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It all came about in the late 1960's...

The original panga design was said to be developed by Yamaha as part of a World Bank project circa 1970 but there are some discrepancies on who originally designed these amazingly capable boats.   The Panga is a type of modest-sized, open, outboard-powered, fishing boat common throughout much of the developing world, including Central America, the Caribbean, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia.  Pangas are commonly operated directly off beaches and the name comes from the panga fish, which is commonly netted. The upswept bow of the boat resembles the machete, or knife called a panga. 

Key features of the panga design are a high bow, narrow waterline beam, a delta shaped running surface and a flotation bulge along the gunwale, or top edge of the hull. The high bow provides buoyancy for retrieving heavy nets, and minimizes spray coming over the bow. The narrow beam allows the hull to be propelled by a modest outboard motor. The flotation bulge along the gunwale provides increased stability at high angles of roll and the delta shaped hull allows the boat to lift and achieve greater fuel economy.

The original Yamaha panga design had a length of 22 feet and a waterline beam of approximately 5 feet 6 inches. The flotation bulge at the gunwale increased the overall beam to approximately 6 feet 6 inches.  Cortez Pangas are a bit wider to provide more stability and larger deck space.


For more information on the origin of the panga.

Boat Dealer
Panga History: About
Panga History: Pro Gallery
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