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Remembering Pantera Boats’ Jo Nunez

Following a vision set forth by his widely respected father—Pantera Boats founder Pepe Nuñez—Jo Nuñez blended decades of powerboat design, construction and racing experience with his love for motorsports competition such as motocross and NHRA Pro Stock drag racing to enrich brand recognition and carry on an esteemed family legacy. Sadly Jo, 44, passed away last week following complication with advance stage IV Thymus cancer.

pantera jo race sotw

Racing in their custom 35′ Pantera, Jo and Pepe Nuñez won the F2 class at the 2003 Key West World Championships. Photo courtesy Pantera Boats

The recent backbone of the company in Hialeah, Fla., that was established in 1974 by Pepe and Linda Nuñez, Jo is survived by his mother and father, his sister, Barbara, his wife, Yvette, and their son, Jo. Throughout his career Jo built dozens and dozens of boats from 24 to 41 feet, set endurance records, won world championships and, most importantly, established a huge group of friends thanks to his deep-rooted passion for boating.

The condolences shared on OffShoreOnly.com over the last five days have gone a little something like this:

“I bought my first new bought from Jo and Pepe—they were so great to me, helping with my first year of racing. My heart breaks for the Nuñez family.” Scott Begovich, Miss GEICO Offshore Racing

“Jo was one of the true nice guys in the performance boat world. Condolences from the Colby family.”—Eric Colby, journalist/offshore racer

Read more: Remembering Pantera Boats’ Jo Nunez

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