Pinoy Boat Services (Zeke’s Boatyard)
Business Contact Info
Contact Details:
Phone: (+) 630325119892
Mobile Phone: (+) 639175429700
Email: [email protected]

Located towards the end of the southern arm of Pt. Carmen. Full-service yacht storage, maintenance, and repair facility with slips for rent (electricity and water) and a large modern clubhouse with bar, restaurant, WiFi and toilets. Armed security. Zeke’s has only one cradle, so if it’s occupied the only other option is to secure alongside his jetty and wait for a tide that is low enough so you can do some work.

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  1. March 16, 2021 at 1:17 PM
    ews-ns says:

    I have visited Pinoy Boat Services from June 2020 through February 2021 and have to say its the worst place I have ever had any boat work done.

    The boatyard is cradled by dry docks working on big ships and finding a layer of 3 mm cement and sandblasting dust in the morning all over and partially inside your boat is happening often. The wind direction deciding if the anchorage or the boatyard are taking the brunt. The lack of water to the dock is compounding this problem. Any extended stay here is gonna require extensive ongoing cleaning. And of course you are breathing that stuff too. I can not imagine a more unhealthy environment to spend any length of time. Regular effluent is drifting through the boatyard waters at regular intervals too most likely from other boats and from other areas. A big sunken ferry at the entry was leaking diesel for quite some time too and another partially sunken wreck in the centre of the boatyard make for a fitting ambience of this place which surely has seen better days before.
    Water is very restricted, often unavailable at the boatyard. But you can buy 5 gallon bottles at the drydock gate for 30 php, or for bigger needs you can truck bigger quantities from an external company. Rainwater collection on your own boat is a no-no with the air pollution and the toxic stuff which rains down on you and your boat. Its a very noisy place too, but the noise issues are easily dwarfed but the dust, dirt and smell.

    The bar is usually open until around 7 pm and serves drinks and limited food choices. On a few days a week the yard and anchor residents get together for a beer and chat the evening away while the ladies play bingo or socialize otherwise. I found the staff friendly and they kept the place clean and running. At times there is a BBQ Saturdays which I did not join due to my view of Covid social distancing and the influence of non mask wearing external visitors. There is free WiFi at the bar, very slow, but its working. There is also Globe and Smart cell coverage and some more resident boats had other monthly internet subscriptions.

    There is a shower with a non working toilet on the premises, most often in most dire condition and very often with no water, or early rainwater contaminated with sandblasting dust. There is a toilet upstairs at the bar, but also at times out of water. If you can shower and use the bathroom on your boat then this may be less of an issue or none at all, if so, I hope you are dumping your sewage on a trip outside the marina dock area but I don’t think anybody ever did while I was there. For me it was a major issue, I am small boat and if I work on my boat I am dependent on some hygiene providing facilities off the boat. So I had inquired with the boat yard owner before I made my decision to go there and he simply lied to me. There is just no other way to say that.
    Heat rashes and skin infections due to lack of available showers are common. I had three bad heat rashes and picked up one bacterial staph infection during my stay there. And I was not the only one.

    I didn’t require shore power so I can’t comment on that. But shore power is available for those who require that for AC and running their boats. Pricing unknown to me.

    Clearance and Visa extension in Cebu was painless and fast. You can get there by public transport (180 php roundtrip bus and van) or rent a car with driver (2000 php a day was the cheapest rate I found).

    Provisioning in nearby Carmen and Danao isn’t the greatest but you can get most of what you need. I personally experienced the markets in Coron and especially Puerto Princesa much superior and better stocked than here. Both Danao and Carmen can be easily reached by bicycle or public transport. There is big malls and Costco like stores (SNR) in Cebu so passage provisioning shouldn’t be a problem. If you like a variety of flavourful food, the Philippines may not be to get any of that. The majority of the food is very bland (to my taste) and simple and if like me you don’t like rice and bbq’d pork or chicken then you are not eating 90% of whats on offer. Mind you, this were Covid times with most restaurants closed and I like flavourful and spicy food to start with. I had some pleasant surprises from privately cooked food and now here in Puerto Princesa the food choices again have improved a bit too.

    Diesel is a 5 minute bicycle/bike ride/tuk tuk/car gas station away. Other options may exist but I only needed a few cans so I got a tuktuk and got that for 100 php for the whole diesel run.

    The yard has slips costing a reasonable 6000 php/month and up depending on boat size. If you don’t pull up your boardwalk then be prepared to get invaded by mice, rats and more cockroaches than you can shake a stick at. After 4 weeks out of the yard I think I have eliminated the cockroaches finally. The mice unfortunately had to be caught and die while I still was at the boat yard. If I had to do it again, I’d probably go through the hassle to figure out a way to prevent a constant land bridge for pests but thats not easy through to significant tidal movement.

    Labor rates were between 700 and 2400 php including the boat yard fee. I had various work done there during my stay with very mixed results from top notch to total disaster.

