Maverick HPX-V Review: The Boat That Put Us On The Map
Have you ever seen Luke Simonds cruising along on the Maverick HPX-V to go out fishing?
This is the boat that helped put Salt Strong on the map and put us on a ton of fish!
Is it the ultimate fishing boat?
Check out this review here!!
Maverick HPX-V Review [VIDEO]
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The Maverick is a 17-foot skiff that has been a Salt Strong staple.
Previously, this model was the HPX-V but is now called the Mirage.
Pros Of The Maverick
At the bow of the boat, the V slopes in at a vertical angle.
This means there is very little hull slap when you are fishing.
When you try to stealthily stalk on some fish up in the shallows, this will help keep the boat quiet.
You can get close to big fish without them knowing you are there.
On other boats without this design, the waves and chop can slap the hull and that will easily spook fish off.
Of course, no boat is ever going to be perfect, but the Maverick, in particular, does a great job of reducing the sound.
Another pro of the Maverick is that it is a shallow boat with a 8-9 inch draft.
It has a good balance of being able to creep up in the shallows and cross bays when needed.
Our boat does have a platform at the front of it, however, it is a used boat and the manufacturer of it is unknown.
A cooler can work just fine as a substitute platform as well.
Underneath the platform, there is a hatch for life jackets and gear as well as the gas tank.
There are also rod holders on the side of the center console.
Moreover, the Maverick is incredibly easy to launch off the trailer and the same when putting it back on the trailer.
Although it is a small boat, there is a ton of storage space.
Right before the engine, there is a big hatch for extra storage of gear or extra gas if needed.
Near the stern of the boat, there is a flow-through shrimp well.
On the other side of the shrimp well, there is a decently sized live-well.
If you plan on doing some fly fishing as well, there is a push-pull feature along the side of the boat.
MotorGuide Trolling Motor
If you plan on getting up into shallow water, it is essential to not hit seagrass and to not cavitate.
The smaller diameter of a trolling motor blade, the shallower you can get without causing harm to the grass or sand floor.
Minn Kota or other manufacturers of trolling motors often use a two-pronged blade whereas MotorGuide uses a 3-pronged blade for a more compact diameter.
Furthermore, this MotorGuide trolling motor has a tiller-steering design.
The trolling motors with remotes and buttons send a pulse out into the water when you hit them for the motor to move.
A tiller allows you to spend more time in the shallows with the 3-pronged blade.
The Maverick HPX-V is a fantastic boat for fishing bay areas close up in the shallows and along mangroves.
You can sneak up on fish holding in the seagrass and remain stealthy by minimizing the amount of noise you make.
There are pros and cons to every boat and it is all about finding what fits your style of fishing best!
If you have any questions about the Maverick or other boats, please let me know down in the comments!
And if you know someone who wants to learn more about bay fishing boats, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Luke, have another question about your rig. I would want to be able to add pedestal seats, like typical bass boats have, fore and aft. My fishing friends and I are all mid-60’s, and we fish 10 hours a day, sometimes 5 days in a row, and just can’t stand all the time! The platform you have has some sort of socket under it – would this be able to do double duty? Appreciate your thoughts.
Great Review Luke! These are made in Fort Pierce on east coast who also makes Pathfinder among many other great boats! Thanks for sharing!
We found that the best way to operate a trolling motor was with the tiller handle (with an extension arm attached to the shaft) and a “Big foot” switch that you can step on the activate it at whatever speed you set. 10x easier than a traditional foot control or even a wireless remote.
Thanks for posting the helpful comment Brett!
Solid fishing machine. Is the additional height on the front deck worth the hassle when it comes to spotting fish? I like a clear front deck but some additional advantage on spotting fish might be worth it.
Yes, the added elevation makes a surprisingly big impact.
Hey Luke… greetings!
Your pushpole holders are likely connected by a arm and link set up.
Either link or arm succumbed to the ultimate corroder of all things fishing! Or maybe just disconnected. Give a look see under the gunnels if poss. Thx for all the knowledge you guys share with the community! You all are top shelf my man!!👍🏻
Thanks for the tip Guy!
Action Welding and Marine Fabrication in Ft. Myers makes towers, polling stands and anything imaginable!
Thanks for making time to post the helpful comment Mike! The prior owner of the boat reached out to me after seeing this post and he confirmed that it was made from Action Welding.
Like, how does the 3 bladed prop do through the shallow water “rock” grass? I find the 2 bladed Minn Kota Weedless Wedge prop works ok when new.
It does better than any other blade I’ve used… my goal is for the motor to not hit the grass at all so that it’s not making any noise, so the smaller diameter is my #1 choice.
Kipawa makes aftermarket three blade props for Minn Kota; however, they appear to be the same or similar diameter. Any experience with that product?
I haven’t yet seen those. But they sure sound promising.
What an excellent boat and timeless design. There will always be incremental enticements coming from any boat maker, but HP-X is definitely at the top of the food chain and coincidentally its puts you at the top of the food chain!
I am in love with my Maverick Deluxe/Master Angler. It’s a bit different as it is sort of what you get when you put a small bay boat and a Technical Polling Skiff like your HP-X into a blender. A slightly wider hull It’s more like 10-11″ draft and in specific situations, it can have a bit more hull noise. I compensate by selecting an approach to minimize that.
