Some years ago, it seemed that almost every boat company wanted to jump on the flats-skiff bandwagon. Unfortunately, most of these companies had no clue what characteristics made for a good shallow-water craft. All they knew was low freeboard and big casting decks. Today, a rarified few companies have survived as masters of the genre, and Maverick holds a very solid position in that realm.
Maverick’s newest creation, the 18-foot HPX-V (for V-bottom as opposed to flat or tunnel hull), carries on the advanced technology the company is noted for using. It employs VARIS (Vacuum-Assisted Resin Infusion System), which uses a vacuum bag and negative pressure to draw a custom blend of premium resins through the layered dry Kevlar and carbon-fiber materials. This produces a much more exacting laminate schedule, and Maverick owners never need worry about voids, differing hull thicknesses or potentially weak bonds.
Those characteristics that contribute to a boat being an excellent shallow-water craft include a lack of noise when small wavelets lap against the drifting or anchored hull, a smooth dry ride across choppy open water, and easy maneuverability with a push pole or trolling motor. Bottom line: Anglers interested in sneaking up on wary shallow-water species can be confident that this boat moves through the water with extreme silence.
This HPX is basically a longer, wider and slightly heavier version of Maverick’s 17 HPX-V. Stretching 18 feet, 4 inches in length, and with a beam of 6 feet, 8 inches, the 18 weighs 1,400 pounds when equipped with a 150 horsepower Yamaha outboard (Maverick powers with Yamaha exclusively). With that same engine, Maverick says the boat’s draft is a very respectable 9 inches.
However, while 150 horses constitute the boat’s maximum power capacity, quite a few cost-conscious owners find that it runs perfectly well with a 115 hp four-stroke. The 150 pushes the 18 at more than 50 mph. Yet cruising with the 115 can provide better fuel economy than your tow vehicle in many cases.
The HPX-V is designed with a center-console unit that incorporates Yamaha multifunction gauges, along with a lockable compartment for valuables and ample room to flush-mount electronics if desired. A removable gelcoat color-matched cooler/seat is also an option that can be affixed in front of the console.
With a 30-gallon fuel tank, Maverick’s latest boat has plenty of range for a long day on the water, and it comes standard with recessed trim tabs, flush forward and aft casting decks, a poling platform, and rod storage both on the side of the console as well as under the gunwales. It also features a 30-gallon livewell for days you don’t want to fly-fish, as well as three large dry storage bins – one in the bow and two under the rear casting deck – for all your gear. The aft cushion remains clear of these storage lids yet conveniently flips down and out of the way when not in use. Wide gunwales also ensure maximum fishability.
No expense or know-how has been spared in the creation of this advanced shallow-water boat. Yet it’s still far from the most expensive skiff on the market. That should appeal to even the smartest boat shopper.
Draft……9″ (w/ 150 hp Yamaha)
Weight……1,400 lbs. (w/ 150 hp Yamaha)
**(w/ 150 hp Yamaha)
_Maverick Boats / Fort Pierce, Florida / 772-465-0631 / _www.maverickboats.com