Milestones for Pangur Ban  
by Dale Austin - Tecumseh, Michigan - USA
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mrwizard/

Pangur Ban creeps to completion. In just the last couple of weeks the emphasis shifted from building a boat to installing things on a boat. The list of little things to buy and install or stow somewhere seems near endless, but it is now just a list. It's all little stuff, an evening here or there. It's not worth rushing at this point because the sailing season is almost over in my area. There are no more big pieces to build and lift into place-no more quart-sized batches of epoxy to get rolled on before they set.

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Pangur Ban creeps to completion. Here is the cabin as of September 24, 2007

This realization set me to thinking about the major turning points in the project.

Perhaps the most significant event was the very beginning. Lofting and setting up the moulds over the July 4th weekend in 2003, I confidently predicted a one year build time. Four years later it looks like she'll hit water in the spring.

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Lofting and setting up the moulds over the July 4th weekend in 2003, I confidently predicted a one year build time.

Another early hurdle was the completion of the frames. From that moment on, there was a boat-shaped something in evidence. If I'd come to my senses before that point, I could have quietly dismantled the project and nobody would have known about it. Oh, I might have had to dispose of some pesky witnesses, but it was still a manageable number. After the frames were assembled, only success or public failure remained as options.

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Another early hurdle was the completion of the frames.

I hesitated on the next major step. Frankly, the thought of rolling over something that large and heavy scared me to death. That had concerned me from the moment I lofted the moulds. It was a long and stressful day, but it went more or less according to plan. We made some impressive crashing sounds that prompted one neighbor to come running to see if the crazy man down the street had been crushed under his project.

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Frankly, the thought of rolling over something that large and heavy scared me to death.

Decking was a significant act as well. Limitations on space began to show up. She was no longer a large canoe-or perhaps a planter gone wrong. It also meant that her final shape became something other than a matter of conjecture.

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Decking was a significant act as well.

From a practical standpoint, dragging the hull out of the workshop meant more working room for things like hatch covers and spars. It also meant that construction had gotten far enough along that she was weatherproof-no small matter for a boat. Finally, it was possible to step back and see the entire project at once.

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From a practical standpoint, dragging the hull out of the workshop meant more working room for things like hatch covers and spars.

Four years. I learned patience. I learned a bit about machine tools and metal work. Boy, did I learn about epoxy! I spent very little time in the moaning chair. I seldom had to re-make a broken or poorly- fitting part. (no, I won't tell you how often) There were times I'd go out to the workshop, stare at the monster wedged into it, and ask myself whether insanity runs in my family. My neighbors didn't have to ask. If I'd known up front how long it would take, I might not have started. The next one-if there is a next one-won't be this large, and it won't take so long. But I can say that big doesn't intimidate me any more.

SAILS

EPOXY

GEAR