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Bass Cat with a 400 HP Mercury

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I went fishing at Loxahatchee National Preserve and a guy pulls up with a new Bass Cat with a new 400 HP MERCURY racing engine.  I was shocked to see a bass boat with that much power on the back.  He said it will run 90 all day long, but he hasn't opened it up fully yet. .  As a long time bass boat owner, and a south Florida fisherman, I would be afraid of hitting a gator that will never be able to get out of the way in time.   Big gators barely get out of the way of my boat, and it only goes 55 MPH.  I loved the boat, and would be thrilled to take it for a spin, but how fast is too fast on the water.   I'm sure we will be seeing more and more of these big bass boats with monster engines in the future.  After 40 years of fishing I know shallow weedy lakes are just full of all types of hazards.

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Up here, we've got snapping turtles the size of garbage can lids...it one of those at 90 MPH and you're lookin' at a new lower unit...if you're lucky...

...and there's not enough of them sticking out of the water for you to see them before it's too late.

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There's such a thing as too fast for me. My boat only runs 55 but I feel most comfortable cruising 40-45. When I fished as a non-boater in boats that ran 70-80 (and a Gambler that was going too fast for me to feel comfortable enough to even glance at the speedo), I never enjoyed going that fast on the water. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I've also been in a boat that hit a wave funny and nearly threw us all out, and we were only going 50. Also speared a wave in a boat much bigger than mine, thought we were sunk. Couple of the scariest moments of my life that would have been worse if we'd been in a bass boat going much faster.

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Oh come on guys! I love it ;)

I've been in a few Allison's & Bullet's on Toledo Bend that run in the 90s, mid-70s is probably normal.

I run a 1652 Alweld Mod-V that'll hit 50 ;)

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Yeah no thanks.  Spending a ton of money just so I can kill myself being over the top for no reason at all doesn't sound like a sound course of action.  

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Never been in a boat going 90 to tell you the truth, but then - never wanted to either! I'm never in that big of a hurry on the water...

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As cool as it is to go fast when it gets to that point it's dangerous. There are too many hidden hazards, boat wakes, and other boaters out there. My uncle used to have a 21 foot Gambler with a 300 on it. I never got to run it wide open, but had been in it running into the mid 80's and that was plenty fast for me.

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No comment - y'all can see my avatar, lol.

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I see most agree that 400 HP is over kill.  I think most of us are just not equipped to deal with the reaction time to control a boat at those types of speeds.  Throw in a little chime walk and your putting yourself and passenger at risk.  Professional racers might feel comfortable, but not the novice fisherman.  Yamaha just came out with a 450 engine, I wonder how many have already been rigged on a bass boat.  I'm sure a Lanier Catamaran might be able to handle it.  It would be interesting to watch it run.

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Given that some of these new boats weigh in excess of 3500 lbs., I don't see it as excessive, for the enthusiast driver.  The same argument can be said for high performance cars.  My hull may be close to 22' (21' 10" to be exact), but it only weighs 1280 lbs.  That's one of the heavier versions, with a dual console.  400 hp would be silly on my boat, never mind that they perform better using the small block 2.5L plant.  I can get 85+ mph with a certain prop and set up, though I prefer my current setup that sacrifices top end for hole shot and plane speed.  Driving is always a matter of incremental increases.  I started and couldn't get over 65.  I've driven a 20' Bullet over 90, a competition hull, set up for top end speed.  Obviously, no one goes out and buys a Porsche 911 GT3, and expects to run it at the edge in traffic first time out.  Same goes bass boats.

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Maybe he was compensating for other things.  I have no interest in a motor that large since most sanctioned tournaments won't let you operate a boat with a motor over 250.  I can do 70 with my 225 without starting to chime walk, fast enough to get me where I want to be, but I bet if he has an accident, that guy will be the first one on the scene at least 15-20min before anyone else.

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

Given that some of these new boats weigh in excess of 3500 lbs., I don't see it as excessive, for the enthusiast driver.  The same argument can be said for high performance cars.  My hull may be close to 22' (21' 10" to be exact), but it only weighs 1280 lbs.  That's one of the heavier versions, with a dual console.  400 hp would be silly on my boat, never mind that they perform better using the small block 2.5L plant.  I can get 85+ mph with a certain prop and set up, though I prefer my current setup that sacrifices top end for hole shot and plane speed.  Driving is always a matter of incremental increases.  I started and couldn't get over 65.  I've driven a 20' Bullet over 90, a competition hull, set up for top end speed.  Obviously, no one goes out and buys a Porsche 911 GT3, and expects to run it at the edge in traffic first time out.  Same goes bass boats.

