Checkmate Powerboats is a company that was founded in Bucyrus, Ohio, by speed boat racing enthusiast – Bill Combs. In 1963, Bill was initially concentrating on outboard boat racing, but he eventually branched out to the development and manufacture of performance inboard and outboard boats during the 1970s.
Checkmate Powerboats quickly became legendary for their high speed, sleekness, good looks, and performance. Additionally, Checkmate Powerboats were known for their quality, many of which are still being enjoyed decades today after Bill and company crafted the vessel.
In 2018, Checkmate Powerboats introduced the 260 Convincor – a newly designed 26-foot boat that was well-received. However, a year later, after five decades in operation, Checkmate Powerboats stopped production of its revered line of stern-driven V-bottom boats outboard boats.
1. High-Performance Boats are the Ferraris of the boating world.
If you have a serious interest and are looking for a boat that outperforms, like a sleek, streamlined sports car or a fast boat like the Checkmate, High-Performance Boats are a great option. They typically have a capacity of six people and can range in length from a few feet to a boat length that exceeds 50 feet – for tony, pricey models – with prices that are quite lofty when compared to other types of speedboats.
High-performance boats deliver big horsepower (that varies on model), but all are lightweight, with narrow beams and deep, sleek V-hull that can slice through the waters of inland lakes or ocean waves and swells. Many are seen speeding along the coast, often flying above the water at incredible speeds.
If you prefer to ride the waves with full throttle or simply want to take a break in a private cove, these versatile performance boats offer something for everyone.
2. Bowrider, as its name implies, offers an open seating space on the vessel’s bow.
As one of the most popular powerboats among all types, the Bowrider is available with either a sterndrive or outboard engine, which ultimately provides a smooth ride over the water. Its V-shaped hull, which can reach speeds of 45 MPH quickly, is similar to the Checkmate Powerboat’s hull.
The Bowrider typically seats ten passengers, although its length can range from 16 to 35 feet, depending on the manufacturer and model. The entry point for a new Bowrider is typically around $40,000 to $50,000.
The Bowrider’s versatility (and easy transportability) is evident when you consider that it can be used for cruising, water sports, and fishing, among other recreational activities. There is even a swim platform for water skiers and tubing participants. A Bowrider can be driven across lakes, oceans, and even shallow saltwater bays. Those interested in a Bowrider will find because they are so popular, there are many models and different price points (many quite affordable) across the market from which to choose.
3. A Cigar Boat is Also Known as a Cigarette or a Go-Fast Boat.
Like the Checkmate Powerboats, Cigar Boats are built for speed and can hit up to 135 miles per hour. They are so named because their shape, which is exceptionally long as well as thin, resembles that of a cigar. Its hull is purposefully designed to slice through water like a hot knife in butter (or a bullet on water), although it is not intended to carry a host of people.
The most famous brand of cigar boat is the Cigarette Boat. Like the Checkmate Powerboat, the first Cigarette Boat was built in the 1960s by Don Aronow primarily for racing. And like Bill Combs, the Cigarette Boats caught on like wildfire, with boat lovers clamoring for one of their custom-built speedboats.
Cigar boats are primarily used for racing, with the first Cigarette Boat racing team created in the 1970s. Cigar boats available today offer powerful 2,200 horsepower electric engines that typically max out at 90 MPH. These pricey, showy speedboats are available at the low end of the market for $150,000 but can price out in the millions.
4. Runabout Boats Refer to Various Styles of Versatile Boats, Usually With Lengths Up to 20-25 Feet.
A Runabout is a type of water vessel that typically and generally refers to boats that are no longer than 25 feet (depending on who you have asked). They are small and fast, with a passenger capacity that comfortably seats six. A runabout can be powered with a sterndrive or outboard motor, depending on the model or boat manufacturer.
The Runabout boat is specifically designed to offer its boat owners many options for its use. These boats tend to be easy to transport because they are built with lightweight materials. These lighter weights also make Runabout Boats fast on a lake, a river, a bay, or a great choice for fair-weather ocean trips. These boats, however, are not designed for big seas or poor weather conditions.
The good news is that these popular boats are available in many styles and are typically built with simplicity in use and maintenance. This makes them cost-effective and easy to maintain. Basic Runabout models can start as low as $15,000, but don’t be surprised to see them reach upwards of $80,000 for the more opulent water crafts.
5. Ski Boats are Designed for Water Sports Lovers.
Ski Boats, like Checkmate Powerboats, are designed where speed is the primary objective of the boat’s design. This 20–22-foot boat is designed for water sports, like water skiing, and permits the driver to adjust the level of the wake the skier must contend with. For those who love wakeboarding, ballast can be added to adjust the level of the wake to allow for more tricks and fun for wake board riders. And for wakeboarding aficionados, there are boats explicitly manufactured for the use of wake boarders and even ski/wake boats designed as crossover models.
The maximum number of riders is usually up to six, but the fewer riders while towing a skier offers the best boat performance. These boats perform great on lakes but can handle other waters. Ski Boat prices vary between $35,000 and as high as $200,000.
Over the past few years, the ski boat and wake boat industry have seen explosive growth due to intense interest. Fortunately, this popularity sparks innovation and competition – creating opportunities for new companies to enter the market. For example, these sports have created design innovations where the propellers are located toward the front of the boat. In fact, these changes have even created a new sub-sector – the wake-surfing boat.
