By: Scott Way
The legendary Pantera Boats brand is back. Today, a new ownership group announced that through a series of business transactions and agreements endorsed by the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, they have acquired the molds, intellectual property, trademarks, designs, and copyrights to one of racing's most recognizable names. With the legal hurdles now cleared, the iconic Pantera brand is being relaunched.
Pantera Boats Inc. will be headed by Cam Heaps, founder of Carbon Marine, Inc., who introduced the world’s first 100% carbon fiber exposed powerboat at the Miami International Boat Show in 2016. From their press release, Heaps stated: “It is an honor to be a part of preserving the Pantera brand and heritage built by the Nunez family. Today’s announcement is the beginning of a new chapter that will see Pantera Boats available again to customers around the world."
Pantera Boats Inc. has signed a manufacturing partnership with Jaguar Powerboats who will provide decades of race-proven production experience. According to Pantera Boats President Jeff Howat, “Jaguar’s incredible history of world championship victories and indestructible hull construction makes them the perfect manufacturing partner for our new company."
Our crew had the privilege of taking a test drive in a 28 foot prototype in August, and the experience had us keyed into Pantera's future plans. At the time the boat had a full carbon fibre blackout color scheme, and the team was already in discussions about upgrades and rebrandings to the hull and interior. The ultra lightweight carbon fibre hull handled waves with remarkable ease, so much that we inundated them with questions about the design and manufacturing process to understand the performance characteristics. The power to weight ratio is unmatched, and noticeable. The exposed carbon fiber hull and interior accents are an absolute standout feature, and the boat is plush with detailed craftsmanship and high-end tech. The boat we tested was powered by a Seven Marine 627 HP supercharged V8 outboard, and rough specs at the time had an LOA of 28', beam of 8'4", draft of 24'', and displacement of approximately 3000 lbs (w/o engine). After a multitude of excited questions, they placated us with various versions of 'don't worry, more information is coming.‘ They did not disappoint with today’s announcement. You can see a few pictures from our experience in the prototype 28 hull below:
Coupled with advanced laminate production expertise provided by Carbon Marine, Pantera Boats Inc. will have manufacturing capabilities in both the United States and Canada. The new boats will be offered in 24, 28, and 36 foot 'Classic Sport' models, and 26, 28, 30, and 38 foot Center Console models. All models will be available in three materials- Composite, Advanced Composite, or Full Pre-Preg Carbon Fibre. Customers will also have the option of a traditional or twin-stepped hull type, as well as inboard or outboard power. The company is also in the midst of R&D on two Day Yacht models in 30 and 38 feet with the same above material and power options.
“We look forward to utilizing the race-proven Pantera hulls and adding new and exciting models while harnessing the most advanced composite building processes available today. With high-end fit and finish and refined interiors, a new era of Pantera is born,” said Heaps.
To get a firsthand look at the new Pantera lineup check out their website.