PANACHE 1750 – When good times go great

By Dean Castle – Leisure Boating

Various ranges of boats are available from different dealers – and each has their particular choice in outboard brand to power it. So, although the Panache 1750 has graced these glossy pages before, I have no recollection of it being done with a class-leading Honda at the transom.

Instead of boring you with the same details that we have mentioned in previous reviews, I’ll simply state a few of her great selling points as to outboard comfort, moving towards the biggest difference from other reviews, the new 2011 Honda BF115HP 4-stroke motor.

Panache is itself a great, well-trusted brand. The Panache range of craft have been built inSouth Africa for over a decade, but built by Don Jarratt – who in my opinion is up there with the best of SA builders to date. Known for their finishings, great quality, strong build and excellent comfort, the Panache 1750 delivers everything you’d need from a small skiing boat.

With comfort for up to eight passengers, this craft can be used for skiing, intermediate wakeboarding (if you add a waketower), tubing and leisure family time – and suits all of the above admirably.

She’s got two boarding platforms at the stern with a telescopic ladder. Also aft, the craft has got a stylish ski pole.

The Panache is a bow rider, which is a popular place for the kids. This means moms can sit in the cabin – which maintains warmth if the sun is starting to set and you’re traveling home as the air becomes crisp.

A ski-hatch in the walk-through section is present – to keep your gear with you safe and sound at all times.

Alright, so onto where the real change is. What’s it like with a Honda 115HP? With a 115HP from Honda, the craft has got plenty of low down grunt, getting onto the plane in roughly 2.5 seconds. At skiing speed of around 30km/h, the engines are merely at idle at 3 000 rpm. At her top end with little weight on board and the engine trimmed high, she clocked in at 80km/h at 6 100 rpm. The Honda is pleasantly quiet when you get up to around the 4 000 rpm mark. From there she really starts coming to life with a sporty growl to show she’s awake.

In neutral, the Honda pushes out a low amount of exhaust – and as such, one doesn’t have any overwhelming effects from petrol fumes.

With other great benefits, exclusive to the Honda brand for this HP outboard, is BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque), that is the optimization of the fuel supplied and the ignition timing during rapid acceleration. ECOmo (Economy Controlled Motor) is another Honda system which facilitates low fuel consumption through the use of lean burn technology. The engine is also NME compliant, which means the engine permits connection to on-board electronic display equipment such as GPS and Sonar.

Honda also boasts that this engine is in at the top of her class for fuel efficiency and total power output, I would imagine it is, since the fuel tank was still showing full after some time spent in action. The Honda engine is magical, and provides more than enough horses at the transom of this craft.

Fuel to run the Honda outboard is supplied by a 90-litre built in tank – since the Honda seems to be frugal, you can expect to get the most part of a full day’s skiing in tow.

This powerful 4-Stroke outboard houses the latest technology to provide an excellent all-round performance for years and years!

On the subject of the Panache 1750 hull, the motor is a great match, She turns more than tightly enough, avoiding cavitation, loss of speed, or control. The deck stayed surprisingly dry, even when driving side on to the wind in a decently choppy Knysna lagoon on the day of the test.

The Panache 1750 is going to be a great boat with just about any brand of outboard motor. But why wouldn’t you choose a Honda? It really is a fantastic power option and has got a lot to offer. Honda’s are already well known for their reliability and great performance, and are selling like cold drinks on a hot day!

To put it simply, I don’t think you could go wrong with choosing a Honda BF115 for this package.

The craft as reviewed is priced at R255 000 (Full House).

For more information contact Honda Marine Knysna on (044) 382 4090, or Honda Marine Somerset West on (021) 851 7710.





Honda Assists in Distressed Whale Disentanglement

A routine seal monitoring expedition recently at Robberg Marine Protected Area (near PlettenbergBay) turned into a full blown rescue operation of an entangled hump-back whale.
CapeNature and National Sea Rescue Institute (NRSI) personnel, on a boat sponsored by WWF Honda Marine Parks Programme, came across the entangled hump-back whale cow and discovered she was accompanied by a one month old calf. CapeNature conservation manager Henk Nieuwoudt, also a member of the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN), alerted a team of volunteers to assist with the rescue operation of the distressed whale immediately.

