OWNING a boat or a yacht costs more than a car or a house. In reality, it doesn't have to be.
Collaborative endeavors of international sailboat and boatbuilding organizations coupled by their strong will of making sailing feasible to all Filipinos have broughtabout the increasing popularity of an affordable and userfriendly sailboat in the country:The Oz Goose sailboat.
This initiative was brought through the efforts of an internet group of boating enthusiasts Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club or PHBYC, with the cooperation of Hyde Sails International, Duckworks Boatbuilder's Supply of the US, Broadwater Marine of Australia, and local boatbuilding materials suppliers such as Zamboply Marine Plywood, Pioneer Epoxy, and Santa Clara Marine Plywood among others.
Designed by Batangasbased Australian designer Michael Storer, the Oz Goose sailboat is a four meters long and made from 5 or 6 millimeter marine grade plywood and lumber, which can beassembled using one of PHBYC's consistent boatbuilding material supplier Pioneer Epoxy.
Pioneer Adhesives Inc., maker of Pioneer Epoxy, has long been supporting PHBYC because of their adherence on keeping the water safe, which is lined with Pioneer Adhesives'strong commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment. The annual Pioneer
National Bangkarera, which was formed to showcase fishermen's skill in boating, has also brought Pioneer Adhesives even closer to PHBYC and its goal in making sailing possible to all.
So far, over 50 Oz Goose sailboats have been built in the three island groups of the Philippines by being built from scratch using downloadable boat plans, built to order from authorized builders, and most of them being produced during Family Boatbuilding Weekends, the signature event of PHBYC, wherein families or groups assemble a boat from a prefabricated kit.
In three years, the PHBYC has successfully organized three Oz Goose FBWs in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao making the Oz Goose the fastest growing sailing fleet in the country.
"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," said sailing enthusiast Peter Capotosto, Commodore oftheTaal Lake Yacht Club.
Sailing clubs around the world are trying toemulate what PHBYC has done to revive interest in small boat sailing."We still have a long way to go to get mainstream interest in small boat sailing in the Philippines, but PHBYC is making progress,"said Oz Goose designer Michael Storer.