Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-05-2023, 17:23   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Hi everyone,

Just found this forum and thought I'd test the water with a quirky idea for cruising the Philippines in a different way to a traditional western built yacht.
So have any of you ever thought of buying and cruising some of the closer lying islands on a banca?

The reason I ask is simply to either dismiss or affirm an idea I've been researching and talking to friends about for a while. To boat-camp/cruise some of the calm close lying islands on a shoestring budget with a bit of adventurous spirit and advice from the locals.

Our idea is to buy an inexpensive medium size banca (12-15m) that has a bunk/wheel house. Register it legally (which looks fairly simple). Then update it with some basic gear:

-portable VHF/AIS/GPS unit in a dry bag
-tablet with navionics and other nav
apps in a dry bag,
-small RIB and mini outboard
-Budget small Solar panel and lithium battery for charging phones and VHF etc. Possibly a bigger panel if its feasible to run a tiny portable cool box during daylight?
-McGyver some kind of basic DIY rain water collector and storage. Off the roof/decks.
- chuck a matress in the wheelhouse
- maybe a pair of decent new anchors and lines for shallow sheltered anchorages.
- hand tools and products for hull maintenance.
- Mobile phone for weather updates.
- fishing and snorkel gear.
- Camping stove and cooking gear.

As you guys liveaboard your boats full time in the Philippines, I thought you might know some of the regions where this kind of idea might work? But more importantly actually have practical knowledge of the conditions for anchoring and making passages between some of the closer knit islands.

Aside from the lower costs and mad adventure of cruising in a banca, my main reason is to make crossing any shallow waters easier. We'd love to explore and access the reefs more easily for snorkelling. Plus anchor near the shore of the islands.

I don't know if longer crossings to islands such as Palawan would be safe on these boats with such low freeboard in big swells and no bilge pump?? I guess local advice may help? Our main goal is to have a safe, fun cruise around the calmest seas and less touristy islands. Time frame would be probably be Jan-May each year for a few years.. possibly beach up and store the boat safely with someone we trust for the off-season.

I don't mind if you completely dismiss these foolish ideas.. its only an idea so far. I'm not spending my life savings or risking anything that can bankrupt me. Just wanted to hear your thoughts and views.

I might sound a bit foolhardy, but wouldn't take any risks. Would stick to coastal waters and only go offshore a few hours to island hop in calm waters. I'd make sure the boat was absolutely seaworthy and try/test everything with the seller for as long as possible. Have some good Filipino friends who have said they will help if needed. I'm hoping there's places where people can help with repairs all around the islands. Especially if its a barca. My wishful thinking

Many thanks in advance and happy cruising

Rowan
Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 00:29   #2
Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,575
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

The days of the ďAlby MangelsĒ style adventuring are over. The legal requirements are substantial (though not too daunting) but a commercial charter business in the Philippines is going to take a lot of work and engagement with various government agencies. A few of the discussion topics that might come up are. Crewing and qualifications, vessel compliance, insurance, cyclones, crocodiles, terrorists in the south, language might be a problem, malaria (Palawan and Mindanao). You could achieve what you describe but donít be thinking you can just fly in, buy a boat with an outboard and start camping on beaches throughout the islands.
skipperpete is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 00:35   #3
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Panschwitz, Germany
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 3,974
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperpete View Post
The days of the ďAlby MangelsĒ style adventuring are over. The legal requirements are substantial (though not too daunting) but a commercial charter business in the Philippines is going to take a lot of work and engagement with various government agencies. A few of the discussion topics that might come up are. Crewing and qualifications, vessel compliance, insurance, cyclones, crocodiles, terrorists in the south, language might be a problem, malaria (Palawan and Mindanao). You could achieve what you describe but donít be thinking you can just fly in, buy a boat with an outboard and start camping on beaches throughout the islands.
Hey Pete,

I don't see them talking about charter or commercial operations.

Sounds more like buy a cheap boat and enjoy life in the out of Cyclone season.
Generally sounds like a cool adventure for the daring.