A joint team responded within minutes and soon thereafter confirmed that approximately 20 square feet of netting was entangled around the adult hump-back whale cow. The 13 meter long whale had netting entangled around her body and dorsal fin. Soon thereafter, additional members of SAWDN, carrying specialised disentangling equipment, responded to the scene aboard the local whale watching vessel, Damara II.

Efforts to disentangle the adult cow were made more difficult after the cow appeared to be agitated by the rescue team’s presence. At one point the two whales were swimming quite rapidly and volunteers battled to free the netting from the torso of the whale, losing some of the specialised disentangling equipment in the process.

This also lengthened the rescue efforts and eventually the operation became too dangerous for our members as the whale was extremely protective over the calf and after three hours the operation was suspended in the vicinity off-shore ofNaturesValley. Fortunately the fuel efficient Honda BF75 outboard motors allowed the one rescue team to stay out at sea with the whale the whole time, while the other craft powered by two strokes had to return to base to refuel.

At the time of suspending the operation the two whales had moved quite far up east along the coast.  It is believed that the attempts of the team and the weight loss that usually occurs while feeding a calf might have assisted in freeing the whale cow from the netting, as eager spotters all the way toPort Elizabethhave not yet spotted the whale cow and calf.

The SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) covers the entire South African coastline and is a made up of specialised network of Volunteers from NSRI, The Department Of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coast, CapeNature, SANParks, the SA Police Services and other organisations and volunteers.


Honda powered RIBS sponsored by Honda Marine SA and Honda Marine Knysna help SANParks monitor dominant bait organisms in the Garden Route

By Nick Hanekom – SANParks

An estuary is the sections of a river that has a sea water influence and may be permanently or temporarily open to the sea.  They not only provide an important habitat for invertebrate bait species, but also serve as a nursery ground for numerous fish species.

Based on indices of size, habitat importance, zonal type rarity and biodiversity importance, the Knysna- and Swartvlei estuaries in theGarden Routeare rated as the first and seventh most important estuarine systems inSouth Africarespectively. These two estuaries, however, differ markedly from each other. The Knysna estuary is a large, permanently open system with a strong tidal influence, while Swartvlei is a temporarily open estuary, which closes to the sea during periods of low river flow and high marine sediment deposition. Such tidal characteristics influence the particle structure of the soft substratum and the type of organisms found in estuaries.

The dominant, invertebrate bait organism of the Knysna estuary is the mud-prawn. This bottom dwelling species has an average life span of about three years and reaches a length of about 50 mm.  It requires fine sediment for the construction of its burrows, and is generally most abundant in the intertidal mudflats of the lower and middle reaches of estuaries. There are several reasons why this species flourishes in the permanently open Knysna estuary. Firstly, the life cycle of the mud prawn includes an obligate marine larval development phase, and unless the newly hatched larvae are able to migrate out to sea to complete their larvae development phase, before returning to the estuary as post-larvae, they will die. In addition tidal currents from the sea serve to stir up food particles from the mudflats into the water column and increase the supply of food to the mud prawn during the high tide cycle. Such factors, access to the sea and tidal currents, are not always operative in a temporarily open/closed system and may result in sub-optimal conditions for the mud prawn. For example, the estimated mud prawn population in Swartvlei estuary is less than two percent of that calculated for Knysna estuary in the mid 1990s. In the Knysna estuary the mud prawn is a keystone species, being the main bait organism harvestedbyanglers, as well as an important food source for numerous of bird and fish species. Major predatory bird species in this system are common whimbrel, curlew sandpiper and grey plover, while important fish species are spotted grunter, white steenbras and sea catfish.

The muddy inter- and subtidal areas of the Knysna estuary also support a small population of the large mud crab, which reaches a carapace width of 40 cm and has pincers the size of a man’s fist.  Although a formidable predator, the mud crab feeds mainly small shellfish. It is a popular food item caughtbyrecreational harvesters. Similar to the mud prawn, this species has an obligatory marine phase in its life cycle, with adult females migrating out of the estuary to inshore coastal waters to breed. The eggs are extruded and hatch into larvae that float in the sea. After passing through several planktonic stages, the young return to the estuarine environment.

