April and Kevin in Kuna Yala, the northeast coast of Panamá

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Boat Progress - Painting, roof, tools

If you've been waiting for an update on Pedro's progress constructing the boat, well, not too much has been happening lately. They are waiting on some more wood to dry we heard. But a few changes happened in the past few months. (BTW, this is a different Pedro from the cattleman who went to the demo farm with me.)

(Pedro working on the sides of the boat)

If you recall the last photo, there were still some boards missing on the sides. Now Pedro has put the sides together, along with most of the top.

(This is most of the tools he's using: a saw, a hammer, a plane, a couple of clamps)

Alex (who did go to the demo farm with me) is the one paying for the boat to be made, and he and his family have been a part of the process too.

(Alex, his wife, and daughter, painting the inside of the boat; supposedly they just didn't have enough of any one color to do it all.)

I can't figure out why they painted the floor, because if he is going to put cattle in it, normally there is a floor of boards over the bottom.

(The current state of the boat, for about a month now)

We'll have another post soon about work on other boats on the island, because the summer/dry season is clearly the time to work on boats.


Bill said...

What type of monetary system is used on the island? Will Alex pay for his colorful boat with cash, check, credit or barter?

Kevin Cropper said...

Great question Bill!

While I do not know for sure about the arrangement between Allie and Pedro to build this boat, I can say what is normal pay for a days work. When you hire another guy to work on your crops or with your livestock for the day the current going rate is $6-$8 a day plus lunch. Sometimes breakfast is also included depending on how early in the day you start work.

As for the wood and materials, some of the wood is from Allie's land and he would have paid the above rate to have it cut. Some of the wood is from other people's land and he would have paid a per-board-foot rate for the wood based on what type of wood it is and how big it is. He is also expected to provide all the other materials. My guess is that Pedro is providing some tools and Allie providing some. They will most likely put fiberglass on the bottom of the boat as well. Allie probably sold a couple of cows to get the cash needed.

More later on why Allie would undertake the construction of such a big boat.
THanks for the question.