STUART, Fla. — Maverick Boat Co. took 30 members of the boating press through two days of boat rotations, fishing inshore and offshore on five boats during the company’s three-day media event this week at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina near Stuart.
Maverick’s fleet consisted of the Cobia 277 CC (which was introduced at the Miami International Boat Show in February), the Pathfinder 2600 TRS, the Pathfinder 2400 TRS, the Maverick 17 HPX-S and a Hewes Redfish 18.
The fleet, with the writers and editors onboard, ran south Tuesday at dawn, catching some live bait before heading eight miles offshore out of Stuart inlet. A 50-pound sailfish splashed anglers onboard the Pathfinder 2600 almost immediately, and minutes later Yamaha product information manager David Meeler reeled in an 8-pound bonita.
The bait-and-wait morning was punctuated by a dozen bonita strikes and bookended by the catch and release of a 55-pound sailfish.
“I’ve owned Pathfinders for 10 years, and I don’t see myself using anything else,” professional fish guide Eric Davis said aboard the Pathfinder 2600. “The area around [Stuart] is one of the few places you can hook a sailfish offshore, then come in and catch snook and snapper close to shore. The Pathfinder is the right boat for this kind of fishing.”
Tuesday afternoon saw anglers grabbing another sailfish, an 8-pound mutton snapper, snook, mahi and more bonita. Wednesday’s early offshore run saw a 4-foot reef shark hooked and released, two sailfish flashing the anglers on the Pathfinder 2600 and a half dozen snook biting close to shore.
“It’s makes all the difference when you can experience the products in the real world,” Maverick director of product marketing and promotions Charlie Johnson said. “We’re making touch points on the boats, making them comfortable, adding features and amenities. But we’re not getting too soft. We’re not getting away from the fishing stuff.”
Maverick’s shared media event brought in a host of brands with which the company works, including Yamaha, Garmin, Costa del Mar, Shimano and Motor Guide.
“Maverick and Yamaha are both companies with first-class products that do things the right way,” Meeler said.
For the technological advancements, such as the MAX SHO (max super-high output) engines and variable camshaft timing, Meeler said, you have to get into a boat and feel its pop out of the hole and overall acceleration.
“We get our ideas by walking down the docks and asking our customers what they want,” he said.
Meeler distributed copies of Yamaha’s new 33-page book, “Maintenance Matters: A Simple Guide for the Longevity of Your Outboard,” and asked the writers to get the word out about the new resource.
“We’ve been around a lot of years and made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons, and we’ve put them in this book.”
‘I call it the ‘Two Guys Sitting on a Bar Stool’ Guide,” Meeler said. “It’s written from the perspective of watching people and having a conversation with them and telling them, ‘Here’s what you need to know.’ ”
“In order to create those memories we envision, you need to have an educated boater,” Meeler said.
Garmin regional sales manager Michael Range voiced the same message when he discussed Garmin’s 7612 chartplotter/sonar combination units onboard the Cobia 277 CC.
“Knowledge is power,” Range said. “We can speak to people at the shows and send press releases, but it’s not the same as being out here on the water and using the products. We have customers ask us all the time about [whether we have] a detailed manual on how to use these combination units. Time on the water is the best way to learn. Go fishing.”