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2020 Velocity 260 Bay

A high-performance bay boat.

April 20, 2020
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Overview

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.

Velocity 260 Bay running shot
The 260 Bay mixes knifelike handling with numerous fishing amenities. Courtesy Velocity Powerboats

Engine

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.

Velocity 260 Bay helm
On our test boat, the standard 9-inch ­Mercury ­VesselView flat screen was paired with an optional ­Simrad GO9. Courtesy Velocity Powerboats

Interior and Accessories

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.

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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.

Velocity 260 Bay storage
Rod lockers, as well as a large stowage box, hide below the 6-foot-long casting deck at the bow. Courtesy Velocity Powerboats

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.

Velocity 260 Bay forward seating
A nicely padded seat with high backrest sits atop the RTIC cooler. Courtesy Velocity Powerboats

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.

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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.

High Points

  • 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.

Low Points

  • 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.

Toughest Competitor

Pathfinder’s 2600 HPS (starting at $105,120 with a 350 hp Yamaha outboard) likewise mixes go-fast speed, fishability and skinny-water ability.

Pricing and Specs

Price: $123,560 (with Mercury 350 Verado)
LOA: 26’0″
Beam: 8’1″
Draft (max): 1’2″
Displacement: 2,350 lb.
Bridge Clearance: 5’1″
Fuel Capacity: 80 gal.
Max Horsepower: 350
Available Power: Single outboards to 350 hp

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Velocity 260 Bay Performance Data
Velocity 260 Bay Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Velocity Powerboats – Sanford, Florida; 386-679-5682; velocityboats.com

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