Blue Wave Boats of Seminole, Oklahoma, builds bay boats, including the largest currently available, the 28-foot Pure Hybrid. Eighty have been sold since its introduction barely two years ago.
Early on, the boats garnered a cult following, and Blue Wave is experiencing a popularity breakout as dealers and anglers find them, usually through word of mouth. With the introduction of the 28 Makaira — the genus biologists gave to blue marlin — the Blue Wave bay boat concept is moving offshore.
Noting the juxtaposition of the terms “bay boat” and “offshore,” a call to Alex Leva was in order. Leva is an icon in the fishboat industry and now the director of fishing at Blue Wave, but don’t let the title fool you. He is a driving force behind the company’s recent growth.
“The simple difference between the 2800 Pure Hybrid, which is a true bay boat, and the Makaira, is you fish ‘on’ the Hybrid and ‘in’ the Makaira like a more traditional center console. The boats share the same Sidney Lanier-Marine Concepts twin step bottom and unique Blue Wave construction methods, but from the inner liner up they are very different boats,” Leva says.
Gallery: Blue Wave Makaira
Most boats are built with two longitudinal stringers, but both 28s incorporate four, each 12 inches wide: two down the center and two close to the hull sides. The strength they provide allows for a lighter outer skin and additional weight-saving benefits. As Leva puts it: “The more stringers, the lighter the hull lay up.”
The inner liner makes the entire structure stronger. The hull is reinforced with Kevlar, features level flotation and is unsinkable. It weighs just 3,650 pounds with 135 gallons of fuel, and it’s rated for up to 600 hp and twin-engine applications. Remember, this is a 28-footer. With a single 350-hp Suzuki outboard, it has a top end of 57 mph, and at 35 mph it gets an impressive 3.72 mpg.
The Makaira sports significant freeboard and a real cockpit, while retaining a smaller aft casting platform. The deck layout is unique in shape and function. The bow casting platform converts to seating with a table, the forward gunwales open to reveal storage that can handle 10 8-foot rods, and the front console seat incorporates a cooler.
The console includes storage and a head accessed through the port-side door, with space for a full complement of electronics. The T-top can handle outrigger bases and rod holders, and the twin helm seats can include an optional tackle center or a 50-gallon live well in the base.
The stern casting platform includes two oval live wells (there’s a third pitch bait well in the bow) and fold-up seating for two, thanks to the no-splash-well design. With the seats in the down position, the assembly tilts forward on hinges for access to the bilge, where all pumps and through-hull fittings are labeled.
Leva says the Makaira is the boat the marketplace has wanted: offshore capability with inshore roots. And while it is at home in blue water, it draws just 17 inches.
Could this be the one boat that can do it all? As Blue Wave says: “maybe.”