Riau on account of the numerous islands ...
26 Feb 12

Pulau Gin Br - Gin Kl - Numbing (Indonesia)

Pulau Gin Besar, Pulau Gin-kecil, and Pulau Numbing are three islands, which together are about 5 miles in extent, lying from 8 to 13 miles SE of Gunung Kau, and separated from each other by narrow channels; the channel along the S side of Pulau Gin Besar has depths of 6.9 to 15.5m ...
11 Feb 12
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