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January 19, 2022, 3:12 pm

Octogenarian repairs boats for six decades in Saigon

(17:06:16 PM 15/08/2014)
( - In the past there were dozens of boat-repair enterprises in District 8’s Kenh Doi in HCM City, but today, only Nguyen Van Hai, 83, offers the service to fishermen and boat enthusiasts.

Hai said in the past Kenh Doi used to be a busy area for trading boats, and thus became a repair shop area.


Waterway transport has declined sharply because of urbanization. As a result, boat repair workshops have gradually disappeared. The only workshop left is owned by Mr. Hai, named Lam Ngoc.
Mr. Hai has pursued this job for 60 years.
He said in the past he had to compete with 20 other workshops.
The main work of Mr. Hai’s Lam Ngoc workshop is painting, repairing and installing boats.
Hai said his workshop did not have enough work to do in the past three years.
His family’s income is only about VND3 to VND5 million per month. The amount is not enough to maintain family life.
Mr. Hai’s son - Nguyen Thanh Ngoc – now runs the workshop on behalf of his father.
"Sometimes I wanted to quit this job but I was not young enough to find a new job," said Hai.
Previously, Hai hired some workers but now he and his son do everything.
Hai hoped that his son will pursue this job.
In September and October every year, their job is heavily affected because of rising tides.
In the past 60 years, this workshop has repaired hundreds of boats.

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