Starting in 2019, canopied Powerboat P1 Panther single-engine 28-foot V-bottom raceboats will be powered—as reported by speeonthewater.com in June—by Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines. The 300-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 platform was introduced across multiple Mercury Marine outboard lines earlier this year.
Major changes are in store for the Powerboat P1 Panther fleet for the 2019 season.
“We saw the move to the new 300R engine, with its anticipated improvement in overall performance including top speeds, as being the optimum time to ramp up safety even further by converting to closed canopy craft,” said Azam Rangoonwala, the chief operating officer of Powerboat P1, in a release from the organization.
Wilson Custom Marine retooled the hulls for the fleet last winter. Martin Sanborn of Performance Boat Center of South Florida will oversee the canopy conversion, which will happen at the Fort Lauderdale dealership, and it reportedly will meet American Powerboat Association and Union Internationale Motonautique standards.
“The canopy and cockpit will feature a carbon composite structure that is both light and exceptionally strong,” said Sanborn in the release. “Engineering, which will include a complex integration of a polycarbonate windscreen and receiver together with recessed carbon hatches, is targeted with aerodynamic, hydrodynamic and mechanical impact considerations to provide maximum protection to the racers. The boats will see another weight loss resulting in a lowering of the vertical center of gravity and better handling.
“By partnering with world-class companies our race series will benefit through innovation, outstanding technology and superb implementation, which in turn enhances the racing experience and sporting entertainment,” he said. “The removal of the rear seats and cowling will transform the Panther from being a dual-purpose sport and leisure craft into a pure race boat. Improved safety and increased boat performance are what drives this program.”
Said Steve Miller, Mercury Racing’s director of sales and marketing, in the release, “It is exciting to have our consumer products used in this highly competitive, one-design racing environment. There is no better way to prove their performance and durability.”
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