I'm currently shopping for a boat and could use some help.
I've narrowed my search down to a handful of hulls. Primarily the 17 or 18 Maverick HPX-V and the Maverick 17 or 18.5 Master Angler.
I've fished a 21 Master Angler a lot and love everything about it, but i'm planning to go a little smaller for two reasons.
1. So that it can fit inside of a standard garage 2. Smaller motor, smaller fuel bill. 3. Shallow draft is added benefit.
I'm not against Hewes 18 Redfishers, but I've seen both Hewes & Maverick and really prefer the quality of the Maverick.
Here's my dilemna. I'm looking at boats all over the state and before I drive 3,4,5+ hours and waste my time, the sellers time, gas, etc. I would love the opportunity to see the boats in person. Check them out and ride/fish on one if possible.
You can learn a lot about a boat by spending the day on one... opposed to just looking at it.
If there's anyone out there in the Bradenton/Sarasota area who owns a 17 HPX-V, 18 HPX-V, 17 MA, or 18.5 MA and would be willing to share some knowledge I would greatly appreciate it. I'll be more than happy to cover the fuel for the day and help clean her up.
If you are considering the HPX and Master Angler models at the same time, I don't think you understand the differences as they are apples and oranges. The HPX line is a technical poling skiff and does some things very well at the expense of others. In return for a 9"-ish draft, the boat is tippy, does not have the well/storage capacity or rough water capability of the MA line. With the MA 17 and 18.5 (I have owned both), you get a much better ride, stable platform, storage, well capacity and 11"-12" draft at best. You "can" pole the MAs, the HPX shines on the pole. If you want a full rundown on my experience owning both, feel free to PM me. You need the right tool for the right job.
Good luck with your search....that is half the fun.
The distance from the tip of the trailer tongue to the prop is much further/longer than you think, and you will likely not be able to get the Master Angler in a standard garage - maybe if you put it in sideways/at an angle and have a break-away hitch at the trailers tongue. Then your car stays outside.
Poleposition - Thanks for the info. I only know what I've read on the web... here & mbc forums. I know the HPX-V is more of a technical skiff and that the MA is a better riding boat, but my reason for asking for a ride was to see just how much of a difference it truly is. I'm curious why Maverick quit building the 18.5 MA? It seems like that would leave a need in their market. If you're buying new now, you only have the choice of an HPX-V or a 21 MA. Seems to me that it would make more sense to have another model MA instead of having 4 models of HPX-V????
I've been on an older 18.5 MA (1989) and also on a newer 21 MA... but I've never been on a HPX-V.
From what you said, it certainly sounds like the MA is the boat I need. I like getting shallow, but not at the expense of getting beat up.
9 inch vs 12 inch draft is not a huge deal. I'll get out and wade if need be.
Thanks again for the info, I appreciate it.
Idlewilde - I don't currently have a house with a garage, but i'm planning to move in the next 4-6 months. Finding a place with adequate storage is one of my priorities. If the boat I get will not fit in a standard garage, I plan to have some sort of coverage (polebarn, canopy, etc.) that will keep the elements off of the boat.
They will still make a Master Angler 18.5 on request...but be prepared to pay for it. For the same money, you could purchase one of other several other mid sized flats boats....and I would give strong consideration to the 18'9 Egret, but then again I am biased after having owned both.
I'll go on a limb and say that if you are not planning on poling primarily, you should choose a flats boat over a poling skiff.