Exploring Equator-Asia


Frequently Asked Questions


Sail BIMP-EAGA is created, organised and managed from our Bandar Seri Begawan offices, here in Brunei Darussalam, on the west coast of Borneo.

The parent company - Intrepid Management Services Sdn Bhd - has 15 years experience as a licensed tour operator (INTREPIDTOURS), and 12 years experience providing HF/SSB radio communication services for small craft in SE Asia (BRUNEI BAY RADIO).

The operational services along the cruise routes are provided by our contacts in boating, government, marine and land based tourism in the area.

How to register  interest?

Please use the inquiry form at the bottom of this page to add your name and yacht to those interested to create or join a Borneo-Palawan cruise group. The goal is to operate cruise groups of 2 to 6 yachts (4 to 20 crew).  Multiple departures from Brunei about two weeks apart.

Where do we meet in Brunei?

The Royal Brunei Yacht Club is the host venue for the start of the Borneo-Palawan cruise. RBYC provides a base of support for crews as they make preparations to depart Brunei. The club caterers at both club houses - Serasa and Kota Batu - provide a (non-halal) menu of local and western meals. Social and sailing events at RBYC are a great way to enjoy Brunei, meet other participants, and prepare for cruise. The anchorage off RBYC Serasa is convenient with good holding, and tender access to the club premises.

For those staying over the Christmas/NEw Year period, the RBYC functions and great meals are very popular.

RBYC's facilities, restaurant and friendly atmosphere have a strong and popular reputation amongst cruising yachts.  

What equipment & capabilities does my yacht need?

Well-found cruising yachts will find the demands of cruising through the warm and relatively placid waters of BIMP-EAGA to be easy-going, compared to higher latitude cruising. 

Nevertheless, participating yacht are recommended to obtain a copy of Yachting Australia's "Blue Book", which contains the yacht racing rules, but more importantly, a comprehensive section on yacht equipment, fittings and safety equipment which is far more detailed than the normal ISAF Special Regulations. This "Blue Book" information  is based on the accumulated wisdom of millions of hours racing and cruising, including recommendations arising from incidents.

Because of the need to be self-sufficient when cruising BIMP-EAGA, it is strongly recommended that yachts meet or exceed the equipment requirements for a Category 1 yacht race under Yachting Australia's Special Regulations.

All participating yachts will require a functional marine HF/SSB radio (preferably with DSC capability) and SailMail (low-cost on-board email) service, so they can obtain weather information, contact other yachts in the cruise group for information, advice or assistance, and maintain direct communication with the Sail BIMP-EAGA office and local contacts via email and/or voice communications.  

Participating yachts will receive a free subscription to BRUNEI BAY RADIO's extended HF/SSB email service. This service works using the same software/hardware as SailMail, and from within the same copy of the on-board software that creates, send/receives and displays SailMail messages. The BBRemail subscription provides additional daily connection time, and the ability to send/receive attachments (eg: pdf files, jpg photos etc) to receive information about stops, anchorages an venues along the route, and for general communications with Sail BIMP-EAGA staff.  

It is strongly recommended that yachts have a modern Marine HF/SSB radio, programmed with the full marine bandplan of HF/SSB channels and frequencies, with DSC capability. As a minimum, participating yachts will require:

  1. A proper registered marine radio call-sign. An Amateur Radio call-sign - assigned to a person, not a yacht - is not sufficient.

    (Note: A HAM radio that has been altered to also operate on the marine HF/SSB service frequencies no longer meets the type approval requirements as a HAM radio, and is not approved for operation on the maritime HF/SSB service; because it can cause interference on the marine frequencies.)

  2. Read the pages on HF/SSB radio use in this region under the Yacht Cruising section of the BRUNEI BAY RADIO web pages.

  3. The full complement of Marine HF/SSB channels assigned to BRUNEI BAY RADIO, and the other simplex frequencies that may be used. See the Voice Services page of the BRUNEI BAY RADIO website for details. 

  4. The ability to initiate (eg: DSC or email or satphone call) and subsequently maintain emergency communication on the official Marine HF/SSB Emergency Frequencies with an MRCC; in the unlikely case of a Pan Pan or MayDay situation.

    See the Marine Emergency Contact and Emergency Contact List pages of our
    BRUNEI BAY RADIO website for more details.

A list of other recommended on-board equipment and capabilities will be provided to participants after registration.

Can Motor Yachts participate  too?

Yes, motor yachts are welcome to join the Borneo-Palawan cruise

How do we stay in contact before the cruise?

The email address for all communication related to enquiry, joining and planning for a Sail BIMP-EAGA cruise is: sailbimp-eaga(at) 

Our office phone number in Brunei is +673 2 221685/6

Our office fax number in Brunei is +673 2 221687

How do we stay in contact during the cruise?

Communication from/to Sail BIMP-EAGA office staff, and our local area co-ordinators on-route during the cruise, will be provided via HF/SSB radio using our BRUNEI BAY RADIO services:

  • The free BBRemail subscription provided to all participating yachts will be used to communicate via email with Sail BIMP-EAGA staff. It will also be used to send yachts regular updates including Adobe pdf attachments with details of events, facilities, services, local area co-ordinators, etc for upcoming towns, anchorages or venues.

  • The operational email address for participating yachts to use before, during and after their Sail BIMP-EAGA cruise, will be advised in the joining information.

  • Yachts will use their SailMail service as usual to request/obtain updated weather information (eg: GRIB charts or METAREA forecasts and warnings) to help schedule longer passages, to order spare-parts, organise crew changes, and maintain contact with family and friends.

