Lamenting the loss of smaller performance outboard boats? Try running Checkmate’s Pulsare 2400 CD (Closed Deck). With a Mercury Racing 300R outboard spinning a 27-inch-pitch four-blade Bravo One FS stainless-steel wheel through 1.75-to-1 gearing housed in a Sport Master gear case, we hit 73.1 mph with two people aboard and 40 gallons of fuel. Available also in a bowrider (BRX) version, the 2400 fills the bill for performance-hungry outboarders longing for speed and some amenities.
Checkmate updated the design to perform with modern power. The result is a 22-degree-deadrise hull with a narrow V-shaped pad and multiple lifting strakes. While there are faster hulls, the Checkmate does it all with aplomb. It will carry a family load, pull watersports, provide shelter, and deliver thrills. A few 2400s have been built with 400 and 450R power, providing speeds into the 80 to 90 mph range. With the 300R, we planed in 4 seconds and hit 30 mph in just over 6 seconds. That’s quick. Notably, at 50 mph, the engine sipped 12.2 gph, netting 4.1 mpg for 233 miles of range—a weekend’s worth.
The Pulsare handles precisely and quickly. Rougher waters—heavy wind chop and boat wakes—really let this boat shine. The ride was smooth and predictable.
Interior and Accessories
Built like an offshore racer, the Pulsare is hand-laid with composite core, a stringer grid, a transom and a liner. The small cabin proves plush and features a deep headliner and comfy cushions. In the cockpit, twin buckets form-fit to the captain and mate, and a wide aft bench accommodates a few more crew. SeaDek nonskid is custom-cut with Checkmate logos, and makes for a clean look and easy cleanup. The dash panel features a cluster of chrome-bezeled Livorsi electronic instruments with traditional hotrod-style analog dials. Twin Livorsi throttle and shift sticks control the big Merc. Ours featured an optional ski tow, Lenco electric trim tabs, and an Atlas hydraulic setback jack plate. Rigging under the dash, below the splashwell, and at the transom was executed with a clean, racelike touch—another of many reasons to like this boat.
How We Tested
- Engine: Single Mercury Racing 300R
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/151/4″ x 27″ Mercury Racing Bravo One FS, 4-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 40 gal. Crew Weight: 500 lb.
- Drop-dead-gorgeous styling will turn heads at every ramp, gas dock and raft-up.
- Eye-catching upholstery colors and designs coupled with high-quality stitching and vinyl make Checkmate interiors exceptional in quality and appearance.
- Race-worthy rigging and setup ensure a neat-as-a-pin appearance when it’s time to show off or perform maintenance.
- Low 70s is certainly a good turn of speed, but we’d hoped to see 80 mph.
Velocity’s 230SC ($127,000 with a Mercury Racing 300R) is a foot shorter but a close competitor. As equipped, it weighs 2,000 pounds, has a 50-gallon fuel cell, and tops out at 81 mph.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$126,610 (as tested)|
|Transom Deadrise:||22 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||63 gal.|
|Available Power:||Single Mercury or Mercury Racing outboards to 400 hp|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Checkmate Powerboats – Washington, North Carolina; 252-220-5119; checkmatepowerboat.com