The boats we use at Magic Island are traditional Filipino boats known as ‘Banka Boats’. They are long and narrow with bamboo outriggers to stabilize them in the ocean. This makes them very stable and a great platform to dive from. Most Banka’s are propelled with an old diesel truck engine, attached to a small propeller and steered with an even smaller rudder connected together with fishing lines and tie wraps. It is not the best design, loud, smelly, heavy and hard to steer, so we decided to bring the old and the modern together to have a winning design that is both comfortable, very traditional and still feels like you are diving in the Philippines. By adding an outboard engine to the back of the Banka it gives the Captain much greater control, is much quieter and really increases the amount of available space.
We have three Bankas in total, all of the same design, but they are slightly different in size. Magic Island 1 is the largest and can fit 8 to 10 divers on board plus the crew, then there is Magic Island 2 which can fit 6 to 8 divers and finally Magic Island 3 with space for 4 to 6 divers. Each Banka has a crew of 2 and at least 1 Divemaster to make sure your journeys to and from the dive sites are as memorable as the dives themselves.