Ronelo's father and his son
over the corals
Edgar splitting bamboo for the battens
Wipke laying out the sail
the local kids having a go
all photographs courtesy Wipke Iwersen
Wipke Iwersen, artist/philosopher/inventor and driving force behind the fabulous Windvinder, sent me some photos of her Philippine double outrigger canoe. The builder is Ronelo Banggat from Tagpopongan, Philippines. Ronelo and his father build these 'composite' boats, with help from Ronelo's young sons. I say composite because the lower part of the hull is a dugout and the rest is ply. These boats were traditonaly built in the same way but with woven, tarred bamboo in place of the more recent plywood. The dugout bit and the frames are fashioned from local wood the outriggers of bamboo and the only tools used are hand tools fashioned by local blacksmiths. The three generations of the Banggat family are able to produce 4 to 5 of these boats per month, from felled tree to three coats of epoxy paint. The family has been building these boats, in the same design, for hundreds of years. They range from 17' to 22' and weigh only about 15 kilos or 33 lbs. These are workboats, used for fishing and transportation and typically paddled from one side only, without going in circles. Some fishermen have made sails from rice sacks as other cloth is unavailable on their island, except gor what Wipke used for her sail. Wipke modified her boat by adding a wingsail after the design of baidarka builder/designer/historian George Dyson, who apparently adapted this design from the batwing design of sails for turn of the century sailing canoes. Wipke fashioned her sail from split bamboo and something she calls 'plastic foil' which looks like what I call polytarp. In any event this a great looking sail and it looks like the kids are having a blast!
If you want one these boats they go for about 66 euro. or about $90. Without sails. And that doesn't include delivery to White Plains.