Mav­er­ick 50 Hen­riques 50 XP HT

Marlin - - CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS - BY SAM WHITE

The largest model to date for the pop­u­lar Costa Ri­can boat­builder, Open Fly is built to fish

With the ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of “ex­pe­di­tion fish­ing” to dis­tant waters, such as the off­shore seamounts in the Pa­cific, more prospec­tive boat own­ers are turn­ing to hard­core fish­ing ma­chines that are eco­nom­i­cal to main­tain and yet of­fer plenty of ac­com­mo­da­tions and ameni­ties for mul­ti­day trips.

The vast ma­jor­ity of boats that we re­view in Mar­lin are built for pri­vate own­ers. The av­er­age per­son doesn’t have much chance of even stepping aboard one of th­ese tech­no­log­i­cal mas­ter­pieces, much less fish­ing on them for a few days in some ex­otic trop­i­cal des­ti­na­tion.

Heads-up: This one’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

The new­est and largest build from Mav­er­ick Yachts in Her­radura, Costa Rica, is Open Fly, a beau­ti­ful 50-footer that is home-ported in Los Sueños Re­sort and Ma­rina. And she’s avail­able for char­ter. Gather up your friends or fam­ily, plunk down a de­posit, and you could be chas­ing mar­lin and sails on this beauty by next week.

Hav­ing spent hundreds of hours as an an­gler in the cock­pit of the 42-foot Mav­er­ick Su­per Fly (now re­badged as Fire Fly), I know the builder’s con­struc­tion tech­niques and the in­cred­i­ble fisha­bil­ity they of­fer. Mav­er­ick boats are beau­ti­ful in their func­tion­al­ity, with ab­so­lutely zero froufrou. So when I had the chance to fly to Costa Rica to spend a day fish­ing on the new 50, I couldn’t book the trip fast enough.

Open Fly’s own­ers, three en­trepreneurs from Louisiana, first came to

Costa Rica a year and a half ago, and im­me­di­ately fell in love with the coun­try and the great fish­ing it of­fers. Af­ter a visit to the Mav­er­ick fac­tory, which is lo­cated less than a mile from Los Sueños, they knew a cus­tom boat would be per­fect for chas­ing sails in the win­ter­time and spend­ing mul­ti­day trips off­shore on the blue mar­lin-rich seamounts in sum­mer. And by putting the boat into char­ter ser­vice as part of the renowned Fly fleet, they could off­set some of their fish­ing ex­penses along the way.

CON­STRUC­TION

All Mav­er­icks are cold­molded, us­ing three lay­ers of 5⁄16-inch laurel blanco hard­wood on a cus­tom-de­signed jig and bonded us­ing West Sys­tem epoxy resin. Er­win Ger­ards of EG Yacht De­signs in Jupiter, Florida, de­signed the hull to be both fast and seakindly, and judg­ing by the ride of the 50, he has once again done a mas­ter­ful job.

The house is built us­ing com­pos­ites to keep the weight down. All sur­faces, in­clud­ing inside the cab­i­netry and un­der­neath the seat­ing, are en­cased in epoxy or fiber­glass. The sur­faces are then hand-faired and painted with Awl­grip to pro­duce a lon­glast­ing fin­ish that’s durable and at­trac­tive. Of note is the ab­sence of ve­neers or wall­pa­per any­where in the boat. All sur­faces are easy to clean and will look good for years to come, de­spite a rig­or­ous char­ter sched­ule.

COCK­PIT AND IN­TE­RIOR

In her slip in Los Sueños,

Open Fly looks more like a teth­ered thor­ough­bred race­horse than a char­ter boat, from her royal blue Awl­gripped flanks to the top of her satin-fin­ished tuna tower. A huge teak-swathed cock­pit wel­comes you aboard. Even with the cus­tom Mav­er­ick-de­signed fight­ing chair/rocket launcher, there is plenty of space for a team of an­glers to fight mul­ti­ple bill­fish, while the teak cov­er­ing boards and deck pro­vide sure foot­ing and re­duced glare.

The oblig­a­tory mez­za­nine of­fers com­fort­able seat­ing plus re­frig­er­a­tion and tackle stor­age, as well as a sub­woofer for the im­pres­sive sound sys­tem. In the cock­pit sole are two mas­sive fish boxes plus a 60-gal­lon livewell; the tran­som con­tains eight tuna tubes.

