Rob McDaniel, president of Panga Marine in Sarasota, Fla., began importing and selling Panga-style boats in 2001 from a Mexican manufacturer. Now he builds them in Sarasota, with features U.S. anglers want — live wells, fishboxes and rod holders, for instance.The 29 Horizon, McDaniel’s latest and largest Panga, has an LOA of 28 feet, 8 inches and a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches. With twin 175-hp Suzuki 4-strokes and a crew of two, I had the boat nearing 50 mph on Sarasota Bay during a short sea trial. While seated at the helm, the boat’s tall bow blocked my view ahead for a couple of seconds while coming up on plane, but that bow brings with it a slew of benefits, such as knocking down spray, adding buoyancy forward for extra load-carrying capacity and easier launching from the beach.
The bay offered a 2-foot chop, and the boat ran through the waves smoothly at 38 mph. At 35 mph, the 29 Horizon gets 2.5 mpg. McDaniel hangs the Suzukis on a Porta hydraulic transom bracket.
The demo boat had a two-person helm seat and no additional seats, but it can be built with seating at the transom, in the bow and at the forward end of the console. McDaniel will add equipment and make modifications at the owner’s request.
The 29 Horizon — with twin 175s, T-top, the Porta bracket, trim tabs and a trailer — is about $100,000. Panga Marine, (941) 358-6800. www.pangamarine.com
This article originally appeared in the July 2012 issue.
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