There are skippers who insist on being first at the buoy come sunrise, and they’re often saddled with a crew that wants to sleep on the way out. The Hydra-Sports 2600 Vector may be one compromise boat that doesn’t…well…compromise. The boat offers impressive performance: It topped out at 53.5 mph in our runs with a crew of four and full fuel. It also delivers on comfort, with a large cabin boasting 6’4″ of headroom, a full head, shower, galley, and a second bunk tucked under the helm station.
Our test boat was equipped with OMC’s 200-hp Ficht Evinrudes, the ideal package, delivering excellent fuel economy (2.6 mpg at 3500 rpm) as well as impressive performance all the way from the holeshot to the top end. ** **
Like all Hydra-Sports, the 2600 Vector has a completely wood-free structure, including molded fiberglass stringers and a high-density foam/woven roving sandwich forming the transom. Decks and hatches are composed of fiberglass and foam; the walking surfaces don’t flex. The hull, a 23-degree deep-V with slightly reversed chines, is straight off the 2596 center console. Converting a center-console hull to a walkaround often meets with limited success; the added weight forward created by the cabin (about 1,700 pounds here) can make these combinations bow heavy. I didn’t find that to be the case at all with the 2600 Vector. The bow lifts nicely, particularly as you trim the engines at higher rpm. At full speed, the feeling is almost like running a bass boat on a pad, with a light and responsive steering wheel. When you encounter rough water, a touch of the standard tabs, which are tucked away in transom pockets, drops the sharp bow and softens the ride. Still, you wouldn’t want to run a slalom course this way – the weight forward causes the bow to dig if you turn too sharply with the tabs down.
Toerails around the cockpit are a nice touch. They’re worth a lot as you lean over the gunwale to revive a tired sailfish, and they’re good to brace against when the water is rough. Our boat had the optional hardtop ($5,000), worth the money in terms of shade and a place to mount electronics and rocket launchers. But a Bimini top comes standard. With twin 200 Fichts, the 2600 Vector lists for $91,970. Competitors? The Aquasport 27 goes for $93,045 with twin 225-hp Ficht Evinrudes.
LAST WORD. Built by fishermen for fishermen – even those who want to snooze.
Beam……….9’7″ ** **
Draft……….2’6″ ** **
Displacement (lbs., approx.) ……….6,950 ** **
Transom deadrise ……….23° ****
Bridge clearance ……….7’0″ ****
Minimum cockpit depth…..2’4″ ****
Max. cabin headroom…..6’4″ ****
Fuel capacity (gal.) ……….236 ****
Water capacity (gal.)…..31 ****
Price (w/o power) ……….$68,000 ****
Price (w/test power) ……….$91,970 ****
STANDARD POWER: None.
OPTIONAL POWER: Twin outboards to 450 hp total.
TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 200-hp Evinrude Ficht Ram V-6 outboards with 183 cid, 3.69″ bore x 2.86″ stroke, swinging 14 3/4″ x 19″ three-bladed ss props through 1.86:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Welded aluminum bowrails; anchor roller and windlass; 38-gal. baitwell; Bimini top; trim tabs; hydraulic steering; fresh/raw-water washdown; galley with sink and butane stove; stand-up head with shower and sink; folding stern seat.