Brunswick (owner of Sea Ray, Whaler and Mercury) launches entry-level boat brand.
“A gear to explore the water on your own terms”—these are the words the builders at Veer Boats use to describe their new 13-foot-rotomolded boat called the X13 (starting at $12,000). When you take into account that the boat has a draft of just over 6 inches and a narrow hull—both attributes appropriate for shallow and tight squeezing water passages, the motto makes sense.
“For someone who’s never owned a boat this is a great way to get into [the sport] that’s not intimidating,” Directory of Strategy Matthew Atilano said. “It’s also a fishing oriented boat that fits the needs of those who have bigger boats but need something smaller for trawling.”
So whether new to boating and looking for a safe start, or just needing a tender on deck that you can shove off for some fishing in a harder to reach halibut hole, the X13, available this spring, could be a smart option.
The boat comes in with two outboard choices—the standard Mercury 9.9-hp, or the Mercury Avator 7.5e electric outboard. The standard gas engine will get you decent range, but the electric alternate, like any battery powered engine, has its hang ups.
“For the Avator 7.5e, the range question is one we’ve gotten a lot here; it’s really about what your application is,” Atilano said. “You’re looking at roughly an hour of range. But this is best for an open fresh water body of water trawling and you need to get to and from somewhere in 15 minutes.”
It’s a boat to use when you’re not in a hurry to get somewhere, Atilano noted, adding that from a performance standpoint, the acceleration from the electric engine is roughly comparable to a 3.5-hp gas motor, topping at 4.3 knots at wide open.
“Your range is five miles at wide open, but if you’re running at 50 percent throttle, you’re looking at three to five hours range. You could easily get 20 miles worth of range if the speed doesn’t matter,” Atilano added.
As far as stability goes, Brunswick’s team believes the X13 will surprise people. Although it’s certainly a small boat, because of its foam filled build, the X13 boasts a sturdy structure, with plenty of structural analysis to back its claim. The only caveat here may lie with heat retention.
“In comparison to fiberglass [boats], the X13 does retain a good amount of heat, but that’s why we’ve got a marine mat on it, and we’re avoiding darker colors—going with colors that are more friendly to the fact that they could change in the sun,” Atilano said.
In months to come this year, Brunswick says they will be releasing even more electric outboard options, available in higher horsepower and speeds closer to a typical 9.9-hp gas outboard.