Sent from my MHA-L29 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
www.ladyrover.com
Franziska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 01:46   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Yep, that's the idea. Basically just like camping out with few mates. Nothing commercial or complicated. I only have recreational skipper ticket (RYA ICC/Coastal Skipper and VHF).

The advice I'm looking for is more about which group of islands would be the most fun and safe. Plus asking folks living out there on their boats about general life I.e. local repair shops, supplies, anchoring off the beach etc. Its really to see if there are huge major problems or hazards I haven't thought about. The red tape looks OK, foreigners can buy and register a Filipino boat in their name. My friends there would help too. I wouldn't be there in cyclone season and would stick to the coast. I would probably just cruise the central visayas to begin with.

My friends in Dumaguete suggested most average size towns will have good mechanics to fix outboards/inboards. Hoping that buying a wood banca will allow simple local repairs etc.

Really appreciate any insider input. Many thanks in advance!
Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 02:59   #5
Registered User
 
Chotu's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2018
Boat: 50ft Custom Fast Catamaran
Posts: 10,881
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

I wish I had something to add but this is a brilliant idea. I’m not sure why more people don’t do things like this.

It’s a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to get to the Philippines with a plane and get a local boat. That’s some really good reasoning.

Also, you’re not going to be the target of theft. Not that the Philippines is bad, but in general traveling everywhere, if people just use the local boats they wouldn’t have any difficulty with being a target.

The one thing I would suggest is you learn to fix Outboards. They are not a big deal to learn. That way you won’t have to rely on that mechanic that might be in the moderate size town. Even take a class in small engine repair if you can. The only difference between outboards and a regular small engine is the coolant loop and the lower unit. It will be nice to not have to worry about finding a mechanic.

How much does a boat like this cost with an enclosure to keep you out of the elements? I keep seeing very very small ones.
Chotu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 03:04   #6
Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,575
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager77 View Post
Yep, that's the idea. Basically just like camping out with few mates. Nothing commercial or complicated. I only have recreational skipper ticket (RYA ICC/Coastal Skipper and VHF).



The advice I'm looking for is more about which group of islands would be the most fun and safe. Plus asking folks living out there on their boats about general life I.e. local repair shops, supplies, anchoring off the beach etc. Its really to see if there are huge major problems or hazards I haven't thought about. The red tape looks OK, foreigners can buy and register a Filipino boat in their name. My friends there would help too. I wouldn't be there in cyclone season and would stick to the coast. I would probably just cruise the central visayas to begin with.



My friends in Dumaguete suggested most average size towns will have good mechanics to fix outboards/inboards. Hoping that buying a wood banca will allow simple local repairs etc.



Really appreciate any insider input. Many thanks in advance!


Well thatís definitely do able, it sounds like an adventure that might happen. Best of luck with the plan.
skipperpete is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 03:48   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

My mates out there say these pumpboats/bancas are everywhere for sale. Just on Facebook marketplace there are hundreds for sale. Even basic fibreglass flat bottom boats that would be an ideal liveaboard are for sale for 450,000 pesos (£6000). That's top of my budget. Average price for wooden 15m banca is around 200,000 pesos (£2800) will try to attach pics to give an idea. Then you youtube the videos of local banca ferries breaking up in big waves and think mmmnnn better not go in big seas! The wooden boats look more sturdy tbh. I'll stay well vlear of boats with fibreglass outriggers, those things just snap off!!

I thought I'd be chastised and mocked for this idea. perhaps it's worth going for?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20230524_025133_Facebook.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	281.4 KB
ID:	275846   Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20230526_114049_Facebook.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	263.1 KB
ID:	275847  

Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 04:05   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I wish I had something to add but this is a brilliant idea. Iím not sure why more people donít do things like this.

Itís a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to get to the Philippines with a plane and get a local boat. Thatís some really good reasoning.

Also, youíre not going to be the target of theft. Not that the Philippines is bad, but in general traveling everywhere, if people just use the local boats they wouldnít have any difficulty with being a target.

The one thing I would suggest is you learn to fix Outboards. They are not a big deal to learn. That way you wonít have to rely on that mechanic that might be in the moderate size town. Even take a class in small engine repair if you can. The only difference between outboards and a regular small engine is the coolant loop and the lower unit. It will be nice to not have to worry about finding a mechanic.

