Traditional boatbuilding in the Philippines

What boats are made of

Moderators: maligno101, lncc, kuton

Traditional boatbuilding in the Philippines

Postby Bayman » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:45 pm

When I recently visited Philippines first time, I was quite impressed with the artistic look of Pam(?) boat designs. What wood species was traditionally used for boat building? Do locals still harvest wood from the land and build in the 'old ways' or have they 'gone modern'. I hoping to build a boat there next year. I grew up in Newfoundland, Atlantic Canada where history is filled with ships, boats, and fishing. But I know next to nothing (wala akong alam) about wood species in the Philippines, so your input is much appreciated.
Last edited by Bayman on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Postby pinoypiper » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:46 pm

welcome to the forum bayman. I think you mean "pump boat", so called because the engines used on them are the same used for agricultural water pumps, briggs etc... woods for these boats vary from province to province depending on what is available. Where do you plan to build your boat?
User avatar
pinoypiper
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 4339
Images: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Las Piñas, Alabang

Postby Bayman » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:49 pm

Thanks for reply! Hoping to built somewhere in southern Luzon, maybe Bantagas. I rode the double outrigger passenger pump boat from Batangas City to the beach at Puerto Galera. A local fisherman gave me a tour in a smaller outboard version. One wood used in Atlantic Canada for 'hot water' bent ribs in a small boat is Larch (tamarack) - heated in a steel drum over a wood fire. The ribs are bent into shape and fastened to the keel and temporary battens of the frame (two guys are best for this). After drying overnight, they become 'rock solid'. What Philippine woods best bent into shape for boat ribs?
Last edited by Bayman on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Re: Traditional boatbuilding in the Philippines

Postby dilis » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:20 am

[quote="Bayman" I know next to nothing about wood species in the Philippines, so any help from this forum would be much appreciated.[/quote]

I'm going to build my coastal cat in the Philippines, Bayman. The designer has OK'ed my using Luan marine plywood, so you should be OK using that. I don't know what the pump boat builders use.

Bob
User avatar
dilis
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: Pangasinan, Minnesocold and Lower California

Postby kuton » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:14 am

We still need to do research on which Philippine woods can be steam bent. All I have so far is a statement that most tropical hardwoods cannot be steam bent. There is also no tradition of boatbuilders here in the Philippines steam bending. Frames are either cut or or cut from crooks and bends.
User avatar
kuton
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:48 am

Postby Biel » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:40 am

Welcome Bayman, check out this webpage that identifies the local wood species any which may be suitable for you. This was posted in this forum just two and a half months ago:

http://www.idewood.com/index.php?pid=8

My brother and I went shopping last month for some types of local hardwood and found some sources in the town of Santa Rosa, Cavite, which is about 55 kilometers north of Batangas City. There's gotta be a source too within the Batangas Province. I guess the medium density hardwood found here can be steam bent. The specific gravity of Juniper is .44, and the local equivalent is called Lauan, or more known as Philippine Mahogany, also with a specific gravity of .44, which should be the closest, which I assume should be a good substitute for you. My two cents worth.

More on Juniper:

http://juniper.oregonstate.edu/primary.php
User avatar
Biel
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:53 pm
Location: Quezon City

Postby kuton » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:40 am

Red (not white) lauan is a good boatbuilding material with excellent strength, nail holding and rot resistance. Unfortunately, it doesn't lend itself well to steam bending.
User avatar
kuton
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:48 am

Postby maligno101 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:44 am

What I find fascinating is that "pumpboat" hulls are built alike, no matter what size; the smallest paraw has parts similar to the largest basnig.

Hull bottom is dug out from a log; there is no keel. Floor boards made of bamboo slats are usually placed across the top of the dugout. Motor mounts are sculpted on the log in the carving process.

Hull sides are attached to frames mortised into the dugout. Most sides are now plywood though I have seen sides of some older boats made with solid planks caulked with asphalt.

Frames, stem and stern are usually straight; the curved ones I have seen are cut, not bent.

The sides are attached with copper nails and epoxy glue to the frames and are rabbeted to the top edge of the dugout.

Amas are bamboo (sometimes GI pipes) and natural knees are attached at the outboard ends to hold the outriggers: bamboo or large-diameter PVC pipes. For small boats the bamboo ama is bent to shape over a fire.

When bamboo is used as outriggers, it is usually skinned. The best explanation I got is so that it doesn't split when the bamboo dries when the boat is hauled out.

All the parts are lashed together with monofilament lines.

The whole boat is coated with enamel paint.

