When comparing the Banks Panga 26’ to some of the most popular bay boats on the market it stands out as having more length with less draft, more offshore capability, more range, softer dryer rides, and similar speeds with less HP than ALL of its competitors.
Although one and a half feet longer than the popular Grady White Coast Explorer 251, the Panga draws 2.5 inches less water. With the same number of people and 200hp versus Grady’s 300hp it boasts 5.2mpg @ 25mph versus Grady’s 3mpg @ 28mph, according to Boat Test. Fuel burned at this same speed for the Panga was 4.7gph versus Grady’s 9.4gph. Top speeds in these tests were 49mph for the Grady and 44mph for the Panga. That is nearly double the efficiency with 100HP less and very similar top speeds. Or cruise the Panga at 32mph and still get a crushing 4.6mpg by yourself.
GRADY WHITE 251 CE
28mph @ 3mpg / 9.4gph
BANKS PANGA 26'
25mph @ 5.2mpg / 4.7gph
Test With 1 Person
The Panga is designed with a high bow, very sharp entry, and reverse chines. It’s usually the case that a boat with reverse chines will likely be able to maintain higher speed before pounding, maybe that’s why Contender with top speeds of 60mph makes their bay boat with this feature. Basic physics tells us a wider boat may start to pound at slower speeds sooner than a narrow boat even if both have the same transom deadrise angle. Yes, generally speaking more deadrise equals a softer ride, but more surface area landing on the water brings the boat to a more abrupt stop after cresting. This narrowness in the Panga is one big reason why they are famous for being very ocean going boat designs able to knife through seas above its weight class.
I will put the Banks Panga self-bailing deck design up against any bay boat on the market for a quicker shedding of water, not that you would need it with its higher than usual gunwale heights. This height adds to benefits in design of seating arrangements that are on par with deep v boats. Some other bay boats offer similar seating fwd and aft, but in all those efforts many are just not recessed enough to feel comfortable with your family sitting there while running at full speed. Let your Panga efficiently perform offshore or on the flats and do it comfortably for less money.