When we first got the word that a panga was the boat we wanted, we searched online and found what looked like the perfect prospect. Al and Marg drove down to south Florida and met the owner – a young guy who had had big plans for his first boat but had been hit hard by Covid and needed the cash. When they drove up to the Bajío office with it in tow, everyone was stoked. Our first thought was, “wow, this thing is perfect. It’s ready to go!” It’s pretty basic, but that’s what pangas are. All we need is a bamboo pole and we’re good.
When Jay showed up, he started making a list of a few things that we might need to add. A casting platform was kind of mandatory. A poling platform would be needed as well. A floor and a couple seats would make the ride easier on everybody. Some rod holders. A cooler. GPS. Lights…The list started growing. All of sudden, our little basic panga was in need some fairly big upgrades.
Jay thought it would be helpful to find a local boat builder that would let us do the work in their facility. His thinking was that we could make a trade. They give us space, teach us how to do boat building, let us use their tools and all of the materials. In return…well, we didn’t have a lot to offer. Some free shades? The pleasure of Jay’s company? Some love in the film we were making?
We made some calls. No takers. More calls. Still no takers.
Then one day, the local Chamber of Commerce decided to through us a welcome party. Super nice of them. We had a big crowd of local business owners show up. One was a woman named Sarah Dougherty. She and her husband own Dougherty Boatworks and Sōlace Boats. “Whatever we can do help, just let us know.” Bingo! “Would you guys like to be in a film?”
What an amazing stroke of luck. Steven Dougherty is a legendary boat builder. He’s the guy other boat builders come to when they need advice. And he would be helping us build our panga! Sweet!