Author Topic: Bass Cat new Hybrid - Champion hull / Puma Top Cap  (Read 120 times)


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Bass Cat new Hybrid - Champion hull / Puma Top Cap
« on: October 17, 2019, 02:00:07 PM »

Matt Mosher‎

Bass Cat Boat Owners Group

Disclaimer: I知 not a boat salesman, dealer or have any affiliation with BassCat Boats other than being a new customer and a fan of the new Hybrid hull. I have no dog in this fight and profit exactly ZERO. I知 not a journalist or English professor so bear with me. I知 not a professional boat driver or fisherman but know my way around both. I was fortunate enough to be raised in the bass boat business with my father, grandfather, 4 uncles and mother all working for ChampioN at one time or another from the start in 1975 until the mid 80痴 when pops got out of the biz. I知 about a hardcore ChampioN fan as they come and vowed to own only ChampioNs over the years. Time changes and ChampioN is no longer, sad day when they shut the door for the last time. Well folks, a new door has opened and I値l try to do my best to tell you what I know.

In 2011-12 ish we saw the demise of ChampioN through the bankruptcy in Tennessee, new purchase with P&E, moving them and Stratos to Flippin, rebadging of the ChampioN hulls as Stratos, the outrage and rejection from the ChampioN faithful and the eventual killing of the brand by P&E. The final nail in the coffin is when White River bought them out and kept Ranger and Triton but killed off Stratos as well, but still own ChampioN and Stratos in name. Then, did the same to Legend. Shame all three made a nice rig.

The Hybrid project started around 2007 when a 203 and 181 ChampioN boats (No, there is no plans to proceed with the 181 at this time) were bought to tinker with. BCB shelved them for a few years and tinkered around. Around 2011-2012 when the above issues were going on they started tinkering around a little more seriously. I caught wind of this at the TOC on Table Rock when they became a sponsor and were giving out demo rides. My ears were now perked up. Around 2013-2014 they proceeded with the opportunity to morph a ChampioN hull intertwined with BassCat Puma top cap, technology and modernization. They took the 203 running surface, cutting a mold from it and sewed it to the Puma top cap. Interesting concept? Yup, I thought so too. Now I really started watching and listening for the whispers of this rig. Around 2013 2014 a Prototype was cut and tested and tinkered with, then shelved, almost released, shelved and tinkered with some more, and again, and again over multiple years. In the meantime, 5 new BCB hulls were designed and introduced.

I was fortunate enough to run this Hybrid hull in 4 different test phases over the course of the past 6 years. From my first test run I was hooked and ready to put my money where my mouth was. The emails to Rick began, for the first 3 years. The last time I ran it Rick and I were standing at the dock and he asked me 添a think we could get you in this? A deal was struck up and the handshake deal was done. So, the emails went from once every 3 or 4 months to once a month, for another THREE YEARS. I had a ton of questions, a ton of pestering, begging to get the hull finished and soon introduced into production. The last 6 months the emails were weekly then daily. Realize, since this project started over the years a few things have changed most importantly the new Mercury 4 strokes, larger fuel cells and the bigger, heavier trolling motors. Rick had to make corrections for all of these and from my understanding there were some road bumps along the way. 4 weeks ago he asked what I wanted on it. Now things got serious. After my face stopped twitching I chose to upgrade from the 250 Pro XS 2 stroke to the 300 Pro XS Mercury 4 stroke and the Ultrex. Why the 300? Because it痴 my first brand new rig, I had the money, my hard-core tourney days are over, I keep my boats for years , it痴 my money AND I wanted it. He tried talking me out of it but I wasn't having it. The Ultrex was a no brainer. Single console cause I知 done with duals. I could have ordered one but didn稚 even want it cause it壇 collect dust in my garage. 3 weeks ago I got the final nod that she was done ready to pick up.

So I headed down to Bills Marine in Monett Missouri and got the paper work done. They池e great folks and Jeff really took care of me. I was in and out in an hour leaving with my empty piggy bank and lots of excitement. I headed south to BCB to pick her up. I can稚 say the governor in my truck didn稚 kick in a few times on the way Midway Arkansas and I was willing to pay the speeding tickets.

I get to the plant and check er out. I took it out and water tested it over the course of two days, tested a few props and settings. Rick, Jason and I run it and I was asked my opinion and I gave it. Rick listened, said he knew what the issue was and it would take him an hour and half to make a tweak. So back to BCB we go. Now mind you Rick, the president of BCB, personally took my rig off my truck, hooked it to a tractor and took it back to his secret shop, personally. An hour and half later he pulls it out, covered in dust, points to the lake and says 斗et痴 go. And we did.

The small adjustment was all she needed (and by small, I mean like a シ of an inch), she was loose, fast with a lots of lift, just like a ChampioN needs. A hand shake and a hug later and I was on my way back home a very happy camper. My three-year handshake deal and 6 year wait was finally done. Folks, it痴 a rarity that a person's word and a handshake go as far as they do anymore. I never had any doubt with Mr. Pirece or BCB. This should tell you something about the person and business.

Was sent home with a prop or two to test out as well as my own Mark Croxin 25P Tempest. For the next two weeks I did back to back tourneys on LOZ and Table Rock taking my time breaking the engine in. I left Mt. Home with it spinning a 24 4 bladed Bravo. I壇 never run one before but it痴 a solid prop. Reminds me of the of Trophy. I used it for the majority of the engine break in and to get me through the two tourneys. The weekend of Lake of the Ozarks didn稚 disappoint for rough water. It got really nasty but the Hybrid ate it up. I致e never having had a rig with a hotfoot or power steering so it痴 taking some getting used to. I really not a fan of the hotfoot but game on.

