The Velocity 260 Bay in Context
Many pure flats-fishing boats carry two or three people in minimal comfort with minimal gear so they can float and fish in just inches of water. Bay boats compromise that pure shallow-water fishing ability by adding room for more people and gear. They’re also often used for more than just fishing. Velocity’s 260 Bay is designed to fill multiple roles without sacrificing fishability, shoal draft, or choppy-water performance.The boat’s 12’’ to14’’ (3.66 m to 4.27 m) draft is ready to fish the flats on the morning tide and then become a family watersports boat or, with the 260’s deep-V hull, head offshore a bit when the bite is on.
Velocity Powerboats has long been a player in offshore performance boats. Now with new owners and fresh capital, while still retaining company founder Steve Stepp’s design expertise, the builder is expanding beyond waterborne rocketships. One of the company's first new models is the 260 Bay fishing boat.
When it comes to skinny water
, inches matter to hard-core anglers. Making shallow water locations accessible to a 24-footer can be important news to those who venture there.
Performance boats do one thing well -- go fast. To appeal to those buyers, performance boats are built to be particularly comfortable while driving at high speed. Velocity carries that philosophy into the 260 Bay. This is one of the things that sets the 260 Bay apart from most bay boats.
Velocity’s trademark ”Comfort Helm”
starts with the helm seat. Instead of an ordinary bench seat or leaning post typical on bay boats, Velocity creates two adjacent seats with wrap-around backrests and lumbar support. Both the seat bottoms and seat backs are angled for comfort while seated.
Steering Wheel and Throttle Position.
The seats are positioned fairly close to the console, so the steering wheel and throttle are comfortably at hand while leaning all the way back into the seat. Extra clearance is gained when standing by using flip-up bolsters, which provide support when standing and keep the wheel and throttle comfortably in reach.
A tilt wheel with speed knob
ensures easy steering while standing to negotiate narrow channels among shallow banks.
The large dash
is angled just a bit from vertical to provide easy viewing of electronics.
Center Console Toe Kick.
The aft edge of the center console is recessed a bit at deck level -- much like the toe kick at the bottom of kitchen cabinets. This provides a place for feet when standing or sitting at the helm.Batteries and the electrical system take up most of the space inside the console.
The windscreen raises and lowers, guided by a track for smooth operation and locked into one of three positions with simple knobs. The lowest position allows unobstructed vision over the top of the windscreen even while seated.
The middle position
, raised 10’’, blocks a seated helmsman from wind and spray. Raised another 10’’ to the highest position (shown above), the windscreen protects seated or standing helmsmen.
Cooler and Seat.
While there is nothing new about a cooler with a seat cushion secured in front of the center console, Velocity places a contoured seat back with lumbar support against the console front.
Two rear seats
flip-up from either side of the aft casting deck with seat bottoms and backs stowed in place.
We think avid inshore anglers should take a look at the Velocity 260 Bay. Here's why--
Room to Fish.
The large, flat forward casting deck is 6’ long and slightly recessed below the deck. Folding cleats, partially recessed hatch hinges and smooth hatch latches won’t snag lines or bare feet.
The aft casting platform includes seats and fishboxes outboard, a livewell forward in the center, and bilge access aft. Note the steps in the cockpit corners, too.
Measuring more than 3’ x 5’, the aft casting deck is similarly recessed a bit below the gunwale, and also fitted with snag-free hardware. Steps in all four corners of the cockpit bridge are 17’’ in height from cockpit sole to each casting deck.
Live Bait Wells.
Two 18-gallon live bait wells are standard -- one on centerline in the aft casting deck and another on centerline in the bow casting deck.Livewells are supplied by two independent pumps for redundancy and include blue LED internal lighting for finding the perfect bait when fishing at night.
Three Fishboxes Plus Storage.
Beneath the cockpit deck just aft of the forward casting deck and ahead of the center console, a 34’’ x 22’’ hatch opens to a 36’’ long x 26’’ wide by 12’’ deep insulated fishbox. A macerator pumps water and fish bits overboard at the end of the day.
A similar-sized storage compartment
in the bow casting deck just in front of the forward bait well, and a storage compartment about the same size as the fish box is insulated with a smooth gelcoat interior, but it drains into the bilge, not overboard.
Two additional fishboxes
beneath either side of the aft casting deck include overboard drains but no macerator. 22’’ x 19.5’’ hatches open to 36’’ x 26’’ fishboxes, as the insulated boxes continue forward beneath the folding aft seats located in the stern casting deck. All of the fishboxes don't have to be dedicated to fish and a number of them can serve as handy places to stow all sorts of gear.