The blood worm is another bait species, which is rare in the Swartvlei estuary, but fairly common in a few sandbanks of the Knysna estuary. This species may live up to seven years and reach a length of 80 cm. It is a much sought after bait organism, and currently is over-exploited in several South African estuaries.

The dominant bait organism of Swartvlei estuary is the sand prawn. It has well developed nippers and a translucent abdomen. It lives for approximately two to three years, reaches a length of about 60 mm and inhabits both inter- and subtidal sandflats of the estuary. It builds deep (up to 1 m) burrows, turning over large amounts of sand as it sifts the sediment for food. The sand prawn is well suited to the conditions experienced in Swartvlei estuary. It can tolerate water having very low salinities, while its larval development phase is truncated, having no planktonic phase. The larva metamorphoses into post-larva in the parent burrow, and then excavates a tunnel through the wall of the parent burrow and builds its burrow. The standing stock of sand prawn in the Swartvlei estuary is estimated to be more than 45 million individuals, which is likely to be considerably higher than that of the Knysna estuary, where this species is common at only a few sites, such as at the old drift and railway bridge.

The health of these two important estuaries is being threatenedbyreduced river flow from the catchment, pollution, inappropriate developments in the flood plains and non sustainable harvesting of estuarine resources. SANParks is currently investigating ways to monitor the status of the major prawn populations in these rivers and appreciates the involvement of companies such as Honda Marine in marine conservation work.


MotoGP World Championship – Round 11 Czech Grand Prix Race Results – August 14, 2011. An all-Honda podium raises hopes for the Championship.

The second half of the MotoGP season starts after the summer break at the Brno Circuit in theCzechRepublic, and this year’s Czech GP attracted about 240,000 fans over the three day race weekend. It was edge of the seat stuff for the crowds watching Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner break out from the lead group early on to build up the lead that would take him to his sixth win of the season. Honda swept the podium, with Stoner’s team mate Andrea Doviziosa taking second and Marco Simoncelli of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini coming third. HRC Team Principal Shuhei Nakamoto tells us about the pre-season planning and behind the scenes work that enabled Honda to achieve their goal, and talks about the battle now heating up for the championship.

Ever since 2004, we’d never been able to win here atBrno, and the last time we managed a 1-2-3 finish was the 2006 United States GP. This was also our first 1-2-3 since the 800 cc regulations were introduced. So you can imagine that it has been a tremendous result for us. Of course, it was a bit disappointing that Dani fell like that. If he had only made it through the race, I’m pretty sure we would have had Hondas taking all four top places, and that would really have made me ecstatic. Still, it leaves us something to try for next time. But all in all, a fantastic race for us.

It must feel like a good omen for the second half of the season?

It certainly does. Our riders have continuously been having problems with their front setup, and a cautious approach would have been to fit soft front tires for this race. In the end, we decided to fit hard and let the riders deal with it. The result showed that was the right decision. Lorenzo was riding with a soft tire on front and you could see he was having difficulties with it throughout the race. Taking all three podium positions could be seen as a good omen, but we certainly can’t expect to keep repeating it. No question about it, we are facing heavy competition and we have no intention of letting our focus waver.

From what you just said, it must have been a tough front tire decision?

No, we made the choice pretty quickly. The problem was that some riders were experiencing chattering, and others were getting vibration. We’d been expecting the surface temperature to rise a bit, so we didn’t like it when it clouded over just before the start. But yesterday’s qualifying had been even colder at 30 degrees and the tires had performed well. The conditions were still within the range we had calculated for, so we stayed with our choice. As it turns out, we were lucky and the sun soon returned.
Casey won this race handily, but we went into it not feeling very confident. In the morning warm up session, we couldn’t figure out what was going on: there wasn’t enough contact feel from the front, and too little grip from the rear. We managed to compensate for those before the race, but we were certainly very relieved when the track warmed up. Casey’s sixth win of the season puts him 32 points ahead of Lorenzo, but with a strong rider like Lorenzo there’s no way we can say we are safe yet.

What did you think of Dovizioso’s race?

Andrea was also having problems maintaining control over his front tire in yesterday’s qualifying. By this morning’s warm up session, this had been solved but now he was having new problems cornering. We tried fixing this with a small adjustment to the height of the bike. That worked well: Andrea was lapping 1:57 toward the end of the race, and he shook off a persistent attack from Marco to pass the flag in second place.

