Panga Boats…..Gaining Inshore and Offshore Fishing Momentum
Saltwater fishing boats have pretty much stayed the same for years. Especially the shapes. While we have seen the arrival of bay boats and flats boats in past years, for the most part no real changes have occurred. This is much like the way automobiles were until the mid-60s and early 70s; cars with odd shapes and sizes began to show up on our roads. These vehicles had strange names like Volkswagen, Datsun, and Toyota. These fuel-sipping cars were laughed at….in the beginning. The fuel prices increased in the mid-70s and a recession hit the country in the late 70s. Things changed and those car lines now dominate the American road. A boat has been coming onto the saltwater fishing scene in recent years and is starting to gain the attention of fishing guides as well as the weekend fishermen and anglers in between. It’s the Panga. Recently, we met with Kevin Day of Banks Panga in Morehead City, NC to learn more about this growing trend in fishing boats.
The first thing we learn was not to be distracted by the somewhat unusual look of the Panga. Features that stand out on the Panga are the high bow, narrow waterline beam, and a flotation bulge along the gunwale, or top edge of the hull. The high bow minimizes spray coming over. The narrow beam enables the hull to be propelled by a smaller outboard motor resulting in lower fuel costs. The flotation bulge along the gunwale also provides increased stability at high angles of roll. It checks all the boxes when it comes to safety and also adds a few to the list. In areas such as Florida, the design has seen increased popularity, especially with fishing guides. This is largely due to the Panga’s ability to handle the significant weight and still maintain a shallow draft coupled with increased fuel economy.
The hull is manufactured outside of the United States and then finished at the Banks Panga facility in Morehead City, NC. The finishing includes a long line of options of what the Panga owner desires. Don’t confuse the Banks Panga with a stripped-down version that you may have seen in the past as commercial fishing boats or work boats.
Kevin Day of Banks Panga and his staff take the unique hulls and turns them into a masterpiece of fishing boats with impressive features such as custom T-Tops, fully finished decks, and a wide array of upholstery options as well as internal fuel tanks. A far cry from the Panga workboats from the past. One of the strongest benefits of a Panga is its versatility. Its shallow drifts allow great access to the shallow water creeks for the inshore fisherman as well as impressive comfort for the nearshore and offshore angler without compromising your safety.
His approach allows the boat owner to only pay for options that he wants and needs which can reflect significant cost savings. Best of all, the buyer can customize the boat. This concept has become increasingly popular with the recent increase in boat prices in the past few years.
The Panga concept is now on the horizon and getting stronger every month. Banks Panga seems to have found a way to take a workhorse hull design and respond to the needs of the saltwater fisherman. This is not a cookie-cutter boat with the cost driven up by unwanted add-ons. This is a boat-building model that has not been fully popular in the American boat-building industry, but one that Banks Panga is proud of.
Banks Panga 22
- Length 22’
- Width 7’6”
- Draft 8”
- Capacity 8 Person
- Engine Applicable 60-150 HP
- Fuel Capacity 35 Gallons
- Range (115 HP) 208 Miles
- Top Speed (115 HP) 37 MPH (2 Persons, 20 Gallons)
Banks Panga 26
- Length 26’
- Width 7’6”
- Draft 5”
- Capacity 12 Person
- Engine Applicable 90-250 HP
- Fuel Capacity 76 Gallons
- Range (200 HP) 355 Miles
- Top Speed (200 HP) 46 MPH (2 Persons, 35 Gallons)