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October 26, 2001

Hydra-Sports 2000 Vector

The 2000 provided a perfect platform, whether drifting dead in the water or with a helmsman keeping the boat relative to the fish.

I couldn't have asked for a better all-around day to run a boat. The new Hydra-Sports 2000 center console carried us over smooth-as-silk backcountry bays to numerous snook and jack crevalle first thing in the morning. Later in the day, we pushed the skiff over the 1- to 2-foot seas outside the St. Lucie inlet, where we headed in search of cobia. Later in the afternoon, the wind picked up still more, forcing us to run home in 4- to 6-footers.

Performance
The Hydra-Sports 2000's remarkably smooth and dry ride makes it feel heavier than it really is. Through the various conditions we encountered, I didn't get spray on the windshield all day. Also, like a heavier boat, the new Vector tracked beautifully on every point of sea.
The 2000 can handle twin engines, though our boat carried a single 225-hp Evinrude Ficht. In the Gulf of Mexico, many offshore anglers have opted for the security of two engines. They run on two and troll on one for even greater fuel economy. However, no matter what Evinrude Ficht engine (which powers all Hydra-Sports Vector series boats) you choose, you'll never have a range of less than 200 nautical miles.
In our sheltered-water speed runs, a top speed of 48 mph at 5,700 rpm (above factory redline) sucked down almost 22 gph. More reasonable speeds like 30 mph at 4,000 rpm burned a conservative 9.7 gph. In a hard-over turn at cruising speed, the 2000 bleeds off speed quickly.
I found only one slightly disturbing trait, which had nothing to do with the boat. Between 3,000 and 3,200 rpm, the Ficht outboard developed a louder-than-usual harmonic resonance. OMC test-center engineers claim the sound occurs at the point at which this particular engine alters the atomization pattern of the fuel injection into the cylinder. Unfortunately, that was the rpm range I wished to use most often in our particular offshore conditions that day.
But to its credit, any Ficht outboard will provide you with tremendous range compared to normally aspirated engines - an average of 40 percent better than with an EFI. I can vouch for running about 60 miles and the fuel gauge needle just barely starting to move away from "full" by the end of the day.

Fishing
While drifting a shoreline for snook, I found standing on the bow very stable and the recessed bow rail much easier to fish over than a high one. The only livewell is aft, but moving to the bow is easy and unobstructed. Later, we tested the overall fishability against a half-dozen permit and the same number of big jacks offshore. The fish ran races around our drifting boat, and the 2000 provided a perfect platform, whether drifting dead in the water or with a helmsman keeping the boat positioned relative to the fish.
At every turn, Hydra-Sports has designed the Vector just right. For example, the livewell and saltwater washdown each have a separate pump. The baitwell uses a high-speed pickup for lots of fresh seawater under way. Optional pop-up cleats for the bow are available. Since you'll probably be tempted (as we were) to take your little 20-footer out in something less than flat calm, you'll be pleased to know that the big scuppers empty the cockpit very quickly. As we drifted in the growing seas, water occasionally ran over the swim step, under the transom door and into the cockpit. Not much, mind you, but enough to wet the bottoms of the bags we had set in the cockpit along the transom.
Four rod holders have been provided under each gunwale, five across the T-top and four more in the gunwales for a total of 13. You could easily add more vertical storage on the console's port side. If you stow your cooler or tackle box aft of the swivel seats, it will cut down considerably on your room to maneuver within the cockpit.

Design/Construction
The 2000 Vector offers all the considerations every serious offshore boater should demand as standard equipment. All-bronze thru-hull fittings, a walk-through transom with door, hydraulic steering, 115-gallon fuel tank, high-speed pickup in the baitwell and full-length hinges on hatches to save your toes, as well as keep the hinges from snapping under loads, represent just some of the standard features included. All electrical systems run to breakers, and no breakers are shared. Neatly run wiring inside the console all gets bundled and tied.
Hydra-Sports utilizes an interesting construction method. Each boat is hand-laid using a pattern rather than having the laminators lay glass in, then trimmed, allowing for differences in the amount of glass and resin in various sections of the boat. If you like your boat to be truly "bullet-proof," then you'll particularly like the layer of Kevlar each Hydra-Sports 2000 gets, in addition to ArmorFlex gel-coat, vinylester resins, Airlite composite transom and diamond-pattern non-skid.

For more information, contact Hydra-Sports, 2348 Shop Road, Columbia, SC 49601; 800-437-1343 or fax 803-343-3662.