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Force of Nature, powered by Scania V8 engines named Lobster Boat of the Year

“You’re going to need a bigger boat,” has to be one of the greatest lines in movie history. And despite it referring to Jaws, the boat-hungry shark, in the case of Darwin residents Ray and Denise, their desire for a bigger boat was actually driven by need to ward off hungry crocodiles.

Over the past ten years the couple has owned two Whitehaven pleasure craft, the first a 6500 and the next a 7500. But delightful as they might have been, they just weren’t big enough, because cruising the beautiful waters of the Top End, calls for a decent aluminium tender for getting on and off, because an inflatable craft won’t survive a serious investigation by the native crocs, of which there are ‘thousands’ according to owner, Ray.

“For our newest boat, ‘Panache’, we asked Whitehaven to go bigger, to 80-ft, so we could get a bigger tender under the duck board,” Ray says. “It’s turned out nicely".

“We know that Whitehaven builds a good strong hull, and gives us access during the design phase to put our stamp on the build. We could have whatever we wanted. For this third boat we have opted for Scania engines in place of the American-sourced engines we have had in the past.

“We were looking for output, range and of course, service, and we were recommended to look at Scania by a friend in Western Australia who uses Scania 6-cylinder marine engine power.

“We went to the Sydney Boat Show and had a look at the Scania display and met André Arm from Scania as well as our boat builder and we talked about how the Scania engines would fit in our boat and how we wanted to use it.

“We aren’t after top speed, we’re only cruising at about 10 knots, so good output at low revs is what we’re chasing.

“Since we have had the new boat in the water we’re seeing a saving of around 10-litres per hour per engine,” Ray says of the two Scania 16.4-litre V8 1200 hp units fitted into Panache. These are Scania’s flagship marine engines, boasting peak power at 2300 rpm, and peak torque of 4100 Nm at 1800 rpm as well as impressive fuel-efficiency.

‘Panache’ is fitted with a 12,000-litre fuel tank, which means its cruising range has been significantly expanded by using 20-litres less per hour, despite being heavier than the vessel one it replaced.


“For our newest boat, ‘Panache’, we asked Whitehaven to go bigger, to 80-ft, so we could get a bigger tender under the duck board”

“We have the boat in Sanctuary Cove right now and we’ll be taking it back to Darwin, about 2500 nautical miles, which will take us about four weeks at an easy pace,” Ray says. “Our second Whitehaven boat covered about 11,000 nautical miles over two or three years.”

The vessel is fitted out with a King suite, Queen Suite and two single beds, and a spacious entertaining and living area.

According to Whitehaven’s Business Development Manager, Lee Randall, ‘Panache’ is the boat builder’s first brush with Scania, but isn’t the last.

“We already have another boat ready for build that will be powered by Scania engines, a 6500 (65-ft),” Lee says. “Panache is an example of Whitehaven’s flagships, the biggest we have ever built and the crowning glory of our Sport Yacht range, and a great way to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

“We have spent the past decade delivering better and better boats to our customers across a range of styles from Coupe to Fly Bridge and now Sport Yachts.

“We have seen that the Scania engines fitted to ‘Panache’ are running far more quietly than the engines previously used, and these give the vessel a top speed of 22 knots, although Ray and Denise cruise at a more sedate pace,” Lee says.

According to André Arm, National Manager of Engines for Scania Power Solutions, ‘Panache’ is the perfect vessel to demonstrate just how Scania V8 engines can deliver cleaner and leaner running irrespective of the size of the pleasure craft.

“These Scania V8 engines are our most powerful, but because they deliver so much torque at such low revs, they run unstressed and just sip fuel, which extends range and reduces exhaust emissions, not to mention running costs. They are also compact and lightweight engines, which makes them ideal for all marine applications.

“Our engines and electronics have so impressed the builders of Whitehaven boast that a second flagship has been commissioned and will be powered by Scania 1200 hp V8 engines. Undoubtedly as the word about these powerplants gets around, we will be installing more of them in vessels destined for Australian and Asian waters,” André says.