  • The free BBRemail subscription is also available to update  blogs and websites regularly with pictures (as attachments) and text about  venues and experiences during the cruise. And to send articles to sailing magazines, yacht club newsletters, on-line yachting newsletters and general tourism publications. The BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council, local tourism associations, government agencies and tour operators who facilitate and support this cruise need your support in return, via the publicity you can generate.

  • Yachts will email a morning position report and sailing plan to Sail BIMP-EAGA staff each day.

  • Yachts are also required to submit a YOTREPS position report each evening so their progress can be observed by friends and family, and the shore service providers or government support agencies on-route. 

  • A morning voice sked may be conducted on BRUNEI BAY RADIO's assigned marine voice channels/frequencies.

How much does this cruise cost?

The cost is composed of two elements:

1. A participation fee - to cover the cost of organising and managing the event. For the
Borneo-Palawan cruise, this is expected to be US$150 per yacht, per month.

2. Optional local events, activities, tours, shore excursions, shore accommodation etc.

A list of activity and tour options, with prices, local contacts, services, facilities etc will be emailed to participants via BBRemail about a week before arriving at each main stop, venue etc.

What do I get for my money?

  • The freedom to cruise beautiful coasts, uncrowded anchorages, and thousands of islands with small groups of like-minded yachties because Sail BIMP-EAGA provides the communication and support networks to assist you along the way.

  • The confidence to explore and enjoy relatively untouched and isolated areas of BIMP-EAGA, where more traditional lifestyles and nature's bounty still exist. Equator Asia - The Heart of Biodiversity

  • The opportunity to visit venues, meet people, experience diverse cultures, see wildlife and enjoy spectacular scenery in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • The knowledge that your involvement in Sail BIMP-EAGA will contribute to the poverty alleviation, cultural and environmental preservation goals of the BIMP-EAGA Business Council and BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council.

    And that through the commitment of many individuals and organisations to the development of Community-based Ecotourism projects and local SMEs, the money you spend - and the money which other yachts spend when they visit, after reading your experiences - will help create income streams that protect and preserve the traditional knowledge, the unique cultures and the diverse natural heritage of
    Equator Asia - The Heart of Biodiversity.

  • The included Sail BIMP-EAGA dinners, events, tours etc along the routes, arranged in conjunction with local tourism associations or operators, and government supporters. 

What about entry into Brunei?

Existing CIQ services at Serasa Ferry Terminal will be used for entry and departure formalities at Brunei.

Visiting yachts do not require a cruising permit, customs bond or any other special permits for Brunei waters.

Inward and outward Customs clearance must be completed, along with Ports and Marine clearances. There are no charges for these clearances for private recreation vessels.

There is no duty on importing yachts, or parts (except for batteries and spark plugs) for boats into Brunei. This makes Brunei attractive as a place to send new sails and other boat parts.

Immigration entry formalities to Brunei for yacht crews presently vary with nationality. For example, USA citizens receive a 2 months visit pass for no charge. UK citizens receive a one month visit pass for no charge. Australians must complete a Visa on Arrival form for a 2 week visit pass and pay Bn$20. Alternatively a 72 hour transit visa and visit pass is available for Bn$5.

Sail BIMP-EAGA staff are working with Brunei Immigration officials to simplify and harmonise the immigration requirements for Sail BIMP-EAGA yacht crews. 

What about entry into Malaysia?

Visiting yachts do not require a cruising permit, customs bond or any other special permits for Malaysian waters. Malaysian Customs regulations require only one customs formality upon entering Malaysian waters, and another when departing.

Visiting yachts are required to complete port and marine formalities as they move around Malaysia. There are no charges for privately owned recreation vessels.

Immigration formalities are required when entering Malaysia, and when moving in and out of the States of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Federal Territory of Labuan. The standard visitor permit for Malaysia is one month; ample time for the expected duration of the Borneo-Palawan cruise periods Sabah. There is no charge for a visitor permit. 

What about entry into the Philippines?

Existing CIQ services at Puerto Princesa will be used for entry formalities into the Philippines. Yachts will probably anchor at Ulugan Bay/Sebang and make a Jeepney trip across to Puerto Princesa to the CIQS offices for formalities, and to purchase supplies.

Visiting yachts do not require a cruising permit, customs bond or any other special permits for Philippine waters. Inward and outward Customs clearance should be completed. There are no charges

Immigration entry formalities for yacht crews normally cost 500 Pesos per person. Philippines Immigration officials in the March 2010 BIMP-EAGA CIQS Task Force meetings in General Santos (Philippines) have proposed no entry fees for Sail BIMP-EAGA yacht crews. 

The standard visitor entry permit for the Philippines is 21 days. A one month extension can be arranged in conjunction with the initial entry permit, to give a total of approximately 7 weeks. In the case of most yachts in the   , this means a 7 week period from departing

As a result of discussions at the March 2010 BIMP-EAGA CIQS Task Force meetings in General Santos (Philippines), a much longer (ie: up to one year) visitor permit is proposed for the Sail BIMP-EAGA yacht crews. This will allow yachts to enter the Philippines in December, complete the Borneo-Palawan cruise then cruise other parts of the Philippines before joining the other Sail BIMP-EAGA cruises - the Mindanao/Sabah-Indonesia cruise - to explore Mindanao and finally exit the Philippines in late August.

For yachts returning down the east coast of Palawan, after the Borneo-Palawan cruise - to cross to Borneo, a new - BIMP-EAGA initiated - CIQS facility is planned for Brooke's Point (southern town on the east coat of Palawan).


Sailing the morning offshore breeze along the west coast of Borneo in January, during the NE/NW Monsoon season.  Clear skies after the overnight rain, and flat seas created by the rain and nearby weather shore.


Please return here to get further details
as the rally schedule develops.

If you would like to add your contact details to our database to be updated with rally information, please email us for inquiries ....

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