Today, you can count the number of boatbuilders who are producing custom sport-fishers in the 38-to-50-foot range on one hand, and even fewer are building cold-molded wood boats that are truly custom in every sense of the word. Fortunately, Maverick Yachts Costa Rica is carrying on that time-honored tradition of craftsmanship in Herradura, Costa Rica, not much more than a stone’s throw from the entrance to that well-known sport-fishing destination that is Los Sueños Resort and Marina.
I’m fortunate to have spent hundreds of hours in the cockpit of a 43-foot Maverick, fishing the boat in all kinds of weather from Guatemala to Panama. Contrary to popular belief, it does get rough from time to time in Central America, and the 43s are capable of fishing their way through nearly anything short of a typhoon. These are incredibly tough boats, thanks in part to that time-tested cold-molded hull construction. In fact, the builder’s original vessel, Spanish Fly, has more than 50,000 hours of hard fishing under her belt, yet she looks and rides just as good as she did when she first hit the water 20 years ago.
Construction and Design
With more boats venturing to the distant seamounts 100 miles or more offshore, the need for a slightly larger vessel soon became apparent. Maverick Yachts Costa Rica turned to well-known naval architect Erwin Gerards, who went to work with a blank sheet to design the latest in the Maverick fleet: a 45-foot custom beauty. “The 43 is still a great fishing platform, but it was just a bit too small to house a gyro, sonar, plenty of fuel, and comfortable space for overnight seamount fishing,” he says. “The 50-footer is ideal for this but is better-suited for larger groups. After looking at the available engine options, fuel capacity and accommodations, we agreed to design a 45 with a 15-foot-2-inch beam, which is approximately 16 inches wider than the 43’s.”
“Another requirement was to be able to use the new MAN I6 850 hp engines or the Cummins QSM11 715 hp engines,” Gerards says. “The challenge with this size boat is to be able to have a nice low profile without using engine boxes or propeller pockets. This creates more options for salon layouts and mezzanine design, with either an offset salon entry door or a centerline door. I was able to achieve this with Maverick’s S-shaped sheer break, which allows the salon deck and house to be up a little higher without compromising the sleek, traditional look that Maverick is known for. The 12.5-degree transom deadrise and slight convex bottom shape provide an efficient running platform, with a very clean wake at trolling speeds.”
Cockpit and Interior
Stepping aboard Hull No. 1 of the 45-footers in Los Sueños—the recently splashed Tropic Fly—I immediately felt right at home in the spacious cockpit, complete with teak deck and covering boards, which also conceal tuna tubes on each side for easy access. There’s a freshwater spigot for refilling water bottles during the day, while the split mezzanine design also has cockpit air conditioning to tame those sweltering flat-calm days in the Pacific. The standard configuration has drink boxes under the mezzanine steps with an in-deck fish box on the port side, which is fed directly by a dump from the ice maker. An identical box to starboard serves as a spacious livewell. The oversize scuppers ensure that any water that does come in is quickly drained from the deck.
Moving to the salon, the first thing you notice about Tropic Fly is the incredibly light and bright interior. While most salons feel more like a dark-paneled English library, this owner wanted a more modern look, and it’s impressive. The genuine teak flooring continues forward throughout the vessel; the galley counters are synthetic marble, which looks great and is also very durable, an important consideration because this is also a charter vessel that will fish upwards of 200 or more days each season.
There’s a seating area to port and a dinette to starboard, both with teak tables. In the galley, everything is clean and functional, with undercounter refrigeration, a sink to starboard and a convection microwave in the forward bulkhead. Because the crew uses portable electric skillets for preparing hot meals, the counters remain uncluttered by a dedicated stovetop, a nice touch that also speaks to the boat’s easy-to-clean-and-maintain mantra.
Forward is a large V-berth with an additional bunk, plus a tackle-storage center and full head with shower. Just aft is another bunk room and a second head, a great layout for sleeping arrangements while also offering privacy for the owners during their overnighters offshore.
Engine Room and Helm
The boat’s engine-room access is via a centerline hatch in the salon. Stepping down into the space, it’s clear that there was indeed room for plenty of additional equipment that simply would not have fit in the 43, including a Seakeeper 6, sonar tube, watermaker, ice maker, Reverso oil-change system, Spot Zero water filtration and more. Taking center stage are the Cummins QSM11 715 hp engines, with excellent access to all maintenance points. And, in another nod to the boat’s theme of simplicity and ease of maintenance, the deck and aft bulkheads are designed to be quickly and easily removed for major maintenance or equipment overhauls.
Tropic Fly’s Capt. Gabriel Ortega invited me to the bridge, where he walked me through the boat’s electronics package of three Garmin multifunction displays, Garmin 25 kW radar and Icom VHF radios with AIS integration, a Simrad sonar, and controls for the Seakeeper and NiteTrak low-light night-vision system, handy for those all-night chugs out to the seamounts. There’s plenty of bench-style seating along each side and also forward of the helm, with ample storage throughout.
I settled into the Release Marine Carolina Series helm chair as Ortega ran us offshore from Los Sueños, putting the 45 through her paces. At his preferred trolling speed of 7.2 knots, Tropic Fly produced a very clean wake with hardly any turbulence, as expected.
Bumping up the throttles to 10 knots, we burned 6.5 gallons an hour per side at 1,180 rpm. At 2,120 rpm, Tropic Fly loped along at 25 knots, burning 25 gallons an hour per side; she topped out at 32 knots and 2,500 rpm, in a loaded-for-fishing condition. She’ll also do better than 7 knots in reverse while spinning on a dime, more than a match for nearly any light-tackle blue marlin.
As with all Maverick Yachts Costa Rica vessels, the 45 can be built in Costa Rica and shipped anywhere in the world as a completely turnkey fishing boat, or they will build the hull and then ship it to your destination of choice to be completed.
Now part of the busy Fly Boats charter fleet working out of Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Tropic Fly is a heck of a ride—one that is well worth the price of admission.
Maverick Yachts 45 Specs
- LOA: 45’
- Beam: 15’2”
- Draft: 4’2”
- Displ: 32,300 lb.
- Fuel: 700 gal.
- Water: 100 gal.
- Power: Cummins QSM11
- Gear/Ratio: ZF 325A / 1.73:1
- Propellers: Veem, 4-Blade
- Paint: Awlgrip Mint Turquoise
- Climate Control: Webasto