Bunka boat

  • This is a boat I had made at a local fishing Village here in the Philippines. The coast was $216 US. It is made of plywood and glides effortlessly over the top of the water. It has extend my diving range at least 10 fold. It used to take me 35 minutes to swim out to the outer reef in front of my home in the Philippines I can now be there in under 10 minutes. It is also nice to have base to fish from that far out.

    Notice the wheel? I made a cart so that I can ferry it to and from the China Sea to be stored above the tide line. Without the cart it would require two or three people to carry it back and forth. Since I can't count on help to be present every time I want to go diving (Each Day I am Alive) I developed the cart using two motor cycle wheels welded to an axel on a simple plywood base.

    I can transport it back and forth easily by my self. One note it is a bitch to get in and out of the water but doable. It's like doing a chin up and push up at the same time. The outrigger do stabilize the entry and exit quite nicely though.


    When I am not sleeping, I'm Spearfishing.
    My Aeris 10 only records 99 dives.
    I use them all every day the China Sea will admit me.

  • Nice. I used to scuba dive off those in Antique, Panay. We'd go into fishing villages and my local buddy would get a couple guys to paddle us out. That same design works on ones like yours, up to 80 feet long. No nails. Fishing line rigged. Yep.

  • Nickmal, you're bringing back a lot of memories.
    Here's a few pics of a small one….like yours with a motor. It was the life boat. haha (the last pic), an the mother boat. We took this to Tubbataha a couple years ago. We show up in a big panga….look at the other boats that were there. haha.

    The design is universal in the Philippines. Big, small…pretty much the same. Coco lumber cross beams (they're under the bamboo on this big boat) finished with bamboo for the down pieces and outriggers. There's a good reason. I asked the guy building the Maruha (the big one) why coco lumber? it rots fast. He said, "you see the coconut tree in the typhoon? How it bends but never breaks? amo na (that's why)".
    A guy I knew there in shrimp a while back….was married in the the Lopez family…built his own big banka. But he thought he was smarter than the locals. He used oak for the cross beams and 12" PVC pipe for the outriggers. Well, guess what happened. ….He got in some rough weather and the oak didn't bend….and the PVC wouldn't sink at all. It cracked the cross beams. He was lucky the US Air Force flew over and saw him. They saved his ass.

    But that's the design. The coco lumber bends like a big shock absorber in crossing seas. And the bamboo sinks. Not completely and that's the art of building them. The sink just enough that the boat stays level. Really cool. I've been in some pretty rough seas on them and they handle. Anyway…here's the pics.

    Oh yeah….and best of all, I believe this boat was about US$80,000. An 80 foot boat for $80K….not bad.


    Edited once, last by hank ().

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