Entering 2009, Maverick Boat Company is offering saltwater fly-fishermen the lightest flats skiff it’s ever developed. That’s saying something, considering the Fort Pierce, Florida-based company has been in the shallow-water boat business for nearly 20 years.
Hoping to tap a market of anglers hungry for light, fuel-efficient and affordable skiffs, Maverick’s new 17 HPX Micro incorporates several key design and engineering changes from the company’s existing HPX hulls. What they ended up with is a very functional and affordable fishing boat.
Design and Construction
The 17 HPX Micro checks in at 850 pounds fully rigged, according to Maverick. That’s quite a difference when compared to the company’s 17 HPX-T (1,115 pounds) and 17 HPX-V (1,170 pounds).
So what led to such a reduction in weight? Several things. Most importantly, Maverick engineers aggressively reduced the hull’s laminate schedule by 50 percent, which shed significant pounds. To compensate and maintain hull strength and durability, they increased the density of the core from a 5-pound material to a 9-pound material.
Maverick designers also reduced overall weight by changing the composition of the boat’s storage compartments. While the compartments of all other HPX models are made of expensive and heavy ABS acrylic, designers instead elected super-light fiberglass panels for the Micro.
This all led to a light, functional hull, stretching 16 feet, 9 inches in length with a wide, stable beam of 6 feet, 3 inches. The 17 HPX Micro is no speed demon. It’s only rated for up to a 50-hp outboard, and the company says it tops out at 35 mph fully loaded with a four-stroke 40.
But the Micro will get you to the fish – and, better yet, it’ll do so at a fuel-burning rate that is easy on your pocketbook.
Running and Fishing
I had the opportunity to run this boat in Fort Pierce this past June. A strong southerly breeze rolled out of the south and created a nice chop on the Intracoastal Waterway, but I was pleasantly surprised at how this boat handled. The Micro pushed up onto plane in short order and cut through the chop with little pounding, slicing nice and dry on hard turns, as well.
The boat comes standard with recessed trim tabs, a waterproof switch panel with circuit breakers and Yamaha multi-function gauges. With a fuel capacity of 15 gallons, it won’t take you to the ends of the earth, but then again, this boat was made for fishing the shallows.
And speaking of fishing, I was able to find some very skinny water during my trip up the Intracoastal to put the Micro to the test. No, I saw no fish along the mangrove shorelines, but sure enough, the boat poled very nicely over the extreme shallows and was responsive and crisp. Maverick says its 17 HPX Micro draws just 4¾ inches fully loaded.
With under-gunwale rod storage equipped with tubes for tip protection; auto-lift push-pole holders; and wide, flush forward and aft casting decks, it offers the discriminating fly angler pretty much everything he needs. Maverick’s 17 HPX Micro is a very functional skiff that does a lot of things well – best of all, it won’t break the bank. – MM
Weight……850 lbs. (fully rigged)
**(With Yamaha F40)
Maverick Boat Company / Fort Pierce, Florida / 772-465-0631 / www.maverickboats.com