Getting Prepared For The Philippines > Boats




           Ok, what I wanted to do was ask if anyone knows of a Banka like the one shown in the previous post was for sale. I'm looking for one like it when I get to the Philippines. Or if you know of a builder who can make me one like it.

   Thanks Dan


That looks like it is, or was, a dive boat based in Cebu. How about asking the dive community in the Visayas for some tips?

There are live-aboard operators listed on this site, <> who may, or may not, be willing to share their knowledge of local boat builders, or bankas of that type for sale.

Good luck.



      Thanks for the tip. When I first saw this boat it was for sale, I even got the owners number and left some messages but never heard back from him. I will try asking in the Visayas as we will be living there.



--- Quote from: uncledan on July 19, 2019, 01:58:34 AM ---
Ok, what I wanted to do was ask if anyone knows of a Banka like the one shown in the previous post was for sale. I'm looking for one like it when I get to the Philippines. Or if you know of a builder who can make me one like it.  Thanks Dan

--- End quote ---

Yes, well, perhaps of some interest, a well experienced Aussie expat writes ... (

"The local outrigger is called a banka, or banca, unless it is rather largish and then they call them pump boats. If it has a small lawn mower like engine it is a banka; if it has a car or truck engine then it is a pump boat. There are smaller versions with no engine, just paddles or a crab-claw sail made from rice sacks or tarps; but let us focus on the banka. It will be between 20 to 30 feet long, powered by a 5-8hp petrol motor and steered by a long bamboo tiller. If you wish to be authentic you steer with the tiller under one arm and the throttle string between your toes.

I bought a 30 foot fishing banka off an American C-130 pilot and had his wife’s relatives deliver the boat up the Cebu coast to me in Bogo. I’d made friends with one of the Baragay Tanod who patrolled the Bogo wharf and he kept an eye on it for me for a few hundred peso a month. I painted it, fixed it up with navigation lights and all the right safety gear and had a lot of fun with it for a year. I sold it when I moved from Bogo to Cebu City and didn’t know where to keep it. I shouldn’t have worried because this is the Pilipeens! All I needed do was have my man run it down the coast to Talisay and leave it among the hundred other boats drawn up on the beach!

I used to run the boat from Bogo to Malapascua Island when I was involved in a resort project there. I also rented it to some Koreans to go fishing in and I also circumnavigated the Dayhagon Channel separating Cebu from Daanbantayan.

What About Something Bigger?

If you want something roomier you can buy the bigger pump boat and they can be made rather comfortable as a live-aboard. The good thing about living on a pump boat rather than a western yacht or motor boat is they fit in better, they just blend into the background. Makes you less of a target. But eventually the local pirates will know which one belongs to the kano and hence is worth robbing when you're ashore. This is why it pays to hire a good crewman and let him sleep aboard with his bolo, especially if you are ashore for long periods.

The other problem with buying one is the owner will want far too much money for it, as is the case with anything second hand in the Pinas. And before you buy, the boat really needs a good going over to make sure it is sea worthy."

Anyway, the local wooden pump boats are usually certainly tough.

For example, here's the fishing boat that was rammed by the Chinese Navy at sea at Reed Bank on June 12, just over a month ago:

This incident, which, ironically, happened on Philippine-China Friendship Day, has apparently rocked the Duterte administration, triggering a widespread backlash against its ongoing rapprochement with Beijing. Duterte, who has assiduously pursued warmer ties with China, has come under heavy criticism – even from some of his allies, all of whom favour a tougher position in the contested waters. The collision left 22 Filipino fishermen abandoned at sea, until a passing Vietnamese ship picked them up. The Chinese Navy vessel had quickly left the scene.


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