Maverick Boat Co., one of the country’s most renownedshallow-water boatbuilders, redesigned its 17-foot Mirage HPX Tunnel, shaving significant weight from the hull and adding a host of new features that saltwater fly-anglers will appreciate.
The 17 HPX-T is one of six models, ranging from 15 to 21 feet in length, that Maverick is currently building. A center-console design, it is an ideal midsize flats skiff that runs efficiently and tackles rough water yet also ventures boldly into the shallows, a fine option for any angler in the market for a high-performance skiff.
Design and Construction
In an effort to lighten the hull, Maverick engineers revamped the boat’s lamination schedule, incorporating a higher-density core that utilizes less laminate and resin. This effectively reduced the hull’s weight by about 10 percent, to approximately 840 pounds (dry weight).
With aims of creating a better overall balance, the engineers alsorepositioned the console forward about 4 inches. This better balanced the boat, counteracting the loss of displacement due to the tunnel-hull design and resulting in less squat and wet chines, even when the craft’s poled by a large angler.
As are all Mavericks, the 17 HPX-T is a classic-looking skiff. It stretches 16 feet 9 inches in length, with a 6-foot-9-inch beam, and features walk-around gunwales, recessed hardware, navigation lights, freeboard carpet and a premium fade-resistant gelcoat.
The rear deck was redesigned to include a 24-gallon centerline livewell and two large lockable dry-storage compartments. All hatches on these compartments can be accessed without your having to move the aft-deck cushion, a real convenience while on the water. Furthermore, an acrylic door was added in the rear bulkhead, allowing convenient access to the bilge pump and livewell plumbing.
Running and Fishing
Of course, all these changes were undertaken to better the boat’s performance. During a Yamaha test conducted in February, the 17 HPX-T required just 2.69 seconds to get on plane when matched with a Yamaha F70LA. The boat hit 30 mph in 7.33 seconds.
Top-end speed with the F70LA was 38.6 mph, at 6,000 rpm. At 3,500 rpm, the 17 HPX-T cruised at 21.4 mph, burning 2.1 gallons per hour and achieving an impressive 10.19 miles per gallon.
Not only has the lighter hull resulted in better performance when hopping from spot to spot, it’s also translated into improved handling in the shallows. The 17 HPX-T draws only 5 inches, ensuring it will push high onto the flats.
Featuring recessed trim tabs, flush-mount push-pole holders and under-gunwale rod storage, the craft also has a removable acrylic door on the console’s helm side, which – along with a removable backrest cushion up front – provides ample access to the console and the back of the switch panel.
Packaged with a high-performance trailer and equipped with all the usual goodies, the newly redesigned 17 HPX-T is ready to roll. Like all Mavericks, it exudes quality.
Weight……840 lbs. (dry)
**(w/ Yamaha F70LA)
Maverick Boat Co. / Fort Pierce, Florida / 888-742-5569 / www.maverickboats.com