That boat weighs in under 2,200 pounds.

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19 hours ago, geo g said:

I went fishing at Loxahatchee National Preserve and a guy pulls up with a new Bass Cat with a new 400 HP MERCURY racing engine.  I was shocked to see a bass boat with that much power on the back.  He said it will run 90 all day long, but he hasn't opened it up fully yet. .  As a long time bass boat owner, and a south Florida fisherman, I would be afraid of hitting a gator that will never be able to get out of the way in time.   Big gators barely get out of the way of my boat, and it only goes 55 MPH.  I loved the boat, and would be thrilled to take it for a spin, but how fast is too fast on the water.   I'm sure we will be seeing more and more of these big bass boats with monster engines in the future.  After 40 years of fishing I know shallow weedy lakes are just full of all types of hazards.

Tell you what George, he definitely will not be opening up on LOX with the posted limit of 35 mph.... lol!! 

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2 hours ago, geo g said:

That boat weighs in under 2,200 pounds.

Even better. Sounds like fun. Performance boats aren't everyone's cup of tea, I get it. Time and a place. Thanks for the info on the weight. Sounds scary fast. 

21 minutes ago, BassinLou said:

Tell you what George, he definitely will not be opening up on LOX with the posted limit of 35 mph.... lol!! 

The bay by my house is 25 mph limit. It's painful when your the only one on the lake. And yes, the sheriff runs speed traps on the water. 

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4 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Even better. Sounds like fun. Performance boats aren't everyone's cup of tea, I get it. Time and a place. Thanks for the info on the weight. Sounds scary fast. 

The bay by my house is 25 mph limit. It's painful when your the only one on the lake. And yes, the sheriff runs speed traps on the water. 

Loxahatchee is a big 20 square mile swamp with a rim canal running around it.  They have had speed traps set up on the levee to catch speeders.  No other body of water has a speed limit other then this one.  It is a federal preserve !

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Hopefully he obeys the laws!  I know it only took once for me to learn this lesson. Apparently a speeding ticket is a speeding ticket. Affects insurance on two vehicles. That was a long time ago, way before I had this or my Xpress. I wait until a calm day, and head from the bay to Lake Ontario where it's wide open, and safe to run wide out. 

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On 8/2/2016 at 6:40 PM, J Francho said:

Even better. Sounds like fun. Performance boats aren't everyone's cup of tea, I get it. Time and a place. Thanks for the info on the weight. Sounds scary fast. 

The bay by my house is 25 mph limit. It's painful when your the only one on the lake. And yes, the sheriff runs speed traps on the water. 

Jon's "Time and a place" remark covers it for me.  There are places on the larger lakes I fish where 90 could be done during low traffic hours.  My boat has hit 72 with just me and about a third of a tank of fuel on a calm lake surface.  With two people and a full tank I'm hitting 66 - 68 depending on how rough the water is.  However, with the winds that we have and the waves from the boat traffic it often isn't safe unless I trim down a bit and go 40 - 50 mph.  I've taken air a few times in the past trying to go faster than the conditions warrant and that's not a comfortable or safe feeling.

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20 minutes ago, senile1 said:

However, with the winds that we have and the waves from the boat traffic it often isn't safe unless I trim down a bit and go 40 - 50 mph

There are times when I won't even go on plane on the bay by my house. It's like a bathtub in an 8.0 earthquake!

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4 minutes ago, J Francho said:

There are times when I won't even go on plane on the bay by my house. It's like a bathtub in an 8.0 earthquake!

 I've had that happen now and then on Smithville close to KC when everybody and their brother are out on the main lake for water sports or just running their bigger boats.  It's not much fun moving about when you can't even go on plane!

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My last boat was a Z22 with a 300 Merc on it.  Although it could go faster, I was plenty happy putzing around at 50-55.  Same will go for the new boat.  It's nice to know you have it there if you need it though. 

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At 65 miles long x 15 miles wide & marked boat lines Toledo Bend offers ample opportunities to run any boat at WOT.

Not only how fast you can go on straightaways but there's plenty of cornering if various degree including hairpins.

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