    We constructed a new hard dodger with acrylic windows and a bimini which implied composite work, some welding and finishing/painting. The composite work was great, the welding ok, and the finishing with the exception of the top of the bimini was very good too. The finishing was a bit of an artificially dragged out process and a very messy affair with not enough protection for the boat areas not being painted so I ended up with many epoxy kinks. I think I should have interfered a bit more here but the end result was good and the workers nice so I am happy about that part of the work and the overall project.

    I had a new water tank built into the bow. All composite. And again the work was well done and in timely manner by the same guy who’d done a great job on my dodger. The only downside was that the used inspection plates the yard owner sold me were leaking like a sieve as they were removed from another boat for that reason. My bad, gotta do better research next time but I surely advise caution buying any used parts from the boat yard.

    My bottom was painted going on the wall including replacing two seacocks. While this was a quick affair and the staff getting me on and off the wall at night within a day doing a good job, the paint job isn’t holding up. After 3 months the paint is flaking off in patches so I am not very happy about this part. Probably time for some more extensive bottom work down the road with more sanding, barrier coat and such.

    I also had a new bowsprit build and thats when things went really downhill. I didn’t get to test the bowsprit (anchoring/ flying headsails) until I left the yard and within 2 days everything started to fall apart and the design proved both, being utterly unsuitable for an ocean going boat by design and the work quality exposed being nothing short of a disaster. Nuts were falling off, some bolts where non SS and the the worst was that two holes were three times the size of the bolt. And the bobstay was hanging off the bowsprit too. First anchor lifting from sandy bottom showed the bowsprit bending so the material uses and mounting points are unsuitable too. Long story short, this bowsprit has to come off, be redesigned and replaced. 
I can provide pictures to you in case you find this an exaggeration, it really is that bad.

    I also built a new 8 ft dinghy while there. Plywood with fibreglass. A great project and again I had invaluable help from my trusted composite worker who was able to source some tools like a router to route the lapstreak parts of the plywood. Total build time was 34 working days for me and I had 14 days help. Quite some time was spend to source material from plywood to fasteners. There is covered space at the boat yard for these kind of DIY projects but no tools infrastructure like table saw/band saw. and such.

    I changed from 220 Ah Lead Acid to 400 Ah Lithium batteries while there. That was a DIY project other than having a new battery box fabricated by the same contractor who did another good job on that. Getting the batteries imported from China was a bit of a nightmare. I did that together with another fellow and we got really screwed by the customs broker. Others had better experiences so if you import parts do good research on whats the best way to do so. I found that boat parts were best imported from Defender in the US and using Fedex as a courier service. Others had good experiences using a service Johnny Air. Others used shipping consolidators like Shipping Cart and others good old Balakbayan boxes. Depends on what you need, when you need it, where it comes from. What I am saying, this is an area which can be very time consuming and expensive and can negate a lot of total cheaper project cost with affordable labor rates if you have to spend it all on getting parts.

    I found that getting parts into the Philippines in a timely manner and at reasonable cost is factually impossible. So if you consider boat work in the Philippines good planning ahead and sourcing parts can make a big difference.

    All steelwork done at the boatyard is done in 304 SS at best. Most likely the cheapest 304 there is. Result, everything instantly rusts like I have never seen anything corrode before. I had started a project of adding an additional fuel tank to my engine room but when I saw the almost instant degradation of the steel work I abandoned that. Thats too bad because the welder is a nice guy and his welding skills are in what I can judge very good.

    The yard does not stock anything other than barrels of Epoxy, some wood for interior work and honeycomb. Not even basic items like sealant, or some basic SS hardware. Nor is there any basic infrastructure like a table saw or other basic tools. Either your contractor has the tools or you have the tools. Either you bring the parts, or you bring them in at big cost, lengthy delays, and deal with corrupt customs and/or brokers if you import yourself. There are local sources for plywood but at times marine grade isn’t available anywhere. Finding parts in Cebu isn’t easy either. But its possible if you know where to go. The only chandlery in Cebu is Broadwater Marine, nice folks with prices out of this world. Again, keep in mind, this is Covid times.

    I do have serious doubts on the yards accounting practices. They charged me for 14.5 gallon sets of Epoxy at 3,000 php+ for the work done on my boat. Enough to build a complete boat. I have done enough composite work myself in my life to be very sure that we never used that amount of Epoxy. I got onto that too late but my calculations of the projects show maybe a usage of half of that. Too late to argue on that now. If you go there, keep a close eye on consumables and the recording of such.

    I had been warned that the boat yard owner is frequently stressed and at time yelling but found that a complete understatement. I never saw him not stressed or not yelling at somebody. Usually he comes in in the morning at 7 for an hour or two, yells at everybody. I often asked myself why anybody would be willing to work for him but I understand, moral standards are a personal thing and jobs hard to come by especially during covid times. He yells at customers too. Often did at me. Non violent communication is sure none of his tools. I perceived him as an angry, stressed old man who doesn’t like doing what he does and with the people he does it with, an excess of booze seems to be an issue too. Sure the most unpleasant boat yard management I ever had to deal with. Just my personal experience, your mileage and acceptance level of such an attitude may vary. I usually try to stay miles away from people like that.

