Fishing features come from experience on the water
Back in 1983, Scott Deal was living the dream in south Florida, working for Xerox and fishing the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park on his days off with legendary angler Herman Lucerne. Deal spent a lot of his free time pursuing snook, redfish and tarpon in super shallow water at a period when light-tackle sight fishing was in its infancy and specialized boats for the technique were limited to two companies.
In 1985, Scott decided to leave the copier business and partner with his brother Troy, another hardcore light-tackle fisherman to start their own boat company dedicated to manufacturing the best shallow-water boats on the planet. Scott committed full time to the project and turned his attention to detail and the features that would make their boats more angler friendly. They acquired the legendary hull and deck tooling of the shallow water skiff called Maverick, kept the manufacturing plant in Fort Pierce, Fla., and launched Maverick Boat Company (MBC) and would forever change the sport of shallow-water fishing in saltwater.
Each Maverick was custom built to order, and Scott would travel the state, more often than not taking potential customers fishing to show firsthand the versatility of these great skiffs. Within two years, the Maverick hull had established a reputation as the premier shallow water fishing skiff, and as word grew, so did the demand.
By the late 1980s, shallow-water light-tackle fishing was experiencing a boom, as anglers in other areas of Florida began to utilize the fishing techniques developed in the Keys, and in turn the boats that helped establish them. New models were developed to meet specific regional requirements, but the custom, hands-on factory direct approach remained. Eventually, it became clear that although customers really enjoyed the custom approach, many were simply unwilling to wait six to eight months to get a boat. Many also wanted support from a local dealer who could take a trade in, provide financing, and who could service their boat and motor. In response to growing demand, Maverick Boat Company acquired Hewes Boats, the other leading name in shallow-water fishing boats in 1989 from original owner Bob Hewes. With the purchase of Hewes, Maverick Boat Company now built and sold the two most popular flats boat brands in the country and set about building a dealer network for Hewes
Armed with vision, talent, technical expertise and a passion for light-tackle fishing, the MBC design team pushed the envelope of Maverick skiff and Hewes backcountry boat designs to new limits. MBC continued to create major improvements making the boats lighter, stronger, faster and safer, while keeping the Hewes spirit and 50-year legacy of experience, innovation, quality and value.
While on a trip to Texas, where anglers regularly cross large stretches of open water, often in heavy wind conditions, Deal came up with the idea for the Pathfinder Bay Boat, drawing the original concept on an envelope during dinner.
The Pathfinder’s ability to run in bigger water with more capacity for crew, storage, fuel and horsepower allowed the Maverick Boat Company team to incorporate never before seen fishability features into a family friendly bay boat. With more freeboard, range and unparalleled performance, today’s Pathfinder remains the nation’s most popular bay boat, a title held since its introduction in 1998.
In 2005, the venerable Cobia brand name was added to MBC’s growing family of sport fishing boats. The MBC team stepped up to the challenge to bring this respected 50-year-old name in recreational boating into a new age of design, technology and fishing experience. MBC stunned the boating industry by revamping the entire Cobia model line, radically improving construction technologies and adding MBC inspired “ground up” new Cobia models. All this in the first year.
By taking the same angler friendly features and construction techniques that go into every MBC hull and adapting them to the Cobia Boat models, MBC demonstrably improved on an already solid product. Larger, more efficient livewells, stronger transoms, metal backing plates and larger storage compartments are just a few of the improvements that helped “Maverick Up” the Cobia models. Today, the Cobia brand is comprised of nine models from 20 to 34 feet and is achieving unprecedented growth. The boats are all completely new designs and are pushing industry standards with smart, family fishing focused layouts and high performance running capabilities.
The crew at MBC has always been dedicated to giving back to the waters and the fish that have fueled their passion and provided inspiration for their shallow water boats. In 2006, MBC CEO Scott Deal was given the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Florida’s first lifetime achievement award for his and MBC’s involvement in successful conservation initiatives like the Ban the Nets campaign and many others.
All Maverick, Hewes, Pathfinder and Cobia boats are still built with the kind of craftsmanship and commitment to quality that is reminiscent of when the two Deal brothers first started the business. That commitment and cutting-edge construction materials and the highest quality components available make any MBC designed and built boat unmatched in its class.
Today, the passion to build the most legendary boats ever to prowl a saltwater flat has created the world’s leading manufacturer of light-tackle fishing boats. With their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce, Fla., MBC now produces four of the most prestigious name brands in light-tackle fishing boats, Maverick, Hewes, Pathfinder and Cobia and 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of MBC.
MBC continues its commitment to deliver unmatched quality, functionality and safety in the marine industry. They adopted National Marine Manufacturers Association and American Boat & Yacht Council Boat Construction Standards two years before they were considered mandatory for membership in the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association. MBC officers sit on numerous boating industry boards and advisory committees aimed to strengthen the industry by enhancing the customer experience through better quality products, higher levels of service and easily available access to the water.
But no matter how much MBC grows, one thing will never change. They will always be a company of anglers building boats for anglers. From professional guides to tournament anglers, from weekend fisherman to newcomers, MBC offers more than legendary designs and high quality boats. They offer a special connection to boat owners to get out on the water and experience the outdoors with friends and family and to do it with safety and confidence.