A tackle storage
and prep station is incorporated into the helm seat bench. A wide door in the fiberglass support for the seat backs hinges at the bottom, so it opens to become a work surface. Shallow storage within this upper section of the bench is perfect for knives, tools and a bit of tackle.The entire bottom section of the bench seat is a large cabinet accessed through double doors on the aft side of the bench.
built into the cockpit sides hold rods securely while underway.
Six rod holders
aft can store rods or be used for trolling.
Rod storage compartments
take up either side of the bow casting platform. These compartments run all the way to the bow with room to store 8’ fishing rods out of sight and under lock and key.
include an anchor locker in the bow with chocks to hold a Danforth-type anchor and rode. Another hatch just in front of the outboard engine accesses the bilge, bilge pump, livewell pumps and thru-hull fittings, and other equipment.
Velocity Bay 260's Speed Heritage
Performance and Racing Experience Aids Fishing Boats.
Since this Bay 260 hull bottom is identical to Velocity’s 260 VR performance model and racing hull -- including the boat that made a record-holding 86.5 mph stock boat speed run -- Velocity Bay 260 owners benefit from experience gained in engineering a hull that stays solid even when pushed to extremes.
Speed is in the DNA.
Tournament bass fishermen and offshore anglers have long realized speed gets them to fish faster, which allows them to fish longer at a given spot or farther from the dock where fewer boats fish. The same is true of flats boats and bay boats. But inshore fishermen can’t simply hang more horsepower on the stern if they expect to fish in shallow water.The Velocity 260's hull is designed to go fast and at the same time draw as little water as possible. Here's how they do it--
A Different Kind of Step.
Steve Stepp’s stepped (some people call it a "notch") transom hull has been around for many years, but it is entirely different than what most boaters today think of as a "stepped" hull. (A conventional stepped hull draws air beneath the running surface of the boat at high speed. The back end of the boat is then riding on air bubbles to reduce drag so boats go faster and burn less fuel. Not so, with the Velocity.)
Velocity’s "Stepped" Transom Hull
On the Velocity 260 Bay, the last 8’’ or so of the hull are recessed up so that when the boat is on plane there is less hull in the water. This stepped transom reduces drag by reducing wetted surface.
, by separating the engine location from the boat’s running surface -- in effect moving the engine 8’’ aft of the trailing edge of the hull -- that separation acts a bit like a fulcrum and lever to lift the boat up on plane faster.
, cleaning up water flow as it leaves the aft edge of the bottom also allows the 260 Bay to run better with the engine lifted on a jack plate, putting the prop barely below the transom when running at high speed through shallow water.
, the 8" extra between the bottom and the prop and the trailing edge of the bottom reduces, to some degree, the turbulence hitting the prop, therefore making it more efficient.
, when at rest or trolling, the stepped stern section is immersed thus adding buoyancy to the boat and reducing her draft.Velocity claims the boat runs in less than a foot of water, and even as little as 9’’, depending upon trim and weight aboard.
The 260 Bay's hull has a “pad bottom” -- or flat section at the keel -- which starts just ahead of midships and runs to the step. This creates a flat surface a few inches wide that works just like planing strakes farther up the hull, lifting the boat higher out of the water than a V-shaped keel would. Less boat in the water reduces wetted surface and drag.
increase slow-speed stability and also helps the boat jump up on plane more quickly.
The 260 Bay has a 22-degree deadrise V-bottomed hull at the training edge of the bottom, according to the builder. This is a result of its racing heritage. Typically a deep-V hull requires more horsepower for its size and weight than a flatter bottom would, but Velocity’s pad, step, strakes, and chines mitigate this negative characteristic to some degree.
This deadrise compares to other boats in class which may have a deadrise angle at the transom as low as 10-degrees. This is a big difference and tells us that the 260 Bay will likely be far more comfortable in choppy conditions at speed.
While BoatTEST hasn’t run our usual tests yet, Velocity claims a 42 mph cruise and 3.5 mpg from a single 250-hp Mercury Verado outboard, with a top-end noticeably over 60 mph. Optional power includes a 300-hp Verado.
No Wood and Vacuum-bagged Construction.
The boat's 2,985 lbs. (1,354 kg) dry weight with a 250-hp Mercury Verado outboard is in line with similar boats in class. While Velocity is using mostly tried-and-true boatbuilding technology, it does vacuum bag the hull to ensure a 60/40 glass to resin ration which maximizes strengthen and minimizes weight. The builder says no wood is used in the 260 Bay.
There aren’t many options to choose from, since everything from dual livewell pumps to LED cockpit lights are standard. A pressurized freshwater wash system and tank are optional.
The standard-equipment hydraulic jack plate
allows the engine to be raised or lowered while running, aiding shallow-water operation.
Velocity offers ten colors including standard white.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!