After just two years in MotoGP, Simoncelli finished third for his first podium?

Yes, I think Marco should be well pleased with his podium finish. But I have to say that he probably wouldn’t have got it if Dani hadn’t fallen, or if Lorenzo hadn’t chosen hard tires. So he did well, but he has to keep on working to improve his performance if he is going to meet the hopes we have for his future.

From what you said about Stoner and Dovizioso, it seems this race was a struggle to find the right combination of cornering and grip?

Exactly. Our biggest problem was we weren’t getting enough grip at the rear, if you include edge grip. That was a real headache. To solve that one we had to make sure the running temperature of the front tires matched the surface temperature of the track. We tried increasing the trail and adjusting the caster angle, but when we shifted the weight to the front we lost weighting on the rear, and then when we weighted the rear we lost control of the front. It was extremely difficult to find the right balance, to get the best trade-off between these factors. The reason Dani fell in the early part of the race was precisely because he lost control of his front end. That was a real pity.

Even so, you finally managed to achieve your pre-season goal, to get all three podium positions?

Yes, and I have to say that I am extremely happy about that. I was hoping to get there a bit earlier than the 11th round, but we have made it at last.

What’s your next goal?

Naturally, our main objective is to take the championship. One of the reasons I kept mentioning I wanted a 1-2-3 finish was to motivate our riders. It also helps to decrease the motivation of our rivals. From that point of view, getting a 1-2-3 is strategically very important in the fight for the championship, and that’s why I was pushing them to get it as soon as possible. And I’ll keep on pushing them. In racing, you can’t take anything for granted, but I really want us to repeat this success and I’m hopeful we can do it.

Finally, what are your ambitions for the next race, inIndianapolis?

That circuit is Dani’s specialty, and we have two weeks before the next race, plenty of time for him to get over his setback here. I hope we’ll see an excellent result from Dani inIndianapolis. Everyone else on the team will also be giving it their best effort, in the next race and in every race as we aim for the championship. I know we can count on the support of all our fans, too.



Ryan Hunter-Reay returns to victory lane after a confused and heated end to the race.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay drove an accomplished race to stay out of trouble and put his car at the front at the critical moment of Sunday’s Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Dario Franchitti crashed out and failed to finish for the first time since 2009 in a race marked by multiple wrecks, two rain delays and a highly controversial end.

Race results
1. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 215 laps 1:58:01.5843s
2. #2 Oriol Servia 215 laps + 0.2361s
3. #9 Scott Dixon 215 laps + 1.4839s
4. #06 James Hinchcliffe 215 laps + 2.1750s
5. #12 Will Power 215 laps + 2.8250s
6. #7 Danica Patrick 215 laps + 3.6173s
7. #5 Takuma Sato 215 laps + 4.1174s
8. #6 Ryan Briscoe 214 laps + 1 laps 4.6262s
9. #83 Charlie Kimball 213 laps + 2 laps 6.3900s
10. #14 Vitor Meira 212 laps + 3 laps
11. #67 Ed Carpenter 212 laps + 3 laps
12. #59 EJ Viso 212 laps + 3 laps
13. #19 Alex Lloyd 211 laps + 4 laps
14. #24 Ana Beatriz 210 laps + 5 laps
15. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 210 laps + 5 laps
16. #78 Simona de Silvestro 209 laps + 6 laps
17. #3 Helio Castroneves 202 laps + 13 laps
18. #18 James Jakes 176 laps + 39 laps Mechanical
19. #77 Alex Tagliani 137 laps + 78 laps Mechanical
20. #10 Dario Franchitti 118 laps + 97 laps Contact
21. #4 JR Hildebrand 118 laps + 97 laps Contact
22. #82 Tony Kanaan 109 laps + 106 laps Contact
23. #22 Tomas Scheckter 109 laps + 106 laps Contact
24. #26 Marco Andretti 109 laps + 106 laps Contact
25. #27 Mike Conway 0 laps + 215 laps Contact
26. #38 Graham Rahal 0 laps + 215 laps Contact




Five Tips to Choosing a Boat That Best Meets Your Needs – Buying a boat is a big decision that requires research before taking action. When broken down into smaller decisions, though, you’ll find it much easier to decide on, shop for and buy a boat that is the best fit for you. Below are five areas that will help you define the boat that best meets your needs.

