Getting Prepared For The Philippines > Boats

Building a Boat in Sta Ana Cagayan Valley

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Hi everybody

I am hopefully starting my first boat build in Sta Ana, Cagayan Valley during August. Although I am still based in the UK for work, my family have already left the UK for good and are starting our house build in Sta Ana. My wonderful wife has allowed me to build a boat shed - not just for the Argie 15, but for a larger build after.......

I have the Dudley Dix Argie 15 plans (in PDF as well as paper versions - to try and keep the originals in good condition, despite my UK/Philippines commuting). Some tools, we will source in the Philippines, and some are in a container with our household belongings, due to arrive mid-August.

We are trying to source epoxy resin, glass cloth and epoxy fillers, together with 6mm marine ply (10 sheets) over the next 2 weeks. If anyone has any recommendations, it would be a real help. We are also looking for a table saw, planer/thicknesser and air compressor. These are not really needed for the first build, but are a "nice to have". They will also be used for our house build and the next boat project. I am travelling light from Manila to Sta Ana when I land from the UK in 2 weeks, but we do have to travel frequently to Manila as part of the sourcing for our house project, but obviously, if there is any availability more locally (perhaps Aparri or Tuguegarao) that would be much better.

It will not be a quick build, as my holidays will be my only opportunity to work on the project. However, I will take a little more holiday each year until I move across for good in about 4 years. We are in a typhoon prone area, so keeping everything safe and fairly dry in the intervals between my building stints will be a consideration! Our internet out there is a bit patchy, but I will try and post pictures when I can.

I started my sailing in small dinghies some 40 years plus ago. The Argie 15 will be a great family boat for local messing about and to teach my family the basics of sailing.

This is the youtube link for another Arige 15 build - part 1 - part 2

I have also attached a picture of a nice centreboard example (centreboard an option, daggerboard normally).

Really looking forward to the challenge of the build, and of course the sailing!

Fair winds


It looks a very pretty dinghy, very much a stable family cruiser. Built in the same style as the old Mirror dinghy but that was not too stable. I raced an OK dinghy for many years but my back would not stand all the hanging out now :(

The only problem I could see would be getting good quality marine ply. You should be able to get all the tools in Manila although I have not seen a planer/thicknesser.

Good luck with the build Peter, I wish you luck with sourcing materials in the Philippines. Sounds a good project and an enjoyable pastime when completed. Let us know how your house and boat building progress, I am sure many members will be interested.


Hi Colin

I used to race Solo's, Fireballs, Laser and Laser II and Mirror 14 (became Marauder) and a few others.  I sailed an OK a few times, great fun, but I was a little light to be competitive in that.  I have completed Yachtmaster (Coastal) more recently, so am confident in handling a cruiser.

Plywood does seem to be an issue, I have a few on the case.  There is availability in Manila and probably Tuguegarao for the smaller sizes.  Epoxy resin also needs to be from Manila itself, but they will deliver via bus to Tuguegarao.

I was going to go straight to a bigger build, but figured that testing the ground with a smaller one was wise.  Also, for teaching the rest of the family sailing basics, there is nothing better than a small 2-3 person craft.  It will also be fun to use off the beach and for a bit of local coast hopping.  Whilst not as scenic as Palawan (I am told) Sta Ana is still a pretty place to explore.

Thanks for the comments. Maybe the back would hold out with a gentle cruise...

Kind regards


Hi Paul

Thank you for you comments.

House build started just over a week ago and from the pictures, seems to be progressing well.  I will try and start another topic/thread and put a few pictures on periodically.  This forum has been a great help already and I am sure continued advice will be sought from more experienced members.

Although my wife (Elvie) was brought up in Sta Ana, she has lived away from the Philippines for more than 20 years.  I have visited many times over the last 10 years, but both of us are expecting difficulties adapting to the local approach of house building and the cultural differences from the UK....  We hope to complete building before next April holiday as we will have a pool and a few cottages to rent out.  Ideally, it will be possible to use part of the house at least by Christmas.   Reasonable Weather and good project management might make this possible for 2014/15 rather than 2015/16.......

Kind regards



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