Thursday, March 8, 2018

Reviving Small Boat Sailing with Simple Boxy Boats

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Sailing has become so affordable and user-friendly it is drawing more Filipinos to join a growing international interest in taking up the hobby and sport that is virtually a perfect fit for the country’s archipelagic environment.

International and local collaboration of companies and individuals involved in sailing and boatbuilding, including Hyde Sails International a British company that makes sails for sailboats whose main factory is in Cebu, Duckworks Boatbuilder’s Supply of the U.S, Broadwater Marine of Australia., local boatbuilding materials suppliers such as Zamboply Marine plywood, Pioneer Epoxy and Polymer Products, Inc. has brought about the popularity of the Oz Goose sailboat, designed by Batangas-based Australian designer Michael Storer,  has broken down the myth that sailing is only for the rich.

This collaboration was brought about by the Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club or PHBYC, a group of boating enthusiasts that promote affordable boating and sailing through do-it-yourself wooden boats. 

So far, over  40 Oz Goose sailboats have been built in the three island groups of the Philippines from scratch using boat plans, built to order from authorized builders, and most of the produced during Family Boatbuilding Weekends (FBW), the signature event of PHBYC, wherein families or groups assemble an Oz Goose from a prefabricated kit.

The boxy looking boat is easy to build and sails well with 3 persons, but is best sailed with one or two people onboard, making it a great platform to learn how to sail. Its shape gives it a lot of stability and is empty of water when righted from a capsize, (To find out more when the next FBW would be, feel free to follow PHBYC’s facebook group page and the Open Goose Sailing Boat Group).

Long time sailing enthusiast, Peter Capotosto, Commodore of the Taal Lake Yacht Club said, “The cost to build 10 Oz Geese, is the same as the cost of bringing in two Olympic class sailboats (Laser dinghy) and surprisingly it performs just as well especially for new sailors. Without a doubt the Oz Goose has more bang for the buck.” Mr. Capotosto said.
The unique coming together of international and local boating experts and suppliers leading to the rising popularity of the Oz Goose class in the Philippines is unprecedented, And could be the hope for the future of Dinghy sailing here, According to Mr. Capotosto; “We organize monthly races at TLYC and the increased participation of old an new sailors in the Oz Goose class has increased exponentially after we had an FBW there last month” Mr. Capotosto added.

Sailing clubs around the world are trying to emulate what PHBYC has done to revive interest in small boat sailing. According to boat designer Michael Storer:  “We still have a long way to go to get mainstream interest in small boat sailing in the Philippines, but PHBYC is making progress, schools have expressed their interest having sailing as a varsity sport and our maritime academies that produce sailors that know little about sailing are beginning to appreciate how small boat sailing and boatbuilding can significantly add to the seamanship knowhow of their cadets.”

The Oz Goose is made from 5 or 6mm marine grade plywood, and lumber, assembled with epoxy. While the sails that move the boat can be made by the builder from materials like polytarp or tyvek, professionally made dacron sails can also be purchased locally from dealers such as Las Pinas based Monsoon Marine.

Please check Wazzup Pilipinas Facebook fan page for more photos.

Safety on the Water
Anyone can learn how to sail, and PHBYC has always been an advocate of safety on the water by wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) being responsible and respectful to the environment and advising people when to expect you back when going on extended boating trips.

The Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club (PHBYC) is a local community sailors, boaters and amateur and professional boatbuilders that help people get into boating and sailing economically through boatbuilding. Plans for building all kinds of boats are available online and the materials to build them are readily available locally. Established in 2006 PHBYC helps its members by giving advice on sourcing materials and boatbuilding techniques, all they ask in return is for people to pay forward what they’ve learned to help grow the fleet of homebuilt boats.

Contributed By: Roy Espiritu /PHBYC

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