Image
Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?--Hobbes
User avatar
maligno101
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 3275
Images: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Paranaque City, Metro Manila

Postby Bayman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:21 am

Thanks all for great info! Sorry re the 'pam' reference - my Filipino friends in Edmonton pronounce like pam in english - my mistake. Tks Dilis, Biel and Kuton for info on Philippines woods and Malignon101 for intro course on pumpboat design and construction. Wow - do I have a lot to learn! I went on Youtube videos - fishing in the Philippines and Flickr - pictures of Philippine boats. Helpful to see local fisherfolk and sportfishers action in local built boats. My Filipino wife was raised in Binangonan and I liked Angono. I'm thinking my Newfie skiff may be too heavy for practical travel. What is approximate weight of paraw in Maligno101's picture? Do people built so outriggers and amas can be re-assembled on site. I once did this on a canoe using light aluminum tubes for outriggers with removable alum amas using bolts. I'd like to transport boat to different sites - by tow or better still as a truck/suv topper. What's most common there? Anyone have pictures of this? What is ball park cost of materials to build a paraw to carry 4 persons safetly?
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Postby Bayman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:58 am

Ah Ah!! On Flickr website I found a traditional Philippine boat that is quite similar to the Newfie skiff . It is a falowa, (smaller version is sacrao), built for rough seas around port of Basco, Batan Island, Batanes. I'm going to research the build design. Anyone have info on this?
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Postby Lorenzo » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:04 am

Welcome Bayman! A 12' to 14' small sailing/rowing paraw will weigh between 50 to 75 kgs. The bamboo amas and crossbeams are traditionally lashed. Though at times, they are bolted and lashed on bigger paraw. They can be removable if you want so. The 12' - 14' can be cartopped, but if you want a paraw that could carry 4 person safely, you should build a trailable 18 footer at least. If you build it yourself, it will cost you an average of $500. The price vary depending on the source and type of wood.


Lorenzo II
Last edited by Lorenzo on Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Lorenzo
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:35 pm
Location: Davao | Samal Island

Postby maligno101 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:17 am

If Mr. T can chime in on this thread, he has photos of a Batan boat under construction. I remember he posted a lot of photos in the old now defunct forum.

Re weight of the paraw in the photo: this is the smallest model of the type and should be less than 150 lbs. I've seen two people carry them to launch or haul out.
Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?--Hobbes
User avatar
maligno101
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 3275
Images: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:32 pm
Location: Paranaque City, Metro Manila

Postby Bayman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:51 am

Lorenzo - that's the technical type of info I like! I went to Flickr website under search boats in the Philippines. Some interesting info including: 1) "falowa " by Fari (Batanes boat). 2) "Banca boat building" by smallislander - a set of 57 photos. Great stuff! 3) I'm just love the boat in the pic "Random fishing boat on Tablas Romblon" - what a beauty! What a piece of art! is this a paraw? 20 ft.? When sailing does one carry an outboard as backup? What about a pump engine in a 16 footer? What's the smallest size boat one could install a pump engine?
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Postby Lorenzo » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:38 pm

Referring to this photo by tracyhunter, I guess it is an 18'. In some designs like this, the bow and stern are turned up. This is probably 20' overall. The beams of these paraw are usually 18 inches wide. Though some are custom-made to 24 in wide to accommodate a big person.

Image

You can install a pump engine on the smallest 10 footer paraw or bangka. The traditional sailing paraw usually don't have engines. Paddles are the "backup". If you want a sailing paraw, I recommend a small outboard motor. The twin blade propeller of a pumpboat (motorized bangka) sticks out permanently (see picture above) and drags your sailing speed. Filipinos use these agricultural engines because it is the cheapest engine we could afford at $250.

Boring a thru-hull propeller shaft melts the heart of a purist paraw builder, but most of them accept the reality and necessity of an engine for these traditional workboats.


Lorenzo II
User avatar
Lorenzo
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:35 pm
Location: Davao | Samal Island

Postby Bayman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:53 pm

Tks to Lorenzo for uploading Tracyhunter's pic of Bangka. I now realize that the steam bending rib method was not likely used for the paraw as it is a narrow boat that uses upright hull with outriggers for balance and stability. In contrast, the Batan boat has a more rounded hull and wider beam. I hope to get more info on the design. I suspect the ribs in the Batan boat were traditionally cut from crooked trees, as was the case with the Newfie skiff (also built for rough seas).

The steam bent rib methods were adopted from the bent rib designs used in some North American Native canoes (especially the large ocean going warrior canoes of tribes around Oregon or Vancouver Island). Surely before the invention of motors the Batan was sail driven. I'm leaning toward a design that is a blend of Bangka and Batan with upturned stem, squared stern, outboard driver, wider beam and more rounded hull than bangka, as light weight as possible. As an aside, do any of you know if launa wood was 'steam bent' for use in traditional boat building?
Last edited by Bayman on Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Bayman
Ship's Master
Ship's Master
 
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:22 pm
Location: Edmonton Canada

Next

Return to Materials Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests