In reply to an old thread named "What is a Panga"

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Tractorshaft, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Tractorshaft
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Tractorshaft Redneck YC Plank Owner

    Fumed! over an old thread named "What is a Panga"

    I normally prefer to simply gather, assimilate and digest information on the many forums I subscribe to, but sometimes I just cant bite my tongue. I read the subject forum (Very old one, entitled "What is a Panga" and just had to comment. Here goes;

    Hate to dredge up an old thread but I thought some real world input on the subject was in order; I used an old "Maui Skiff" which was basically a cheaply produced 19" Panga , it had a foam core with a very utilitarian but very sturdy woven (appeared to be 18oz fabric) on the interior lamination with a smoother bias ply covering on the outside. It had a tabbed in center console and someone had converted the stern drive to an "add-on" home built sealed aluminum wet mount for an old 70HP Evinrude.

    Even though a friend owned the boat, I used it almost exclusively on Kodiak Island for 7 or 8 years (Best kind huh?). I had it out in good and not so good weather. The only issue , if you can call it that, I ever had with it was it would get a little "Squirrely" in 3-4' swells with the rear end wanting to slide side to side a little at WOT. The very high bow with pronounced "V" cut-water flaring back to a nicely flattened stern allowed this little boat to carry 2-3 hunters, fishermen, gear, crab pots, beer, food, you name it, safely and soundly from Psagshak harbor to Raspberry Island (Onion Bay) , Raspberry Straits and all over Afognak. It has even made two trips across the Shelikof Straits, this place can get hairy in good weather (huge sets of 20-30' swells). Whale pass used to be one our favorite fishing spots if you could keep the bait down due to the very strong currents and influx of three tidal systems.

    Furthermore, I had equal and unrestricted access to a 20' Boston Whaler and the little "Blue Banana" and I pretty much ALWAYS took the old Panga. It was way stingy on gas, planed easily with a huge load and never once failed to get us there and back. It was chalky, dented and dinged, smelled like salted herring and two cycle motor oil, mothers milk my boys..Kinda like the maritime version of Hoppes No. 9. I digress.

    The Panga's I speak of are the FAO/Bateau designed ones, not the ones I see when I Google the term, perhaps the name is synonymous with both styles of boat, more of a description of their usage than their design.

    Like this;


    [​IMG]

    Not this;

    [​IMG]

    I would unhesitatingly trust the Bateau 22' Panga design with a 80HP or so engine to do almost any job Southeast Alaska could throw at it. I have ridden in and skippered Tolman Skiffs, C-Dorys, Whalers, commercial boats, etc. I am actually retired from the USCG and was lucky enough to have spent 14 years of it between the Communications Station and Support Center on Kodiak. We owned a beautiful home there, our daughter now headed off to college was also born at KIH. We miss it terribly being here in Konnectikut working for Ivy league skool, trying to retire AUHGIN!

    The little blue "Maui Skiff" almost never failed to impress whomever had never ridden in it, the easy way it came up on step with no fuss or circumstance when fully loaded was simply awesome.

    I am just finishing up the shelter where I will build one of the Bateau 22's this fall and winter. I cant wait to pull the first crab pot in Alaska with it....

    Bottom line is, don't believe everything you read on the "INternet" by armchair skippers and "Navol Engineers" trained at the "Wil-E-Coyote School of Boat Design".

    I cant think of a more seaworthy design that gives you the most bang per engine "CC" buck in a very smooth riding, easily planing hull. Its not a race boat but it aint a dog either, IMHO simply a great compromise of very desirable traits in an all weather work/pleasure craft that can be driven by modest engine horsepowers with great return for the investment.

    I did not intend to, and am not proud of it, but on one occasion I have surfed the little boat down some very very steep faces (following seas) and never once was overly alarmed. Simply by attentively "minding your helm" , keeping it pointed in the right direction and the high deep bow bravely did its job, scuppering water is and was a "Non-Issue" unless its raining like hell or someone spills too much of their Dr. Pepper. Never once did the 25' wall of green water behind us and in front of us ever "Catch Up" on either end of the "Panga". It would not have been a "Good Day" for any boat, scupper'd, bilge pumped, whatever, you would have been hosed, literally.

    After that day I remained steadfast to never "Tempt Fate" out there, but confidence and known ability of your equipment is also as much of a lifesaver as any I can think of. It happens, if you play outdoors enough the weatherman will be wrong, planetary alignment , tides, karma, whatever can align to try to kill you. Its how you react when it "Happens" can be the real deciding factor in the eventual and real L or D outcome. Luckily I sit here and type this, healthy, happy and cynical. A little older and whole lot wiser for the experience.

