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Checkmate to Add Affordable 26-foot Sportboat

Checkmate Marine has completed the plug and is ready to build the hull mold for its new 26-foot-long closed-deck sportboat, according to Doug Smith, the owner and president of Bucryus, Ohio, company. Checkmate currently offers outboard and stern-drive-powered performance boats from 16 to 30 feet.

With a MerCruiser 8.2 engine—the model will also be offered with a MerCruiser 8.2 Mag or a Mercury Racing 525EFI—the boat will retail in the low $70,000 range (depending on additional options) and should run almost 70 mph. The model will include a flat transom and an add-on swim platform.

“We don’t quite know how long it will take to finish the deck because we also want to offer the 26 with outboard engine options,” Smith said. “You know, 80 percent of our boats are ordered with outboards. The (outboard-powered) 20-footer we did last year is booked out six weeks. We can’t keep up with it.”

Introduced last year, the Checkmate 2000BRX has been a top-selling model for the company.

Smith added that the 20-footer—dubbed the Pulsare 2000BRX— will serve as a test bed for a new economically priced 150-hp four-stroke outboard engine being developed by Mercury Marine. Smith said the new engine will accommodate either digital or lower-priced cable control.

“We’re supposed to get it in the next 45 days,” he said. “They’re going to be marketing it for small sport boats and bass boats. It will be the perfect motor for our 20.”

As for the coming 26-footer, Smith said he believes it will find an immediate home in the affordable, single-engine sportboat market.

“We think it will provide plenty of competition for the Baja,” he said.

Editor’s Note: Renderings for Checkmate’s new 26-footer were not available when this story went live.