Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bancas on Corregidor

Reader Paul Wilson sent me a bunch of wonderful photos of boats from various parts of Asia which we'll looking at in this and the next several posts. We'll start with Paul's photos of bancas or paraws, the double-outrigger canoes of the Philippines. (Earlier posts examined banca hull and outrigger shapes, banca propulsion and steering, and banca construction details.)

To quote Paul:
The Philippines Paraws (Bancas) photos were taken in 2002 at the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay.  I loved seeing how the outriggers were attached using heavy fishing line and pipe fittings.  Very practical.  
The garbage from Manila floats across the bay.  As you can see, it is a bit of a problem.
Apply that familiar slanting red stripe at the bow, and even a banca becomes instantly recognizable as a coast guard vessel. (Click any image to enlarge.)
Like most modern bancas, these are inboard powered. The hull appears to be of plywood construction over sawn frames. The text on the stern says "Donated by 125th Coast Guard Auxiliary." (See next image.)
The attachments between outrigger boom and float appear to be pipe hangers. Paul's comment about the garbage being "a bit of a problem" is apparently understatement. 
Yuck. A sorry setting for a handsome boat.
That's more like it! A handsome boat with a nice paint job deserves a clean backdrop.

The banca's narrow hull makes the double outriggers a necessity.
This photo and next: an abundance of heavy-duty monofilament fishing line secures the booms to the hull and the floats to the boom on this banca. The boat in the previous photo had two parallel lengths of bamboo for each float. This one has three. I've also seen floats of one and four lengths: it depends upon the diameter and buoyancy of the bamboo available and the stability needs of the boat.

Tune in again soon for more photos of indigenous Asian boats by Paul Wilson, to whom we give sincere thanks.


  1. Bob, your posts lately have exceeded even your own high standards, thank you! Might I mention? the font has been painfully small for old eyes in the last couple posts.
    Don't mean to be a pest....

  2. Thanks Doryman. I forgot that I changed my browser to display text larger than normal (because I have the same issues as you), so the small text looks large enough to me, but not necessarily to everyone else. I just increased the font size in this post and will try to remember this setting for the future.

  3. Nice post! But I would love to see that beautiful boat on a much cleaner environment.