How much does a boat like this cost with an enclosure to keep you out of the elements? I keep seeing very very small ones.
Yes to all of your advice.. I've been picking up the basics over the years, but would be a good idea to shadow some proper outboard mechanics snd maybe go on a course. The biggest worry is being miles out snd the engine cutting. Hence the backup rib snd dmall outboard. Could always tow it very slowly!! Or at least flag someone for a tow. Hence the reason for staying near shore and only cruising daylight etc. Dunno, there's probably 101 possible disasters with this plan. But common sense and safety measures will hopefully avoid anything too bad.
Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 04:17   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Anyone who's interested in the kind of boat I'm talking about can be seen here. But these are brand new builds. Used prices are obviously much less. But it's still affordable to buy new on a smaller budget than a western mod cons yacht.

https://youtu.be/XZHbEjt8Auk
Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 10:21   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: Sunny Louisville, KY
Posts: 22
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

That sounds like a fantastic idea. Go for it!
the stargazer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2023, 18:32   #11
Registered User
 
AKA-None's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lake City MN
Boat: C&C 27 Mk III
Posts: 2,572
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

I agree sounds like fun and pretty inexpensive overall
__________________
Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along a path that you cannot explain anymore.
Frank Herbert 'Dune'
AKA-None is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2023, 05:27   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Thailand
Boat: Rival 32
Posts: 11
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

I have owned a locally built boat in the Philippines and my advice would be very simple; don’t do it! As a foreigner you will attract a lot of attention from the marina officers in every port you visit and it can get expensive, both in time and money.

Paperwork also becomes a total nightmare! You wrote “Register it legally (which looks fairly simple)” Yes, if you are a local; as a foreigner there will be “extra requirements”

Believe it or not, it is easier to bring your own foreign registered boat into the Philippines!

I know a few foreigners who charter local boats on a long term basis, and it is not as expensive has you might think. Most fishermen would rather have a steady income from a rental and you do not have to worry about looking after the boat.

I would start doing a few ‘fishing trips’ and get to know what you can expect to pay, ask around; travel around the islands to look around for the right boat. Long term, you will need to make a simple agreement so that you know exactly what you are committing to paying for and have a very clear, short get-out clause.

The Philippines is a beautiful country with lovely people and great to sail around. Good luck in your quest.
__________________
It must be 5'o'clock somewhere...
Nbarch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2023, 10:59   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Re: Quirky cruising idea Philippines

Thank you so much Nbarch!
I really value and trust your opinion, as you've obviously had the personal experience. I'm glad I found this forum, as there was hardly any info online.
I think you've saved me some big headaches and potential wastage of time and money..

Your idea of a charter sounds like a really good idea! Maybe even kayaking would be possible on short trips? If you have that contact, I'd definitely be interested. Cheers.
Adventures without stress and bureaucracy are way better! The other option I'm up for is crewing for shared expenses for people cruising in their own yachts. I'll have completed my divemaster by then too, so would love to find a seasonal gig in a diveshop.. another subject. Any way of staying out there for the winter and making the most of these beautiful islands.

Thank you so much for helping steer me in the right direction. I was a bit naive thinking it would be doable. My frirnds over there are locsls so didnt know the complications we face as foreigners. I would want to do things legally and safely. If that looks like a big mess, than id rather simplify the plan. I hope this post helps others too thinking about buying a local boat. It seems like a great budget idea in theory. But was worried about thr catch

All the best and will keep reading other posts here regarding the Philippines to help with future plans. Much appreciation and gratitude for your advice. Cheers!!
Voyager77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising, Philippines

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Want To Buy: Philippines Cruising S/V MatthLE Boats For Sale and Wanted 1 15-05-2021 23:37
Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea SV_Harbinger Engines and Propulsion Systems 42 19-11-2018 15:22
Cruising sailor finds massive ancient temple site in Philippines pbmaise Cruising News & Events 40 16-08-2017 01:17
Is This a Viable Idea to Make Money While Cruising? AdventureBoy Boat Ownership & Making a Living 10 25-08-2009 06:52

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.