Most fishing boats are built to accommodate a wide range of situations, the most obvious example being the do-everything center console. Then you have some more finely-tuned fishboats, like bay boats designed for chasing inshore gamefish, bass boats designed for casting in lakes and rivers, and convertibles and expresses designed for trolling offshore waters. But few species of fishboats are as highly specialized as flats boats, and one sub-set of flats boats that’s even more specialized is the technical poling skiff. The new Maverick HPX-V II is a prime example of why—this techno-poler may be pint-sized, but it’s big on high-tech construction and performance.
Built with a vacuum-infused carbon/Kevlar hull, 12 degrees of transom deadrise, foam coring, and carbon-reinforced floor stiffeners, the HPX-V II is designed to blast through the shallows at high rates of speed and maneuver like an Italian sports car. And it does. But enough gab—see what I mean first-hand and take a look for yourself.
As you can see, with a mere 90-hp powerplant this boat pops onto plane almost instantaneously (under 2.5 seconds), carves out sharp turns while maintaining complete control, and blasts up to a top-end close to 50-mph. The key to lots of speed without lots of power is, of course, keeping the boat’s weight down. And the Maverick has a hull weight of just 750 pounds. It also has a svelte beam of 6’3”. Put the light weight, moderate deadrise, and narrow beam together—with a bottom design that minimizes splashing and slapping—and you get a flats boat that’s a technical poling skiff, which you can pole through the shallows all day long without tiring yourself out or spooking the fish.
|Fuel capacity||23 gal.|
Performance is one reason why many anglers will find this boat attractive, but its fishability is another. And the way this boat is designed to fish is, again, highly specialized. It’s all about chasing tailing reds, streaking bonefish, and leaping tarpon from a forward casting deck that’s 100-percent snag-free. It’s about sneaking up on those fish by poling from the platform, which is secured via high-density Phenolic backing plates laminated into the deck. And it’s about casting shrimp or white bait that you keep in a center-line livewell, which won’t affect the boat’s finely-tuned balance when filled with weighty water.
|Test conditions: 1 foot chop, winds 5-10 knots, 2 POB|
|Power||Single Yamaha F90 four-stroke outboard, swinging a 13.5″ x 19″ three-bladed stainless-steel prop.|
Those who want to rig the Maverick with an electric trolling motor (heathens!) or a Power-Pole will be glad to know mounting plates are already in place, and other construction touches show just as much foresight. The rigging tube running to the outboard, for example, looks great and prevents snagged lines. The forward deck hatch is finished on both sides, rises on a gas-assist strut, and check out how deep that gutter is.
The down-side to buying a boat like the Maverick HPX-V II is a lack of flexibility, since you won’t exactly cruise it to wrecks off the beach, set a trolling spread from it, or run it through unprotected waters in big wind. You’ll need other boats for those jobs, and many of us may find it hard to spend over $40,000 on a boat that’s built for one mission, and one mission only. But if you want a technical poling skiff that does its specific job better than any do-everything fishing machine ever could, the Maverick HPX V-II is a top contender.
Another Choice: The Chittum Skiffs Islamorada 18 is another technical poling skiff to have a look at, but it’s larger and costs significantly more than the Maverick.
For more information, visit Maverick Boats.