    My two Centavos

    Jerry
     
  2. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    Tractorshaft, I bet there's a story behind that name.

    Everyone who's ever been out in the bad stuff has heard the call Commstate Kodiak Commstate Kodiak and realized some other guy was in a whole lot worse shape than you were. Then you'd wait for Peggy and try to figure out if it was going to get better or worse.

    Speaking of two centavos it's always seemed to me that panga was mexican for skiff. The local boys built them tough enough to work hard out of and safe enough to get back making use of the gringo invention the outboard motor. Empirical naval architecture at it's finest. To be fair, as I recall the favored gringo invention was made by the japanese.

    Tolman seems to have marketed himself into minor cult status on the internet on the strength of his book I suppose. But I always thought his boats were setnet skiffs built by a guy who couldn't weld with semi wierd but highly individualistic hippie shelters and what not grafted on. Perfect for Homer.

    I can't believe what I've seen those tin set net skiffs accomplish. Watching those things from the relative comfort of a bigger boat I realized some boats will take more punishment then most men.

    Enjoy your boat building, keep us posted with some pics. LOL, even your shelter will do. Oh yes, welcome! :)
     
  3. Tractorshaft
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    Tractorshaft Redneck YC Plank Owner

    Hey Man,

    You got me laughing! Peggy Dyson, 4125khz on the SSB. Too funny TollyWally! No doubt Tolman has a good book, two boat plans and a DIY for less than $40.00 is indeed a value! A friend of mine built one (Tom Heinz) out of materials he bought at the Home Depot, nothing "Marine" about it, he always said "If it says boat or airplane in the title they have marked the stuff up 500 percent" he was a character, a firm believer in "Chrome dont get ya home" an old Nebraska farm boy with calves the size of watermelons, he was an animal, I worked as an asst. bear guide for him for a number of years, we were deer hunting near his lodge and he had some high dollar brown bear hunters he did not want us ruining their hunt, invited us to stay at his lodge, free as long as we hunted "Away from them" , we are still friends to the day and the "Home Depot Tolman" some 15 years old is still catching halibut somewhere near Homer AK! Thanks for the reply old man, its always nice to reminisce! Haven't heard or thought about Peggy WBH29 in YEARS!


    I will, Its going to be a "Greenhouse" after its a "Boathouse", "Organic dont ya know :)" Epoxy fumed radishes, gotta love em!
    Using the Bateau PG22 (Panga 22 Plans), 3rd boat build, 1st S&G, looks easy , cheap and fast. My kind of boatbuilding, no varnish, Sears Weatherbeater, consequently , my berth at the Annapolis yacht club has been suspended until the boat choices improve, se la vie :)

    Jerry
     
  4. TollyWally
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    TollyWally Senior Member

    LOL,

    A lot of funny stories come from the guiding biz. I've noticed that the interests of the man with the guiding permit, his crew, and the tourists don't always coincide. The guide wants lucrative clients to succeed and come back. The crew, not so much.

    An aquaintence was a bear guide, some of his crew were buddies of mine. One guy crewed on a boat in our radio group. He pointed out that generally speaking unless it was the actual guide manning the spotting scope *******s don't get trophy animals. He also allowed that there was a distinct relationship between the animals pointed out to the tourist and the ease of packing out the kill. If I was a guide client in AK I'd treat the help with the utmost respect.
     
  5. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    No need to get riled up about what people call a product that they want to sell. Common practice is to name something whatever is felt will gain a sale. Like "home made" this or that at a restaurant. "Over built" is another great one.

    The Bateau "Panga 22" is nothing like the pangas seen in their more native habitat of Latin America. It's a high bow skiff and a very capable one according to Jerry but its connection to the native pangas escapes me.
     
  6. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

  7. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

  8. Tractorshaft
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    Tractorshaft Redneck YC Plank Owner

    Hey TollyWally,

    Man, you sure got some of that right! I, like most licensed "Assistant Guides" started basically as a "Camp *****", one could actually get renamed to either "Getwood", "Getbeer", "Getmoving", "Getup", "Getcleaning" or "Gethumping" ha ha! You get the picture for sure!

    I actually guided for Hank Williams Jr., once on a 6 day hunt it was he and I, he failed to score the first tiime but we were able to spot a nice boar, just unable to get up on him for a decent shot, like the rumors, he would tip a few but overall a great guy and sportsman. He and Tom shot a 10 footer the next fall. I like the spring bear season, the hides are better and the claws are fierce, not worn down from a summer of digging stuff, they are always digging and scratching something, they have a special affinity for the rubber that Zodiac's are made of, almost any kind of rubber or plastic if given opportunity will destroy for the hell of it.

