Panga 20 on the Drawing Board
Updated: Jun 3
It became obvious early in the move to the Philippines and more importantly, the area I chose to settle in, that a boat was going to be a necessity. And for many more reasons than just fishing, in fact fishing is probably the bottom of the list.
The roads in Northern Samar are poor to say the least with large open potholes and the road surface (if you could call it that) being a "temporary" item. The nearest town to us for larger supplies is a town called Allen and although this is a short journey distance-wise (12 km), time-wise it can take upward of 40 minutes to make the trip one way. This is the condition for most of the upper Island of Samar. Normally going on "Philippine time" 40 mins is not a big deal, but in the case of a medical emergency time down to a couple of minutes can be the difference between life and death.
Roads? Who needs Roads? The thought came to me while watching the fishing boats going back and forth in front of my home trolling for Bonito.
"You know, I could get from my home to the port of Allen in about 8 mins with a moderately powered boat. Catarman, the local of the main hospital for the region in about 40, opposed to 90 minutes". The lightbulb moment - for saving lives in an emergency, a boat in this part of the world is a no-brainer.
Now you may be thinking that a "sea ambulance" must already exist in our area and you would be wrong. Ill-equipped fishing boats sure, but a boat that could transport someone on a stretcher, quickly? Nope. In fact, if you called a normal ambulance, you will get a Van with a stretcher in the back and a driver. "The driver is a trained paramedic right?" No. He's a driver, you're on your own in the back, hang on and good luck. We can do better.
A quick and viable form of transport for people on the surrounding islands to get rapid access to medical attention is the care of the local governments right? Well yes but.... We could talk for days about the political system in the Philippines, but that won't solve anything AND the current mindset is not about to change overnight. If we as are going to care about our fellow man, we are going to have to do it ourselves.
Do It Ourselves, now there's a thought. With a background in Mechanical Engineering and cabinet making I immediately began to look for available plans on the internet for DIY builders and it wasn't long before I landed on Boat Builder Central. Now this is an awesome site for the adventurous among us with a virtual bank vault of knowledge, plans, advice and information. Take a good look if you're interested, your time will not be wasted. I purchased my plans for the Panga 20 via digital download and I was not disappointed. The plans are accurately drawn, thorough and complete. I also purchased a set of C19 Plans but opted eventually for the lighter weight and robust - not to mention a design proven over a couple of thousand years: Panga.
I fully intend to video and document the process of building our Panga 20, so look for a Youtube link once I start the process.
As always - We are in this together, be good to each other.