Mov­ing inside through the ma­hogany door, the bright, spa­cious in­te­rior opens up nicely, with a large ta­ble and seat­ing on the star­board­side and a smaller tri­an­gu­lar dinette to port. The two matched gran­ite coun­ters make meal prep a snap, while hid­den drop pan­els in the teak bulk­head hide the tele­vi­sion mon­i­tor to port and the mi­crowave to star­board.

The over­all look is clean, sleek and wel­com­ing.

Head­ing for­ward, two match­ing bunkrooms flank the com­pan­ion­way along with a head to star­board, while an adult-size V-berth for­ward adds two more spots for an­glers or crew; Open Fly sleeps six down be­low in per­fect air­con­di­tioned com­fort for those long mul­ti­day trips.

EX­TE­RIOR AND HELM

On the bridge, the cen­ter helm houses an im­pres­sive se­lec­tion of Garmin elec­tron­ics, in­clud­ing a pair of 17-inch mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays, 25 kW radar, chirp sonar, au­topi­lot, InReach satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tor, Sir­ius XM and con­trols for the Fu­sion stereo sys­tem. A pair of Icom VHF ra­dios re­side in the drop-down box in the hard­top above the con­sole, with a pair of Miya Epoch teaser reels re­cessed within easy reach of the cap­tain. Bench seat­ing on ei­ther side of the helm gives guests a place to hang out for the ride to and from the fish­ing grounds, and full cur­tains of­fer pro­tec­tion from the el­e­ments when needed.

Back in the cock­pit, I climbed up for­ward along the gun­wales to the bow, where my hands found pur­chase in the molded-in C-shaped hand grips along the sides of the house. Nearly in­vis­i­ble when look­ing at the boat’s pro­file, the grips of­fer a low-main­te­nance al­ter­na­tive to rails, yet help keep the crew safe as they move around the boat. Very nice touch. A pair of 41-foot Rupp Tour­na­ment triple-spreader out­rig­gers com­pletes the fish­ing pack­age, and an ex­tra-wide ma­hogany toe rail adds to the boat’s over­all beauty. No painted faux teak here.

EN­GINE ROOM

At the heart of the op­er­a­tion, the bright, Awl­gripped en­gine room houses a pair of Cater­pil­lar C12.9 ACERT engines, each de­liv­er­ing 1,000 hp to the five-blade Veem props. The Tier III engines pro­vide in­cred­i­ble low-range torque and ac­cel­er­a­tion, push­ing Open Fly on plane quickly and reach­ing a cruis­ing speed of 30 knots. With 1,100 gal­lons of diesel, the boat’s range is out­stand­ing. An ISL-400 wa­ter­maker and C-BEA ice maker add more crea­ture com­forts for long trips away from the dock. Ac­ces­si­bil­ity to all key fil­ters, fit­tings, switches and com­po­nents is ex­cel­lent.

FISHA­BIL­ITY

On the day of my visit, we headed just 20 miles off Los Sueños be­fore putting our lines in the water. The bite had been fairly good, with most boats see­ing five to eight sails a day and a few mar­lin be­ing caught as well.

Open Fly pro­duced very lit­tle white water, even at 7 knots. The spread looked beau­ti­ful. Capt. Juan Car­los Fal­las found the fish for us late in the af­ter­noon, where we re­leased seven sails in about an hour and a half. In the ma­neu­ver­abil­ity depart­ment, Open Fly doesn’t dis­ap­point: We were able to catch the boat’s first dou­ble­header, fol­lowed by a sec­ond dou­ble a few min­utes later. The com­bi­na­tion of a spa­cious cock­pit and highly re­spon­sive helm makes her a ter­rific fish­ing plat­form.

Build­ing on the al­ready im­pres­sive legacy of her smaller sis­ters, Open Fly is set to write a new page in Costa Rica’s sport-fish­ing his­tory. She has the ma­neu­ver­abil­ity and fisha­bil­ity to be a true con­tender in the highly com­pet­i­tive Los Sueños Sig­na­ture Triple Crown, as well as the size, range, ac­com­mo­da­tions and ameni­ties to han­dle mul­ti­day trips with ease.

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