Length: 203

Beam: 94 - The top cap is a bunch wider than the original 203 but not as large as the widebodies.

Plate: 8 inch Detweiler Hydro

Hole Shot: 3-4 seconds depending on load and prop

Fuel cells: 2, 25 Gallon REAR tanks

Livewells: 30 gallon single unit, divided

Top Cap: BCB Puma, they will also have the Cougar top cap as an option. Both will come available in the SP packages or custom orders. I知 probably not the person to ask about this and it痴 best if you contact a dealer or BCB.

Prop to Pad: Unknown, I didn稚 measure it because of the hydro plate (This is also a new one for me). Really nice option I didn稚 ask for and makes prop testing a snap.

Set up: Relatively easy as I just went from my previous experience with the 202/203 Champs and used what my butt was telling me for plate adjustments. Lift and loose is fast with a Champ. This hull will tell you what she wants relatively easy.

Prop(s): (all props tested were tournament loaded, live wells wet and full of fuel). Once I got her home the lake closest to me is only 200 acers and shaped like a horseshoe so I have to be real careful with speed runs. I plan on getting to bigger waters soon and a bunch more once deer gun season is over.

24 4 blade Bravo, Max RPMs low 70痴, it痴 a good workhorse or rough water prop. It値l be good for the guy who really doesn稚 care about speed but fishing rough water a lot. I had to really play with plugs to dial in my hole shot. This prop/hull combo want all the holes plugged.

25P Tempest, 6150 (ish) RPMs High 70痴, real close to touching the 80 mark. All holes plugged.

26P Tempest (out of the box) was a major dud as most are. This one's going to get worked and pretty sure she値l be the ticket and get me to the 80痴

24P Fury 3, 6150 (ish) RPMs, High 70痴, real close to touching the 80 mark, I haven稚 much experience with the Fury and it痴 real aggressive. It surprised me as most the older Champs don稚 care for them. Zero holes plugged.

24P Furry 4, Max RPM痴 low 70痴, not real impressive on top end or hole shot, this one stayed at BCB.

It appears the Tempest and Fury are the speed prop for this set up. The 25P Fury will be the next test after the 26P Tempest gets back.

Low Range Speed stay on Plane: 18-19 MPH (still getting used to the hotfoot)

Mid-Range Speed: Amazeballs, from 35-70 she値l rip your cheeks off. The new Mercury 4 Strokes are the real deal. (This is also my first 4 stroke)

Expected/Predicted Top Speed (my opinion only) Tournament loaded:

With this 300 Mercury Pro XS, low 80痴

With a 250 Mercury Pro XS high 70痴

Turning: Everything you壇 expect in a Champion hull. Wrist over elbow turns, no slipping.

Ride: Smooth and dry

She値l do everything the old school Champion Demo rides can do. In rough water the spray blows out sideways like a Cat rather than up and out like a Champ. I found that interesting and kinda diggin it. IMO I think it痴 a smoother and dryer ride then the 203 and my beloved 202. I put it closer to the 201 which is arguably the smoothest 20 foot rig ever made. YOU CAN over trim this similar to the Cats. If you do, you値l know cause she値l get squirrely, bump it down two bumps on the trim from full trim and that痴 your sweet spot. There痴 really not much of a learning curve if you池e used to the 201/202/203 Champs. Throttle and trim it as I've said and you値l be smooth sailing. Overall straight line speeds is more like the 202 equally powered, than the 203. Overall performance in all conditions is truly impressive folks.

Stability: Extremely stable at rest and fishing. More stable than any of the widebody Champs I致e ever fished out of and no comparison to the skinny Champs of old. Yes, Pat Goff, she値l still roll off stumps like the old Champs do and not hang up. This test was done by accident several times on LOZ and Table Rock. Never have to fire up the main engine, she値l just slip off with the TM. Gone are the rollies the skinny Champs had. My old 202 was prone to this if you put a big boy in the back doing Chris Farely cartwheels you壇 better be sitting down if you池e up front. Sitting at idle she lays flatter on the water than the old skinny Champs which will really help for those of you wanting to hang stuff of the back. Ricks done a ton of work to find a balance of new technology with old technology and morphing them together to get the overall performance that the Champ folks want and expect. This hull is capable of adding or subtracting all the new gadgets that have become popular with today's modern bass boats but would make the older Champ hulls suffer ie adding basketballs to jackplates etc. We now can run the heavier engines, TM and larger fuel cells without much effort. This hull is not as weight sensitive as the 203 and relatively easy to set up like the old 202痴 are. IMO what he痴 done is similar to what Alan Stinson did when he tweaked the 206 hull to create the 210. Rick just did it in different ways with a different hull, with different performance characteristics and expectations of his own.

This is the hull you池e wanting if you池e looking for a modern ride and performance like the old Mt. Home made skinny Champs. It痴 the ONLY production hull that runs and rides anything like em. Period. Trust me, I致e looked.

The build, and construction, quality and customer service is all BCB, from the rooter to the tooter. BCB reputation speaks for itself.

This hull is going to make a heck of a cross over rig for those looking for everything I just tried to humbly described. While it may not be for everyone, it痴 everything to someone. Namely me and the old skool ChampioN folks who love that type of performance.

If you池e looking for the ride and performance of a Mt. Home made skinny Champ then the Hybrid is the hull for you. If you池e looking for a new rig, I encourage you all to get demo rides with every major brand and multiple models. Then go visit the plants for some tours. Heck you could visit at least 5 different boat manufacturers on the Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri boarder alone, in a day if you hustled.

Thank you Bills Marine, Monett MO, for a simple, easy purchase.

Thank you BCB

Thank you, Rick, for keeping your word.

Thanks for reading folks.

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