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Issue: October 2006 - March 2001 - August 2000 - January 2000


Take your pick - the Pantera 28 ft. comes race ready or pleasure pleasing!

Depending on your bank account, "AFFORDABLE" offshore racing as the Factory classes of the American Power Boat Association have been touted is an oxymoron or an understatement. But assuming you've got about 80,000 disposable dollars, a need for speed and a good budget for post-race massages. Pantera Powerboats of North Miami, Fla., can set you up in a Factory 1 boat.

Called the Pantera 28, the 28 ft. long, 8 ft. wide is a race version of the Pantera 28 "sport" model. The F-1 boat comes, per APBA requirement, with a single 470-hp Mercury Racing Hi-Performance 500 motor.

In addition to the more powerful carbureted motor, the F-1 Pantera 28 comes with a half-cabin and a five-to-six-person bolster setup. (The standard model comes with a complete cabin, twin bolsters, a rear bench and a sun pad.)

The hand-laid boat has a high-density foam stringer system - all bulkheads forward of the transom also are made of high-density foam. Laminants include AME 5000 vinylester resign, 1708 biaxial material and 3/4 ounce mat, and the boat's deck is vacuum-bagged.

The Pantera 28 rides on a 24 degree, four-strake bottom with a notched transom. (Both the F-1 and sport models can be built without the transom notch, which is created by an insert placed in the mold. The running surface has no steps or pads.

"The strakes are sharp, so the boat tracks and corners really well, and has good bow lift," said Jo Nuñez, Pantera president. "Putting the notch in the transom enables us to raise the X-dimension (drive height) 1 1/2 inches, which helps at the top end."

What is the top end? "We seen an honest 80-mph on the Gaffrig speedometer," said Nuñez. "With an HP500EFI, we've seen a coupe more miles per hour."

If the HP500EFI motor/Factory racing connection rings a bell, it should: It is the required motor for Factory E class in which, so equipped, the Pantera 28 also can compete, according to Nuñez.

Three Pantera 28 models, said Nuñez raced in Factory 1 class during the 1999 season. He added that the company has built roughly 500 28-footers since the first one was released in 1978. The company currently is working on a 35-footer.

In addition to the multi-person bolster setup, standard features of the F-1 Pantera 28 include Gaffrig gauges, Mercury K-planes and Marine-Machine fully hydraulic steering. The price for the half-cabin boat including the HP500 motor is approximately $80,000, which is roughly the same as that for the sport version with a complete cabin, and a less-expensive 502 Magnum MPI. - MT


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