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Author Topic: Florida Skiff Challenge, on the ragged edge  (Read 630 times)
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Panga Marine One
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Posts: 98

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« on: April 10, 2017, 07:53:05 AM »

I would like to congratulate Team Hellís Bay and Team Yellowfin on an amazing finish. You beat all expectations and set the bar to a new height. Chris and J.C., that was one heck of a display. Heath and Chase, you did a fantastic job. Heath, not only did you participate, you made it an event. The support teams need to be congratulated too. Itís not as easy as it sounds. What fortitude you showed. Special thanks to; Saltwater Sportsman, AtlasTrax, Cabin Bluff and Yeti. Iím sure there are others, thank you all.
I am very grateful for the help from our team. Ryan Till, you make for a better co-captain anyone could ask for. Your enthusiasm for the water seems boundless. Rex Sunderland and Chelsey Matheson you ran the chase vehicle and pit stops flawlessly, without a single complaint and only asked to do more. Dave and Lillian Till, the help and food you brought were deeply appreciated. And thanks to Dempsey, for helping in a way that only a dog can.
Most of you already know we were not able to finish the 2017 Florida Skiff Challenge because the hull of the boat cracked open. Anyone interested in what happened should know that I alone made every decision leading up to and during the FSC that left us no choice but to pull out of the race. Any and all blame for not finishing is 100% on me. The boat was built 10 years ago and traded in twice. Both customers were happy with it, so much so that both had us build bigger boats for them. For ten years this boat provided satisfied customers. It was built in a style that we seldom use today and a lamination schedule that we donít use any more. Both of these factors made it light, fast and fuel efficient. Attributes one might look for in a ďraceĒ boat. With a smaller, lighter motor we could make longer legs and fewer stops. In the flat water portion of the race it was only slightly slower than the other smaller boats that had more horse power. Our advantage was in rough water and fuel economy. It was all going as planned until the bottom opened up about ĺ ways across from Apalachicola to Cedar Key. A 115 mile crossing in 8 foot seas was just too much to ask from this light hull. Not to mention the chop we had to go through before getting to that crossing. After leaving Cedar Key I blamed the cavitation on a spun prop hub so we changed the propeller in Dunedin, at an unscheduled stop. After the scheduled stop in Sarasota we lumbered to Manasota Key where we ended it.
Panga Marine boats are among the most capable and sea worthy in its class. To Panga Marineís present and potential customers I would like to say first, we stand behind our products and take care of our customers. But any reasonable person would admit that what all the teams do to these boats in the FSC is considered abuse. I donít know but willing to bet that the other boats in this race had some sort of issue. Unfortunately my boats issue was too big to continue. And that is on me.
Thank you,
Tom Biller

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 04:29:08 AM »

Great Job Tom!  You and your crew represented Panga Marine well and are a class act!  I am proud to be a owner of my second PM and will likely be an owner for life.

Mike Tilton
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