I use a 35 quart Engel cooler as my casting platform up front and just recently added the polling platform. Whether up front or on the platform, that height advantage is amazing. Having fished the boat for three years and just now adding the polling platform, I now really want to kick myself for not adding the polling platform from the start. It’s actually good though because it’s almost like having a brand new mode of fishing for me. I’ve long had a 21 foot push pole but you could never really poll it much because you couldn’t get above the motor cowling or the power pole.
I do love being able to approach in a super stealth mode between the pole and the trolling motor and doing what I refer to as a pole assisted drift.
I agree with you on the trolling motor. Based on the capabilities of my boat I like the Xi3 GPS remote control and I would never go without it, but it took about a year of fishing to really compensate for its ability to make noises at the most inopportune time.
If I knew anybody at Motorguide I would ask them for three improvements to the xi3/xi5:
1. Add a simple mechanical clutch that you could reach down and flip and disengage the transmission and then operate it like a tiller. That would give you the best of both worlds.
2. Modify the system to add Bluetooth and give you a small little app on your phone to let you manage some of the default behaviors of the xi5/xi3.
3. The first behavior I would want to modify is when you turn off your motor guide by stopping the prop with the button that it would automatically default to a speed setting of like one or two. Or better yet, some default that you can override using the application on the mobile phone. That way if you’re cruising along at a certain speed and you find a fishy spot and you disengage your motor, and let’s say you’re running at a power level of 6 out of 10, when you hit the power button to reengage the prop you don’t want it to come back on at level 6 as you’re going to make a lot of noise, especially if you’re super shallow and have a high setting on the shaft length. When you come back on it should come back on at like a 1 or 2 and then you can add power as you need to. There’s times when I will be moving along at a pretty fast pace and then come across a very fishy area and then I will just turn off the trolling motor and scope it out. If I then decide to investigate the Cove or whatever and I mash the button it could come on way too overpowered because it comes on right where you left it and I forgot that because that was 5 or 7 minutes ago.
I definitely agree that the three-blade machete is one of the best designs for a trolling motor prop.
Some of the techniques that I’ve learned having used the remote control/GPS trolling motor (Motorguide Xi3):
1. Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate. Once you get a month or two of understanding how your trolling motor and your boat behave in combination, learn to anticipate what it would do in a situation. For example if you come across an area and you want to stealthily go on to spot lock, don’t just mash the spot lock button. Let your boat coast to a full stop or ease it to a stop using your buttons on your remote control then apply the spot lock after you’ve come to a stop. That puts an end to all noise, cavitation and sudden herky-jerky movements. The spot lock can be super quiet even in shallow water if you anticipate the situation that would allow it to be quiet which is turn it on when your boat is already in position and there’s zero movement.
2. Before you’re going to go into an area that you know you’re really going to want to pick apart and fish, quietly put your boat on spot lock before you go in and see what your anchor bearing is going to be. If you put your boat on spot lock and the wind and current is such that your boat is going to swing around and do a 180, go ahead and move to the back of the boat, set your trolling motor height so that you can be at the back of the boat without cavitation. Once you get to the first stage where you want to start casting come to a stop put it on spot lock and your boat will gently do a 180 and put you right where you want to be. When fishing with friends, I usually tell them, I am going to spot us, the boat will do a 180, you will want to quietly move to the rear.
3. When you stop your motor make a conscious effort to down shift the speed so that when you turn it back on it is at a quiet speed and then you can upshift it as needed. This is a very important Habit to learn right away. The Motorguide has a double-beep when you have gone past max thrust or tried to go below zero. I use that double-beep after stopping my prop to let me know the motor thrust is at 0 or 1.
4. This sounds weird but learn to pilot your boat backwards using the trolling motor. I’ve learned this really well and it’s a huge help. If I hook a lure into a mangrove I always approach it stern first with me standing on the back ready to get my lure out of the tree as soon as I can reach it and my trolling motor is a boat length away from the edge of the mangrove line and will never get tangled up in the mangroves. When I explore a creek system off of a mangrove bay, I always go in stern first off it’s the widest part of the boat I’m not going to have any surprises on the noise side because the power pole and the motor are at the entry into the creek so I can control any noises that would be caused by the power pole hitting mangrove trees. And again my trolling motor is a boat length away from any entanglements ready to get me out of there if I encounter something super shallow or it gets too enclosed for my boat to operate.
What a great post on your HP-X that is such an awesome boat.
Thanks so much for posting the insightful comments Bill! I completely agree with everything you said about the trolling motor… and particularly liked the idea about making the Xi motors capable of turning into a tiller mode when needed. That would help out for quietly navigating the shallows and for being in business even if forgetting the remote at the house Iike I’ve done before:)
Wow, what a descriptive guide on using power steered trolling motors. I took me quite a while to figure out how to minimize the impact on stealth stalking. Still not as good as a tiller steer, but your recommendations would be a big improvement. Starting the trolling motor up on a high setting without anticipating can make for a wet day.
I’m a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks! ;op
My dream boat !!! I’ll have to settle for something less expensive. I’m looking at the Skimmer Skiff made in Sanford, Florida. Looking forward to fishing a lot more often when I retire soon.
The Skimmer Skiffs look great!
Awesome. I have a 2006 ranger ghost 169 . It was my dream boat . I can get in the skinny . I have a remote trolling motor . The trick to them is to set it as low as you can and don’t touch it. I see a lot of people turn them on and off ,on and off. If it’s really spooky fish then I get on the pole. You could get in some of my places with your boat .
Thanks for making time to post the nice comment John! Those Rangers are sweet boats!