Spanish Wells is a small town in the Bahamas found on the island of St. George’s Cay just off the north end of Eleuthera. It’s less than a half mile wide and just under two miles long and has a population of about 1,600 fair skinned, blonde haired residents. They are known for their hard work, community spirit, friendliness and strong principles. We know them from having some of the best fishing boats!
Unlike other islands in the Bahamas, their livelihood is largely based around the lobster fishing industry instead of tourism and it’s commonly referred to as the fishing capital of the Bahamas.
The waterfront is lined with fishing boats which range in size from 40-75 feet in length. Each fishing boat will tow several smaller boats in which the fishermen will dive from to catch the lobster. Oddly enough, the boat of choice is the Panga ranging from 18-26 feet in length.
The life of a lobster fisherman takes them to sea for up to 4 weeks at a time. They physically dive down to their traps and bring the lobster, or “crawfish” as it is referred to by the islanders, up by hand. They fish in the most challenging of weather and sea conditions and depend on their boats to get them home safely.
What Is A Panga Style Boat?
The Panga boat is not well understood in the United States, however they have been used for commercial purposes for decades now. It’s not uncommon to see a fisherman in a Panga 100 miles from shore fishing for days at a time without issues. These boats are extremely reliable and seaworthy. This is why we consider them to be some of the best fishing boats out there!
What’s unique about the Panga is the overall look and function. They have that distinctive “banana” look which makes them different and gives them character. They are also long and thin and extremely efficient with lower horsepower. Many people are afraid of the narrow beam and there is no reason to be. It’s not “tippy” as you would think. This design has been used all over the world and is gaining popularity throughout.
Panga hulls are also designed to carry heavy loads while remaining efficient on the water. Although they’re not the fastest boat on the water, they will certainly bring you back safely, even in the harshest of conditions. A Panga is a mono-hull boat with a high sweeping bow that will easily break down large waves and keep you dry throughout the ride. While on a plane, they ride flat and can access the shallowest places that any backwater fisherman can find.
So, if the Panga style boat is trusted throughout the world and highly utilized by our neighbors in the Bahamas, why don’t you give it a try.
Contact Abaco Skiff Co.
Abaco Skiff Co. builds a unique style hybrid Panga that fits the needs of the most demanding angler. Although it’s a Panga style hull, it is not your standard Panga boat. You can purchase a highly finished base boat or customize it with your motor of choice, an array of electronics, shallow water anchors, trolling motors and more. We maintain an open door policy and welcome factory visits and sea trials. Contact us today to start designing your completely custom Panga boat!