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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m mostly finished rigging out a 19 ft panga, and got lots of inspiration from this site so I figured I’d start a thread and share some pictures.

Lots of y’all are interested in getting as shallow as possible... this boat isn’t a skinny water fishing machine. It’s no where near the shallowest or quietest hull out there, but where the panga design does excel is in efficiency and versatility. Due to it’s length, narrow beam, and flat stern the boat requires low horsepower compared to most boats its length. The high/sharp bow helps it ride decently in a chop, and the light weight of the hull coupled with the flat stern allows for a reasonable draft of about 7-8 inches. I’ve taken it out to some rigs 3 or 4 miles into the gulf in the morning on a day with 1-2 ft seas and caught redfish in less than 12 inches of water the same afternoon.

My hull was made in Mexico by Astilleros Mimsa and was imported to the states inside a 26 ft panga to help offset shipping costs for a single hull. The fit and finish on the hull wasn’t great, but the price reflected that and I was looking for a project hull anyway. The guy who was importing the Mimsa hulls was sending composite panels to Mexico so they could build wood free boats. I looked into hulls from Imemsa (the most popular panga manufacturer in Mexico) but the US importers of the Imemsas charge a premium and the hulls are still made with wooden transoms and soles.

After I got the boat I hung a used motor, cut a hatch for battery storage, jammed a yeti and portable gas tank between the stringers and started using it.

A common question about the pangas on here seems to be about how they handle on the pole. The high bow makes poling in winds over about 15 mph a workout. I primarily fly fish though, so I’m not usually looking to battle 20 mph winds. The sharp bow will hull slap in a decent quartering chop, but it’s not so bad that you can’t get into casting range of redfish on the flats. The boat tracks pretty good due to length and narrow beam. I used the boat for about 9 months with just a front deck, back bench, and exposed stringers. Poled the boat from the back bench, and other than some scuffs on the outboard cowling it wasn’t bad. Now that I have a poling platform, it’s easier to pole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After using the boat for about 9 months with it’s third world rigging, I took the boat to a fiberglass shop and had them divide the large front deck in two to make an anchor locker and storage compartment, and made a sole over top of the stringers. They also lengthened the back bench/deck some, installed a fuel tank, and added two storage compartments. After lots of searching, I found a cheap narrow console that I could use to outfit the boats with instruments for further forays into the gulf.

I had the fiberglass shop use nidacore panels for the redone decks and new sole. Due to the hollow nature of nidacore, I used the following process for through decks and deck mounted items:

  • Overdrill the holes by ¼” over what the fastener will be.
    • For vertical holes I drilled all the way through both skins on the panel
    • For horizontal holes I drilled through the top skin only.
  • Chuck a small allen wrench into a drill and use it to remove additional coring (honeycomb)
  • Use a countersink bit to countersink the holes to prevent gel-coat cracks
  • Tape off one side of the vertical holes, and ¾ of the other side. Tape off around horizontal holes.
  • Inject epoxy (thickened or unthickened as needed) using a syringe.
  • Drill fastener sized hole for through bolts, or undersized hole to thread machine screws into with a dab of epoxy.

Bedding every item in epoxy plugs was time consuming and sometimes frustrating but I know it’ll be worth it when I don’t have to re-do deck penetrations and deal with rot in the future.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did lots of reading and researching to learn how to wire a boat properly. Due to the small size of the console, I decided to wire everything up on a couple of starboard panels. This allowed me to work in a non cramped environment and then just bolt the panels into the console. Worked out well because I definitely had to crimp and redo some wires as part of the learning process. I was able to work inside my office so I could look up things on the computer as I worked instead of trying to use a phone out in the driveway / garage.


Batteries are small / lightweight odysseys. I have a pair and they are isolated house / start with a blue seas ACR to keep them both charged when the motor is running. I debated going with bigger / heavier batteries but after all the great reviews of the odysseys on here I ended up going that route. Odyssey makes nice aluminum brackets that allowed me to mount the batteries vertically in the console to save floor space. I had two concerns:


  • Cranking the motor – This turned out to not really be an issue. The motor has been cranking fine on just one battery. Once I get my trolling motor installed, I’ll keep a pair of jumper cables in the boat so I can jump the motor with the TM batteries in a pinch.

  • Reserve capacity for running bilge pumps – I have two 2000 gph bilge pumps because the boat isn’t self-bailing. With the amperage they draw, I only have about 20 minutes of run time for both pumps. I feel ok with this for bay fishing, but want more for days I’m venturing offshore. What I’ll probably end up doing for longer offshore trips where draft isn’t a concern, is mounting a group 27 deep cycle battery in the stern to run just the lower bilge pump.


All of the penetrations on the console are bedded in butyl tape so they are removable in the future. It took extra time to get everything bedded in tape, but the console stays nice and dry and should be more maintenance friendly in the future.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ve got a few things left before I’m calling it done but it's definitely nice to have a usable boat again after working on it for months.

  • Clean up the nav light wire that’s hanging free. May just tack it down with some caulk and paint it.
  • Build a battery shelf in the bow storage for trolling motor batteries.
  • Install my trolling motor before tarpon start to show up in TX. The large lip on the bow deck will make it interesting. I’m going to use some 2” diameter hdpe rods to act as long bushings for the quick connect puck.
  • Screw down some bungie cords to keep fly reels against the full length rod tubes.
  • Install smaller trim tabs to hopefully fix some turbulence issues.
I'm saving up for a lighter motor (hatsu 50 or zuke 60). I'm also keeping my eye out for a clean, reasonably priced, 2 stroke yamaha 40 or 50 (unicorn).
 