    It was mostly the "Stock Broker" crowd from many of the southern states. I did spend two days with Ricky Schroder (Conceited, out of shape, whiny ******* should you ask what I actually thought of him). The first morning in spike camp he basically hollered to me to "Bring me my coffee!", now normally the "Client is King" and they would not have had to even ask, as a matter of fact I was just fixing to do that very thing, that is until he barked an order at me, I basically told him like I would anyone, get your own blankety blank coffee, I am your guide and professional hunting partner , this aint L.A., not even close, I am not your nursemaid or butler. Needless to say I got him back to the lodge lickety split and handed him off to someone else who needed the hours, I whispered to the other guide to make sure he humped his rump off, up and over, repeat until client cant even carry his own rifle. Repeat daily as necessary or attitude changes, the latter being an unlikely event.

    Most guys knew what was involved, you can practically take one look at them as they get off the boat or out of the cub. Hmmm...New boots...Walking L.L. Bean or Orvis catalog....Very expensive custom Mauser in caliber more suitable for the dark continent. Ok , first things first, to the beach to make sure rifle sighted in. Boom, again I say, boom, again, boom..Reload it I say, by then they are closing both eyes before being punished by the .460 again, Oh boy...here we go...Tack horses up, pack extra baby powder and an extra fifth of JD. They are on a Ego trip, basically a "Chivas Regal Trip" not a "Hunting Trip". No bears in two or three days a little halibut fishing out front of the lodge starts sounding like heaven to their blistered and raw feet/***'s, ha ha! LOL!

    The bear guides don't have it so rough, its the poor sheep and goat hunters who get these guys who cant even make it to spike without a 6 hour stopover, some never make it!

    It was the hard working truck drivers and other blue collar guys who had saved 8 years for the hunt of a lifetime , they arrived motivated and in shape, well worn rifle that he could rapidly and accurately shoot, gear properly broken in and willing to help do any and every chore necessary to pull it off was the folks I tried the hardest for.

    Never once "Baited" one of the seventeen Brownies I helped harvest, but if I heard gunshots in the fall and knew there were deer or elk hunters out and about I would skedaddle over to their gutpiles and wait it out, perfectly legal and productive. Many of the bears are trained that gunshot = gut pile = free meal or a big elk hide to play with. More than one hunter has had their deer taken from them as they had their hands in the chest cavity of a deer not 10 minutes dead!

    I wont bend your monitor with any more lies :) but I sure do miss those days, I was in the best shape of my life, 6'3 220lbs and could walk all day with a 150lb plus green salted hide and skull in my packframe, get drunk that night, wake up 4 hours later then do it again the next day. Repeat as necessary. What a life!

    I was a watch officer at NOJ so we worked 4 days on , 4 nights on and 4 days off. I could take 4 days leave and get 12 days off! How can you beat that! The Master Chief there was a big deer hunter and fisherman and Alaskan so he was very lenient during hunting season with the liberty chits. Especially when you drop a elk hind quarter off at his front porch every now and then, they , like others, were not completely immune to bribery.

    Somehow it worked out perfect for many years, getting paid to do what you love while on the military payroll? Win/Win :) Now trying to save to retire Aughain! Forrest Gump like :)

    Keep yer powder Dry :)

    Jerry
     
  9. Tractorshaft
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    Tractorshaft Redneck YC Plank Owner

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the note! Yes, exactly! I was simply looking around at some plans and saw my old "Maui Skiff" and they were calling it a "Panga" , it as an Ah Ha moment if you will :) I did notice the resemblance to the FAO skiff design when I read about that great project. Thats really when my research on how to build another "Blue Banana" started. I found the "Kind" plans over on the Bateau site. I like the looks of the boats you show in the photo you posted, I have been digging through boxes of old pictures trying to find a picture of the old Maui Skiff to show you guys, I have one somewhere. There is a back and forth over the positive bouyancy outboard mount that was fabbed up on this particular one but seems the Bateau design's transom cant support the leverage and forces exerted by the cockpit space maximizing contraption , se la vie :mad: Heres to ya! Looks like a nice beach without a bunch of lower 48 rules and stuff :)

    Jerry
     
  10. Joe Petrich
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Joe Petrich Designer

    Tolly & Tractor,

    It's fun reading your stories. My brother in law Tom and now his son Jimmy build aluminum boats in Kodiak. Tom's done some guiding up there as well. I've heard some good stories from them too. My son spent a little time on Raspberry working at a lodge but it didn't work out for him. He says that strretch of water can be pretty nasty, even in a 30 ft aluminum boat.

    Joe
     

  11. David599
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    David599 Junior Member

    Tractor, what did you think of the Tolman Skiff when you ran it? Was it just an open standard skiff?

    Dave
     
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