The artifact shown in the picture above is the Sampan Panjang, just one model of many different sampans. This small boat, back then, was primarily used by the Malay traders to travel about. This sampan was also used for passenger transport, ferrying passengers. From the 1830s onwards, this boat started to become more popular as a participant in boat races.
Compared to modern-day boats, this boat was much slower, as it requires manual paddling whereas modern-day boats all operate on engines with the ability to go at fast speeds. This boat is also made of wood, but modern boats now are built using metal. Most modern-day boats also now have sails for propulsion in addition to the engine, but this boat does not, hence traveling slower.