If you’re familiar with fishing boats, then you know that a bay boat is sort of a cross between a traditional center-console and a flats skiff design. The result is a boat that allows anglers not only to get into skinny coastal waters, but also target species just off the coast in deeper, more open waters.
A downside to bay boats is that they’re often so utilitarian that they’re suited really for only one mission: running out, catching fish, and running home. While that mission is usually just fine with the predominant user, bare-bones utility means that friends and family may not get to enjoy more casual activities such as sundowner cruises or docking and dining. If your spouse signs the boat payment check every month, you understand what I’m getting at here.
Maverick Boat Company is hoping to solve this problem with its Pathfinder 2600 TRS. It’s built on the same great composite, deep-V hull as the company’s 2600 HPS, but with features on deck that boost comfort by a large factor. I ran one in Stuart, FL recently to see if comfort and fishing can go hand in hand.
Let’s get right down to what the Pathfinder 2600 gives you in terms of comfort.
The most notable feature is an expanded center console with a head compartment underneath. It’s accessed from a starboard opening door. The TRS model also gets you a slew of comfy seating accommodations. There are three cushy aft jump seats with stowage underneath, a premium double-bolstered helm seat, an upholstered bench forward of the center console, and, in the bow, there are integrated pop-up backrests that transform the port and starboard sides of the padded casting area into forward-facing chaise lounges. You can also lay them flat so that the bow can serve as a huge sunpad. The TRS gives you additional goodies like an integrated cooler under the bench seat on the forward end of the center console, a mahogany steering wheel with knob, LED deck lighting, and more.
Now, don’t let all these creature comforts lead you into thinking the 2600 TRS isn’t a serious fishing boat, because it is. Simply remove and stow the bow cushions, fold down the aft jump seats, and you’re rigged to go after the big ones. In fact Maverick arranged for me to ride 25 miles offshore in the 2600 TRS to tangle with some sailfish for the day, just to prove the point. Along with several 20-pound false albacore that came over the gunwale, we landed and safely released a big Atlantic sailfish, all the while making use of the 2600’s huge aft casting deck, 36-gallon livewell, expansive fish lockers, and the host of other fishing features the 2600 comes packed with.
A 20-knot afternoon sea breeze had filled in by the time we had to head back toward the inlet, whipping up a two-to three-foot swell capped with three-foot waves. Convinced we’d get a soaking on the way back in, I donned my foul-weather bibs and a spray jacket. But I never needed them. The Pathfinder 2600 handled it all with relative ease, launching off the tops of waves and crashing down with an authoritative “thump” that was dry and not at all jarring. Inside the inlet we opened up the 2600’s big 300-horsepower Yamaha F300 and jetted up into the lower 50-mph range, a completely respectable—and comfortable–top end. A relatively lightweight but sturdy composite hull with double steps and an 18-degree transom deadrise is to thank for these impressive ride and performance characteristics.
So, can a bay boat pull double-duty as a serious fishing machine and weekend entertaining platform? You bet it can, and there’s no better proof than Maverick Boat Company’s Pathfinder 2600 TRS. For more information, visit Pathfinder.
Pathfinder 2600 TRS Specifications:
- Length: 26’2”
- Beam: 8’10”
- Draft (hull): 1’3”
- Deadrise: 18 degrees
- Displacement: 3,350 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 70 gal.