Mavericks’ New Mirage 18 HPX-V
Maverick Boats introduced the new 18 HPX-V at the 2009 Miami Boat Show. The skiff is a new design from the ground up, based on the popular 17 HPX-V. Designed with input from several well-known guides including Mark Crocker. It incorporates angler friendly features such as an integrated removable cooler in front of the console. Recessed deck cap lip against aft bulkhead so passenger can use the lip for a handhold when running. Then allows for the seat cushion to fold down completely out of the way giving full access to the rear deck. A 28-gallon livewell located on centerline with recessed drain system, that allows water height adjustment and evacuates water at all levels in the well. Perfect for large finfish baits, enough whitebait for chumming or as a tournament release well.
The 18 HPX-V was developed as a Tournament boat, covering large amounts of water in short time. To accomplish this a larger more stable platform than the 17 HPX V, but not so large as to be considered a Bay Boat was designed. Thus the 18 HPX V was born. Length Over all is 18’4” with a beam of 6’8” and a maximum horsepower rating of 150. The new skiff is a serious backcountry bullet. Rigged and loaded with 3 persons we achieved a top speed of 57.7mph. In tournament dress with skilled hands at the helm, the skiff has pushed 62.5mph.
Amazingly though, with a beefy F150 Yamaha 4 Stroke hung off the back, the skiff does not suffer from overly pronounced squat while at rest. While it draws more than it’s smaller sibling the 17 HPX V, the skiff does not become unusable when propulsion is shifted to push pole. The large front deck offers the angler a wide stable platform to cast from.
Admittedly I was smitten by the pure power and speed of the new HPX V with the F150 Yamaha, but it’s usability once off plane that captured my attention. If the need for speed does not course through one’s veins then the option of a lighter 115 or even 90 hp engines would fit the bill. Top end and hole shot performance would be less than the larger motor, but poling draft would greatly improve.
Rod storage is ample with 13 rod tubes fore and aft facing. Cockpit is spacious and deeper than it’s sibling the 17 HPX V. The removable cooler/seat is comfortable and functional. Fore and aft storage compartments are ample for everything from the weekender to the full out tournament guide.
Most notable is the redesigned center console. Controls are ergonomically designed so the operator rarely needs to remove their eyes from where they are going to activate trim or jack plate controls. Tilt helm improves ergonomics while operating the skiff from a standing position. The center console also features a large flat surface to flush mount today’s most popular mid sized electronics. The console also has a locking removable door that gives access to an interior shelf and battery switch with main breakers.
Hull construction starts with Mavericks’ proprietary VARIS (Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion System) with a specially blended vinylester resin formulated for the application. The hull is built using a combination of e-glass, Kevlar, Carbon Kevlar and rigid core material varying in thickness and density depending upon location and requisite structural needs. The finished hull weight, including stringers and reinforced transom, is only 275 lbs. Then premium grade wiring harnesses made in-house, custom to each boat, with Duestch connectors are installed. Lastly the skiff is assembled using premium grade hardware, including lockable compression latches, then dunk tank tested at the factory before being delivered to the customer. Final dry weight before engine is 965 lbs.
Is there room for improvement? The recessed lip on the rear cockpit bulkhead was a nice feature but after about 50 mph I prefer a more traditional grab rail mounted on the console or gunnels. Storage was spacious but having tested other skiffs from MBC I liked the non-drop in liners used on the HPX Micro and HPX 15T.
Overall MBC has developed a solid tournament skiff for the angler looking for a larger backcountry boat with speed and range. Yet does not become cumbersome when the fish push skinny.
3207 Industrial 29 Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34946
web site: www.maverickboats.com
SPECIFICATIONS AS SUPPLIED BY MANUFACTURER
LOA – 18′ 04″
Beam – 6′ 08″
Deadrise – 13 deg.
Draft – 9″ w/ F150
Fuel capacity – 26 gal.
Maximum capacities – 4 persons or 600 lbs
Maximum HP – 150 hp
Weight (approx. w/ engine) – 1,400 lbs. w/ F150
Trim tabs (recessed)
Yamaha multi-function gauges
Aluminum motor-bolt reinforcement plates
Freeboard carpet (redfish & tarpon)
No wood, no rot foam & core w/ premium resin
Premium fade-resistant gelcoat
Recessed hardware for snag-free fishing
Stainless steel thru-hulls w/ seacocks below water line
VARIS – Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion System
VARIS carbon fiber/Kevlar laminate
Cushion package (1 aft deck)
Completely flush forward & aft casting decks
Muliple below-deck conduits, both fore & aft
Push pole holder (3 deck-mount, shipped loose)
Rod tubes for tip protection (4 bow port, 5 bow stbd, 3 aft port, 3 aft stbd)
Wide gunnels for walk around fishing
Automatic bilge pump
Livewell/Releasewell (28 gal, aft center)
Foam insulated box (2)
Large guttered, gasketed, lock-down dry storage compartments (3)
Lockable center console
Flush-mount bow cleat (6 in)
Full closed-foam flotation throughout
12-volt accessory jack
Battery switch, 4-position
Console courtesy lights, LED (2)
Livewell light (aft center)
Navigation lights, LED (console)
Nickel-tinned fused wiring harness
Under-gunnel courtesy lights, LED (2)