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Pantera Boats Primed For Rebirth Under New Ownership

In a press release on Tuesday, Pantera Boats Inc. announced that “as a result of a series of business transactions and agreements endorsed and sanctioned by the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,” it has acquired all molds and related intellectual property including trademarks, designs and copyrights for the Pantera V-bottom line. As “successor-in-title,” the company will relaunch the iconic brand founded in 1974 by Pepe and Linda Nuñez.

The new team behind Pantera Boats is planning to revive the once-formidable brand. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Pantera Boats Inc, is headed by Cam Heaps, founder of Canada-based Carbon Marine Inc. According to the release, the company introduced the world’s first 100-percent carbon-fiber-exposed powerboat hull at the Miami International Boat Show in 2016.

“It is an honor to be a part of preserving the Pantera brand and heritage built by the Nuñez family—today’s announcement is the beginning of a new chapter that will see Pantera Boats available again to customers around the world,” Heaps said in the release. “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.”

Speedonthewater.com reached out to Heaps on Tuesday. The Canadian boatbuilder said he’s been a huge fan of everything Pantera has done during the past four-and-a-half decades.

“I have nothing but respect for the brand and the family,” he said. “As followers of Pantera, we’re excited to be able to ensure the company continues to move forward.”

Heaps explained that his plan is to preserve the classic models and focus on center console and outboard-powered boats in a variety of configurations and layups, including carbon fiber.

Classic Pantera Boats models are going to available as are new models ranging from center consoles to day yachts. Photo courtesy Pantera Boats

Coupled with the advanced laminate production expertise provided by Carbon Marine, Pantera Boats is going to have manufacturing capabilities in both the United States and Canada. The company will build models from 24 to 38 feet, including the classic 28- and 36-foot models, in both regular and twin-stepped hulls.

In the U.S., Pantera has established a manufacturing partnership with Jaguar Powerboats, which will provide decades of race-proven production experience out of its High Point, N.C., facility.

“Jaguar’s incredible history of world championship victories and indestructible hull construction makes it the perfect manufacturing partner for our new company,” Pantera Boats president Jeff Howat said in the release, which included that new additions to the lineup are also going to include 30- and 38-foot day yacht models with walk-through integrated transoms and luxurious cabins.

Also on Tuesday, speedonthewater.com also interviewed Jaguar Powerboats president John Clarke, who said he will work closely with Heaps and company at the massive manufacturing facility that was formerly the Hatteras Yacht factory.

“I’ve been working with Cam for a few years—Carbon Marine has done several one-off pieces for us and we’ve been impressed with each one,” Clarke said. “I’m excited for them and can’t wait to work more closely with them. From what I gather, the idea is to get the Pantera brand back into the poker run scene and back on the racecourse.”

Reached by phone on Tuesday as well, Pepe Nuñez vowed to continue to build boats.

“I’m the original Pantera owner and have been for the past 45 years,” Nuñez said. “I will be building my original 28’ Pantera SR with twin Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines, a stretched cockpit and sit-down seats. If anyone wants a ‘real’ Pantera call me at 305-305-7295.”

Whether Nuñez can still manufacture boats under the Pantera name, however, is likely a legal question.

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