6. Cuddy Cabins are Agile Vessels That Offer a Bit of Versatility
A Cuddy Cabin boat is often considered a ‘closed bow runabout boat’ because the bow area on a Cuddy Cabin is below deck. This below-deck area (which has limited headroom) is the ‘cuddy,’ which is a term that has been used for hundreds of years – a word once used to describe a small room. A Cuddy Cabin boat, which is considered a cross between a speed-recreation and fishing boat, typically spans between 18 to 25 feet, although some claim they can be as long as 30 feet. Most Cuddy Cabins hold six to eight people with ease and comfort.
Cuddy Cabins, despite their basic under-deck areas, have motors that are fast and strong enough to pull a water skier or water tube. The sterndrive engine is a great feature, especially for those who want to use the boat for water sports on lakes, rivers, calm ocean waters, and bays.
The enclosed V-berth space (or the cuddy) is small and may include some protection from the wind, storage, a portable potty, and even a freshwater sink. Although not specifically designed for overnight use, some may use this area for an overnight boating excursion. The Cuddy Cabin typically has a sterndrive, which offers space for a swim platform at the back of the boat.
Cuddy Cabins vary in price, with an average of about $41,000 for new and used boats. But note that some may reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The engine size depends on the boater’s needs and preferences.
7. Jet Boats have the power to pull a skier from a stopped position.
While once considered a large, oversized PWC (Personal Watercraft), a Jet Boat is now considered a full-sized water vessel that rivals the features and amenities of the Bowrider. The increasing popularity of Jet Boats has made this slice of the industry quite competitive, with first-rate models and lots of options at various = price points.
The Jet Boat is built differently from a traditional sterndrive boat. The engines on the Jet Boat are constructed beneath its hull, so the boat can operate safely in super shallow waters. This is because nothing extends beneath the Jet Boat’s running surface to be damaged by underwater rocks or seaweed. These boats offer seating for up to six passengers, plus plenty of speed for passengers and water skiers. Jet Boats are used on lakes, bays, oceans, and rivers – anywhere there is fun in the sun and water.
A Jet Boat is also safer for those swimming around the boat because the impeller is housed within the engine’s cavity. These boats can pull up to a sand bar for a day of fun – just bring sunscreen, water, and some sandwiches. Jet Boats have similar lengths as Checkmate Boats – 15 to 28 feet in length.
Like most boats, prices for these types of boats vary significantly depending on the model and age, and features. A Jet Boat at a starter price is about $34,000, but they can go as high as the mid-100s.
Related: Different Types of Jet Skis
8. Deck Boats Offer the Best of Speed and Comfort on the Water.
A Deck Boat is designed to maximize passenger seating. These types of boats typically have lengths that range from 19 to 26 feet. They offer the most deck space but perform similarly to a Bowrider or Checkmate. Deck Boats are not specifically designed for speed (having a wider and not tailored front end), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fast and great choices for water sports or recreational and fishing excursions. This is especially true if you add a large enough motor.
Deck boats, depending on the model and make, can carry eight to twelve passengers but operate and even look more like a Runabout boat. They have large open decks but offer great speed. In addition, they are available in fiberglass or aluminum and are sold by many manufacturers. They are priced as low as $15,000 but can be bought for more than $100,000 for high-end models.
What the deck boat lacks in terms of accelerating speed is more than made up by the features it offers, like comfort, versatility as well as convenience for up to a dozen boaters. They are available with inboard or outboard motors, although the resale value holds up better on inboard models of Deck Boats.
What is an example of another small boat manufacturer developing speed boats in the 1960s?
In the late 1960s, Hydrostream was established by Howard Pipkorn in Minnesota. Hydrostream, like Checkmate Powerboats, began initially as a manufacturer of racing boats; however, they eventually developed several recreational speedboats from twelve to seventeen feet.
Howard Pipkin was a true innovator, with many of his designs currently used in boat racing. But what made the Hydrostream so popular was, like the Checkmate Powerboat, it could be used in boat racing or for a family excursion the next day. Hydrostream Boats were also affordably priced, fast, and way cool to drive and own.
The Hydrostream Boat company had great success until the 1979 energy crisis, which made the cost of boating out of reach for many. Ultimately, the company tried to hold on but closed its manufacturing facility in 1991.
Who makes the Checkmate – a 144 Foot Motor Yacht?
This Benetti-manufactured yacht clocks in at a whopping 144+ feet. The Checkmate Yacht from Benetti is one of the company’s seventeen Vision Models. This amazing yacht cruises at just over sixteen miles per hour but reaches speeds that exceed 17 MPH. The Checkmate Yacht can cruise for more than 4,000 miles (or 3,500 nautical miles) – if traveling at an average speed that is just under 14 miles per hour.
The Checkmate derives its power from two powerful diesel engines built by Caterpillar. This Benetti Yacht is maintained with nine crew members who see to the needs of those in the yacht’s five staterooms. Its gross tonnage is 456 GT.
What are the fastest speedboats in the world?
The Bluebird K7 was the pioneer of speedboat racing, having been launched in the mid-1950s. At this time, this hydroplane (equipped with a jet engine) easily broke the existing record (178 MPH) when it clocked in at 276 MPH on the second largest lake in the English Lake District – Ullswater.
The Problem Child, with its 8,000 horsepower, can reach speeds that exceed 260 MPH in only 3.5 seconds. The Spirit of Australia, which currently holds the world’s record for speed on water (317.6 MPH), was set in the late 1970s by Ken Warby. The Spirit of Australia is now on display at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia.