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Checkmate Going Small

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Old 09-23-2010, 07:29 AM
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Many moons ago, Checkmate used to make a 16' outboard, I think 'maybe' even a 14' OB as well. The hulls had some, errr, problems in those years. But they looked like a blast.
They actually made an even smaller one. I forget the model name and specs, but it was around 10 feet long with seating for two and even had a tiny radar arch. There used to be half of one stuck right to the front of one of the Checkmate facilities in Ohio.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:02 AM
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My first boat was a 185 pulse with a 2.5 on it. Should have never sold it. I can't buy a jet ski for what I got for it. I had alot of fun, but it was a handful much above 60. Doug
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:18 AM
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My first boat was a 185 pulse with a 2.5 on it. Should have never sold it. I can't buy a jet ski for what I got for it. I had alot of fun, but it was a handful much above 60. Doug
I think it might be prudent to better define “driver’s boat” here. My 20’ Checkmate required a good deal of skill to drive with a 225 Yamaha on it. I guess that might qualify it as a driver’s boat. On the other hand, even with a very experienced hand driving it, there was definitely an evil side to it. For instance, drive it too hard into a turn, and it would spin out with little or no warning. And, my motor wasn’t very far up the transom on the jack plate.

I consider my 22’ Progression to be a driver’s boat – but for a very different reason. Yes, it takes a practiced hand to make it sing. But when you do, there’s very little in the way of evil surprises. Crank it into a turn as hard as you want – and it just digs in and goes. I often say it’s like driving a Formula One car on the street. I think the big difference between this boat and the Checkmate is how much it communicates with the driver. The Progression is more hard wired to my nerve endings.

When you exceed the rating of a hull, like a Pulse 185 with a 2.5 on it, I’d suggest its well beyond “driver’s boat” territory because there just isn’t anybody who’s going to be able to drive it. Man, that must have been one sphincter puckering mother to drive!

BTW: Some of the most fun boats I’ve ever driven haven’t required a ton of skill to drive.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:19 PM
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My first boat was a 185 pulse with a 2.5 on it. Should have never sold it. I can't buy a jet ski for what I got for it. I had alot of fun, but it was a handful much above 60. Doug
I should have said it was a 175hp 2.5 it wasn't a 280hp. It took some nerve and skill to find its top end. I would have liked to have hydraulic steering than the dual cable, but I did have solid mounts on it. Alot of bang for the $ buck. Doug

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:21 PM
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I think it might be prudent to better define “driver’s boat” here. My 20’ Checkmate required a good deal of skill to drive with a 225 Yamaha on it. I guess that might qualify it as a driver’s boat. On the other hand, even with a very experienced hand driving it, there was definitely an evil side to it. For instance, drive it too hard into a turn, and it would spin out with little or no warning. And, my motor wasn’t very far up the transom on the jack plate.

I consider my 22’ Progression to be a driver’s boat – but for a very different reason. Yes, it takes a practiced hand to make it sing. But when you do, there’s very little in the way of evil surprises. Crank it into a turn as hard as you want – and it just digs in and goes. I often say it’s like driving a Formula One car on the street. I think the big difference between this boat and the Checkmate is how much it communicates with the driver. The Progression is more hard wired to my nerve endings.

When you exceed the rating of a hull, like a Pulse 185 with a 2.5 on it, I’d suggest its well beyond “driver’s boat” territory because there just isn’t anybody who’s going to be able to drive it. Man, that must have been one sphincter puckering mother to drive!

BTW: Some of the most fun boats I’ve ever driven haven’t required a ton of skill to drive.
Mine is more the latter.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:40 PM
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I should have said it was a 175hp 2.5 it wasn't a 280hp. It took some nerve and skill to find its top end. I would have liked to have hydraulic steering than the dual cable, but I did have solid mounts on it. Alot of bang for the $ buck. Doug
I used to sell Checkmates. I can fully agree with you when you say it was a handfull! That was one sweet looking boat too!
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:59 PM
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VTsteve,

I have an '82 16.5' checkmate with a 115 TOP merc. The boat is built like a tank but is a little scary to drive at top speed (about 60 gps). Some guys have bridgeports on these and are running low 80's. Definitely a wild ride, it has about a 6-8" pad in the stern you need to stay balanced on! Way more fun than my Convincor ever was, as long as it was calm!
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:16 PM
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There used to be quite a few of the smaller ones on Winnipesaukee, waaaaay back in the old days. Tall Mercs on the transom of what could be best described as hulls with a steering wheel.

Many split/cracked hulls. Very light boat pounding in the waves. Powerplays there weren't. But along with the Magnum Missiles, I loved them. 60-65 mph was very, very fast back then.
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