    Would I go there again ? Absolutely not. The main reason probably being the pollution, lack of hygienic infrastructure and the associated health risks. If you can deal with that by having most of that on your boat, are well prepared so you can get in and out in short time to avoid long time exposure to the pollution then you can probably mitigate some part of the health risk.
    A close second for me why I’d never go back there again sure is the unpleasantness of the boat yard owner, his attitude and imho dishonesty and lack of integrity. He outright refused to accept responsibility for the screwup on the bowsprit so don’t expect any help from boat yard management if anything goes awry.
    Probably the worst you could do is commission work there and not be present. A sure guarantee to be taken to the cleaners I’d expect.

    If you are willing to deal with all that and expose yourself to the pollution and antiques and manners of the boat yard management then there is some good work to be had. Some of the contractors are very capable and deliver good work. For some close monitoring may be necessary. I personally found good composite work, good finishing and paint work and some quick and nifty interior carpentry work. I am not convinced much about the steel and welding work, mainly the materials used and the structural design of the projects. But for me of course the screwup on the bowsprit was sure shaping that opinion in general. My boat never had its bow slaughtered like that before.

    I found the workers nice, friendly and honest. I only lost 2 good deck lines and two boat hooks to theft while I was there and while that may not be a perfect record its not too bad either. My boat was always open and nothing of major value or any cash ever went missing. Personal safety is definitely no issue either. I have perceived all Filipino people as friendly and honest and non-violent and generally helpful.

    In the end I found boat work in the Philippines much more expensive than expected so I think the hype of very cheap boat work in the Philippines is nowhere justified if you take into account total project cost.

    Don’t forget that my stay at the boat yard has been during Covid times and restrictions so some of the external resources have sure been affected negatively by that.

    These are just my personal experiences from an 8 months stay at Pinoy Boat Yard. Your experiences may be totally different depending on the work you want to do, the contractors you manage to get, your tolerance to pollution, your requirements for hygienic infrastructure, your tolerance and patience to deal with the current boat yard management. Definitely caution is advised. Which I guess is always the case whenever you get to a boat yard you haven’t been before.

    In the end I have never been happier to leave a place as I have been when sailing out of Pinoy Boat yard in February 2021.

  2. June 3, 2019 at 1:52 AM
    janaconda says:

    We have visited Zekes place, Pinoy Boat Services, many times, first time in 2006. The place lies inside the Republic Dry Dock area and you have to pass through a gate to get out and inn. It is one of the best places to do work, also DIY, on your boat in the Philippines. The boatyard has grown over the years and there is a lot of good skill workers taking care of the customers. Now they are all contractors administrated by the yard. Labor rates is between 550 to 1200 peso a day, plus you pay 160 peso a day per worker to the yard for hiring. Price depending on skills. Very good carpenters rates 1200 peso a day. There is also a very good welder, stainless and aluminium etc. Good electrician and several mechanics. We just finished (March 2019) 34 month there, rebuilding a Nordhavn 46 motor yacht. It was water damaged in Typhoon Jolanda in 2013.. We managed to rebuild the boat to top condition. New fuel tanks, engine total re-manufactured on a huge local engine rebuild factory. (Edmel, 6 cylinder John Deere diesel cost 100.000 peso plus parts, imported from the US) Electric system rebuild. all varnish inside replaced. Boat painted all over, Furthermore we build a dive platform on the stern, mounted a bowsprit, a mast, so we now are a motor sailor and much, much more. The cradle is old, but can take our size boats (26 tonnes). We had the whole bottom sanded & grind down to get rid of osmosis. After that we added two heavy layers of fiberglass Roving mats in Epoxy, build up the epoxy protection and finished with Jotun antifouling. Mindaue City in the North of Cebu City has most of common material needed, but Zeke also stock most, only adding 10% up from his discount purchase. Real teak wood (Tectona Grandis) is hard to get, but the Philippine teak wood (Tectona Philippensis) is available, good and cheap (Cebuum Hardware) Many other kind of tropic wood available. Importing parts and stuff to the Philippines is tax expensive, up to 40%, so have the parts with you when arriving, or use Johnny Air Plus, a company specialized in shipping from the US to Cebu. (about 6 $/lbs. including tax)The anchorage has space for 10-15 boats. The yard has slips for 40 to 50 boats in two basins depending on size. Docking is 6-7000 peso a month. Electricity available, Philippine style with brownouts. Water very restricted, but 5 gallon bottles can be bought inside the marina area, 30 peso a piece.. The Yacht Club is very nice, but closes at 7 PM. Saturday later, after afternoon barbecue. There is a fee for bringing material through the gate, 20 to 100 peso, but can be refunded for drinks in the bar. Zeke Stefansky is nice and helpful. Sometimes stressed and shouting. Averaged this is a very nice place. Only no good is the noise and dust from the big Dry Dock work on the cargo ships.
    Clearance and visa extending in Cebu City, one hour bus ride.

    Jan Klintegaard/Laura Foster
    Nordhavn 46 “Anaconda”

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