Velocity 260 Bay Boat Test
The Velocity 260 Bay is an outboard-powered bay boat that Boating's top crew of editors sea-trialed and evaluated so that boaters-boat buyers especially-can learn the in-depth details about this boat's performance, construction and other features. Is it the right boat for you? Read on.
Boasting a pedigree that includes multiple speed records, the Velocity 260 Bay hull features a deep, chop-busting V at the bow, a stepped transom to limit bow rise, and a pad bottom to generate lift and reduce fuel consumption.
Clearing the no-wake zone, we slammed the throttle forward, and the 260 smoothly leapt onto plane, a Mercury 350 Verado outboard with lab-finished prop continuing to pour on the coal till the boat peaked at 65.9 mph. Dropping the trim a few notches and cranking the wheel at speed, we came about in knifelike fashion. Later, the term knife came to mind again as the hull sliced efficiently through the waves, reverse chines knocking down the spray while the 260 Bay produced a solid, quiet ride.
When it comes time to chase fish, the hull’s minimal draft, coupled with a standard Bob’s Machine Shop jack plate, enables the 260 Bay to hunt the flats. Three insulated fish boxes are at the ready to store your catch, two on the aft casting platform, and one larger, in-sole box with macerator forward. Livewells are placed both fore and aft. Rod lockers, as well as a large stowage box, hide below the 6-foot-long casting deck at the bow. Rod racks are under each gunwale.
There are two choices for helm seating: our test boat’s beefy, aluminum-tubed leaning post with flip-up bolsters, or a fiberglass-enclosed alternative. The former features two tackle drawers, the latter an enclosed tackle station.
The nicely faceted helm includes flat surfaces for two displays; on our test boat, the standard 9-inch -Mercury VesselView flat screen was paired with an optional Simrad GO9. Notably, jack-plate control is blinker-style behind the wheel. A standard Ritchie compass is stylishly integrated into the design.
A pair of flip-up jump seats are concealed beneath the aft platform, when passengers need a perch. A nicely padded seat with high backrest sits atop the RTIC cooler mounted in front of the console. Optional removable cushions can be added atop the forward deck.
- All parts, from the hull and deck to smaller components, are made with vacuum infusion or vacuum bagging for an advantageous strength-to-weight ratio.
- Gemlux friction hinges eliminate the need for gas hatch struts, and hinge stops guarantee hatches won’t mar the adjoining fiberglass.
- No raw painted glass here; all compartments are nicely finished off in gelcoat.
- JL Audio sound system includes an amplifier and Simrad interface.
- Leaning post and cooler seat could benefit from additional handholds, especially given the aggressive nature of the hull.
- Tiny storage compartment drain holes seem destined to plug with gunk.
- Prototype test boat porpoised a bit at high speed. Velocity says it will take steps to eliminate the glitch in production models.
Pathfinder’s 2600 HPS (starting at $105,120 with a 350 hp Yamaha outboard) likewise mixes go-fast speed, fishability and skinny-water ability.
Price: $123,560 (with Mercury 350 Verado)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 350 hp Verado 350
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Fury 4 14.5″ x 24″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 68 gal.
Crew Weight: 360 lb.
Velocity Powerboats - Sanford, Florida; 386-679-5682; velocityboats.com