Some years ago, it seemed that almost every boat company wanted to jump on the flats-skiff bandwagon. Unfortunately, most of them had no clue what characteristics made a good skiff. All they knew was low freeboard and big casting decks. Today, a rarified few companies have survived as masters of the genre, and Hewes/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 for a much more exacting laminate schedule. You'll never worry about voids, differing hull thicknesses or weak bonds.
Those characteristics that contribute to a boat being an excellent shallow-water skiff 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 deadly silence.
This HPX - a longer, wider and slightly heavier version of Maverick's 17 HPX-V - rates a maximum 150-horsepower Yamaha (Maverick powers with Yamaha exclusively). However, 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.
No expense or know-how has been spared in the creation of this advanced, technical poling skiff. Yet it's still far from the most expensive on the market. That should appeal to even the smartest boat shopper.
LOA......18 ft. 4 in.
BEAM......6 ft. 8 in.
DRAFT......9 in. (w/ 150 hp OB)
WEIGHT......1,400 lb. (w/ 150 hp OB)
MAX POWER......150 hp OB
MSRP......$43,492 (w/ 115 hp OB)
$47,252 (w/ 150 hp OB)
Maverick Boats / Fort Pierce, Florida / 772-465-0631 / www.maverickboats.com