1.Consider more than the price tag

Don’t look at just the purchase price of the boat. The price tag is just the beginning of the total cost of owning a boat. Prudent shoppers will prepare a boating budget that accounts for the purchase price, maintenance, operating costs and insurance.

2. Choose the right size boat for your needs

Boat size is related to the price of a boat. Knowing the amount you can afford to spend on a boat after taking its real cost into consideration will make choosing the size easier. You may find that while you want a larger boat, your boating budget requires you to start smaller. But, even if you have an unlimited budget, it may not be prudent to purchase a large boat if you don’t quite have the boat handling skills to captain it.

3. The perfect boat is one that you have time to use and care for

Possibly before you decide firmly on the size of the boat, you may want to consider how much time you have to spend boating and maintaining a boat. Boat maintenance can be time consuming on a large boat, so if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to maintenance, opt for a smaller, simpler boat.

4. Choose the best type of boat for your boating activities

After price, size, and determining the amount of time you have to boat, decide which activities you most want to do while boating. There are many boat types to choose from, some specializing in boating activities such as fishing, water skiing, or cruising. No boat will do everything, but define the top three activities you want to do with your boat and shop accordingly.

5. Determine the correct engine capacity for your boat

All boats have predetermined engine size ratings – stay within the limits as have been tested and recommended by the manufacturer, but ensure that you choose the correct engine(s) capacity for your usage needs. So do some proper research and make sure that you talk to your local Honda Marine dealer before you buy any boat.



Marine Protected Area Level 2 Professional Assessment held in Mombasa Kenya. 

Five candidates attended the Western Indian Ocean Certification of Marine Protected Area professionals (WIO-COMPAS) Level 2 Assessment Event. This was held in Mombasa Kenya from the 13-17 of June 2011, at the North Coast Beach Hotel.

Isaac Mugo, Senior Warden in Malindi Marine Park, Kenya; Paul Sieben, Area Manager Marine of Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA); Robin Adams, former Operations Manager Table Mountain National Park (MPA); Jairos Mahenge, Deputy Director, Spatial Planning and Conservation, Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP); and Dickson Korir, Warden, Watamu Marine Park Kenya were the five candidates who were assessed by Peter Chadwick of WWF South Africa and Arthur Tuda of Kenya Wildlife Service.

The Mombasa event was the third Level 2 event held since the inception of the WIO-COMPAS Program. Level 2 Certification targets professionals who are tasked with supervisory responsibilities over MPAs such as Wardens, MPA Managers and Section Leaders. The tools used to assess the competences of candidates at this level involved the review of submitted applications, the review of a portfolio of evidence of work experience, an in depth interview regarding the work experience, the preparation and presentation of a work place case study and a written assessment. Candidates also participated in an intensive four-day professional development event and signed the WIO-COMPAS ethics statement. They also, visited the community managed conservation area, Kuruwitu Welfare and Conservation Association MPA during a field trip. The candidates were assessed in 69 competences spread across seven Competence Areas and a total score of 252 points. To attain certification as MPA PRO Level 2, candidates are expected to score 70% over and score at least 60% in each Competence area. The Certifying Board has recently approved four of the candidates for certification.

L 203 served as a learning experience for future program partners. Mr. Alagie Manjang, The Assistant Director for the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management in the Gambia attended the event as an observer to get an impression of the WIO-COMPAS Program approach to the professional development of MPA Managers, Field Staff and Policy Makers and to look at its possible applicability in the Gambia and West Africa as a whole. Mr. Manjang was positively impressed by the assessment process, summing it up is a direct quote as follows. “The program of assessment is very well structured and it has no lapses and this ensures that the candidates are given adequate means of providing evidence on competences, making it a very worthwhile experience for the candidates. The assessment tools, particularly the portfolio gives candidates the opportunity to identify their role within their institution and identify their role within the overall effort of the MPA. It makes me almost envious that the program was not conceived in West Africa or the Gambia to manage protected areas.”

To read more on WIO-COMPAS, visit the websites or