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Very cool!
I'm interested in that little console you put in--where'd you find that?
I've got a 18' tiller panga and am considering doing something similar...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Longest boat I've seen with a tiller. Do you stand while running and can you see over the bow ? Great boat. I guess I need to ask how it poles
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for this panga? Just curious what sort of price point we are lookin at?
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Longest boat I've seen with a tiller. Do you stand while running and can you see over the bow ? Great boat. I guess I need to ask how it poles
I've seen pictures of a few tiller imemsa 22s and 25s in Texas and Florida. But yeah, not common to see tiller boats this long in the states. Very common to see them in Central America.

I run about half and half standing/sitting. Before tabs I had to put a passenger right behind the front deck to get the bow down enough to see well while seated. After adding tabs I can get it down with my passenger right in front of the console.

I haven't poled a true poling skiff or a large enough variety of boats to be able to give a really helpful comparison. I make it work for me though, and until I pole a purpose built poling skiff I don't know what I'm missing. :)

I've poled 13' and 15'4" gheenoes; the panga is harder to get going but stays moving in the wind better due to momentum. The panga takes longer to spin due to sheer volume of water you're moving.

I've also poled a panga marine 18 Evo. My boat is lighter, longer, narrower, and flatter in the stern. I think the panga marine tracks a little better due to some dead rise at the stern but is heavier and more work to get going or stop.
 

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I've seen pictures of a few tiller imemsa 22s and 25s in Texas and Florida. But yeah, not common to see tiller boats this long in the states. Very common to see them in Central America.

I run about half and half standing/sitting. Before tabs I had to put a passenger right behind the front deck to get the bow down enough to see well while seated. After adding tabs I can get it down with my passenger right in front of the console.

I haven't poled a true poling skiff or a large enough variety of boats to be able to give a really helpful comparison. I make it work for me though, and until I pole a purpose built poling skiff I don't know what I'm missing. :)

I've poled 13' and 15'4" gheenoes; the panga is harder to get going but stays moving in the wind better due to momentum. The panga takes longer to spin due to sheer volume of water you're moving.

I've also poled a panga marine 18 Evo. My boat is lighter, longer, narrower, and flatter in the stern. I think the panga marine tracks a little better due to some dead rise at the stern but is heavier and more work to get going or stop.
PM sent.






I've seen pictures of a few tiller imemsa 22s and 25s in Texas and Florida. But yeah, not common to see tiller boats this long in the states. Very common to see them in Central America.

I run about half and half standing/sitting. Before tabs I had to put a passenger right behind the front deck to get the bow down enough to see well while seated. After adding tabs I can get it down with my passenger right in front of the console.

I haven't poled a true poling skiff or a large enough variety of boats to be able to give a really helpful comparison. I make it work for me though, and until I pole a purpose built poling skiff I don't know what I'm missing. :)

I've poled 13' and 15'4" gheenoes; the panga is harder to get going but stays moving in the wind better due to momentum. The panga takes longer to spin due to sheer volume of water you're moving.

I've also poled a panga marine 18 Evo. My boat is lighter, longer, narrower, and flatter in the stern. I think the panga marine tracks a little better due to some dead rise at the stern but is heavier and more work to get going or stop.
Thanks I think your boat poles better than mine
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Finally wrapped up the trolling motor install. First I tried installing it on the gunnel up front and using some allthread and hdpe rod to support the edge, but it wasn’t sturdy enough for my liking. Had to go back to the drawing board. What I came up with was to add a cap to the front of the bow. This also made it easier to clean up the nav light wiring and helped give me a better place to mount the recessed cleat.

Here’s the bow cap and vertical bulkhead before they got installed. The bulkhead has a cutout for an access panel, and slots to install an onboard charger plug and battery tender TM plug.

Got the mating surfaces sanded down, everything epoxied and tabbed in, and slapped a quick coat of paint on. I rushed things to get the boat on the water for the holiday weekend. I need to do a little fairing and paint better.


Here’s the battery tray install. Still needs a coat of paint. I mounted two group 27 battery trays with tie-down clamps on a piece of 3/4 ply and then glassed it in. Then I installed the duracell AGMs and got them bolted down tight. AGMs are pricier than lead acid deep cycles but with them being mounted in the bow, I wanted AGMs to handle the bouncing around. Sams club has them cheaper than anywhere else I could find, if anyone is looking for new TM batteries. I also installed a 2 bank onboard charger to keep the batteries topped up.


Used everything over the holiday weekend. Trolling motor ran great. Glad I ended up going with Ipilot, the spot lock feature and auto pilot are pretty awesome.
 

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Great job on this Panga! I have always been a fan of them, there is a reason why these are one of the most used boats around the globe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What a great job!
I don't know why Panga doesn't do something about their trolling motor mounting situation.
Panga marine and Andros have nice cap designs on theirs with plenty of room on the bow for trolling motor mounts. But they also cost significantly more than cheap hulls from Mexico so it's a trade off.

If I'd planned ahead better I could have had the glass shop that did my sole and decks build a cap into the bow to save me the trouble. The good thing about doing it myself though was that I could pre-install most of the hardware on a workbench to save me the gymnastics of doing on a pre-built deck.
 

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I do t know if it's even possible, but I've been looking and brainstorming storming at the panga. What would it take to flat deck/flush deck the front? Could the bow be cut down? Or just deck it? Had anyone e done this. It's sort of a fantasy I have.
 
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