With a history as an innovator in the marine industry dating back to the early seventies, Earl Bentz has a thing or two to say about how a boat should be put together. From racing boats to research and development, customer service to sales and marketing, right up the ladder to CEO and president; Mr. Bentz has been at the helm for a host of different periods in the evolution of bass and inshore fishing boats.
At what could be the pinnacle of his career in 2019; his latest endeavor, Caymas Boats was launched and the Caymas 26HB, their introductory model rolled through their doors. The 26HB is a Michael Peters Yacht Design hull featuring the SVVT (Stepped Vee Ventilated Tunnel) bottom which incorporates two air ventilated steps with a unique trailing tunnel whose vertical edges are designed to eliminate the slippage seen in high speed turning associated with some step hull designs. The 26HB certainly lived up to the hype in the performance department offering a solid, surefooted ride and exceptionally soft and dry high speed running in the ocean chop.
This layout that stems from years of experience building fishing boats for competitive anglers in both fresh and salt water offers no-nonsense functionality. A roomy foredeck provides plenty of workable foot room for multiple anglers and while fighting multiple billfish simultaneously on our test day we never had issues working four rods around the boat without bumping into one another. Beneath the deck forward are an anchor locker along with multiple insulated and dry storage compartments. A large hold on the upper deck as well as a second compartment under the lower deck with a recessed pocket to store a 5-gallon bucket complement a pair of secure rod lockers under family friendly U-shaped seating to port and starboard and an additional hold at the centerline below the seat as well. A drink box is located under the forward console seat and a thick padded backrest is attached to the console.
The console is large enough to handle a standard included potty and offers enough headroom for the women and kids to change into swimwear privately. The console features a large dash panel with enough surface area to accommodate a pair of 12-inch MFD’s and all instrumentation easily. A convertible helm seat and companion chair provide excellent visibility both standing and from a seated position.
The cockpit casting deck is comfortable and roomy enough to stand on while offshore should an elevation advantage be required to deploy a bait into your spread or better see fish crossing your wake. At opposite corners to port and starboard are matching 32-gallon live wells which flank a wide and comfortable flip-up bench seat at center. Wide open access to your bilge systems is available through this hatch as well; all reachable beneath a lift out storage bin. A pair of integrated platforms at the transom are available for boarding and a folding stainless boarding ladder is attached to starboard.
Accessories such as a 36V trolling motor and twin PowerPoles, fresh and raw washdown, LED courtesy and compartment lighting, along with quality stainless deck hardware combine to heighten the attractive appearance of this versatile rig. Sailing offshore full of anticipation at eye watering speed in the morning had us curious about what the day and this new design would have to offer. After battling multiple sailfish seen funneling sardines under the Caymas 26HB all morning, all parties agreed that this boat exceeded our expectations in spades.
Caymas 26HB Specifications
Length: 25-feet 6-inches
Maximum Horsepower: 400
Fresh water: 9-gallons
Base price: $120,000