Two years in the Hybrid Review:
BCB 203 Puma Hybrid
94 inch beam
300 Mercury ProXS 4 stroke
8inch Detwiler Hydro plate (IMO a Hydro Plate is not needed fro this hull)
Twin 25 Gallon REAR tank fuel cells
Well folks it’s been over two years since I got in the new Hybrid and still loving it as much as the day I picked it up. The following is my two year review.
Issues: I’ve had a couple nickel and dime gremlins I had to replace. Nothing major or kept me off the water, just stuff that happens like with any new rig. A phone call to parts and I had my replacements to my house in a week or less, no questions asked.
Lay out: The Puma lay out is nice BUT if I had to do it over again I would go with the Cougar layout as it’s more the traditional style and I’m old skool. Kinda moot point as they only come in the Cougar lay out now as of 2022. They Puma layout has so many storage boxes I tend to lose tackle in my own boat. There’s been several times I knew I loaded something in my rig but couldn’t find it on the water only to find it a day or so later. The amount of boxes aren’t a bad thing, I’m just to OCD when it comes to where I’m stowing my gear and if I have a “oh look a squirrel” moment I forget where I stowed something.
Trailer: I’ve pretty much exclusively run TI/EZ Loader trailers on all my previous rigs as ChampioN farmed/outsourced their trailers. This BCB trailer is without a doubt the best boat trailer I’ve ever run. The swing away tongue, dual axels, trailer tires, breaking system etc. is just top notch. It pulls very nice and I’ve had ZERO issues with it and jerked it all over the Ozark mountains. I still don’t care for the glass fenders but understand why BCB does em. A replacement and change out is simple if needed and just a phone call away to get parts and match up colors. If I had to do it over again I’d order the aluminum trailer option rather than steel, just personal preference.
Engine: Mercury 300 ProXS 4 stroke. This is my first four stroke. It’s very strong, midrange is amazeballs and I haven’t had so much as a sneeze out of it in over 100 hours. IMO they’re not pumping as many ponies as the the 2 stokes at the prop. Previous testing on this rig with the 250 ProXS two stroke where about equal with 50 less horses BUT suffered in mid range over the 4 stroke. It’s better on fuel than the EFIs but not as good as the Optis. I miss the smell of the 2 stroke but very happy with this new engine. If I had to do it over I would have with with the 300R just cause I want one.
“Fishablility”: STABLE, gone are the rollies the older Champs were prone to. The rear sponches make it fish like any other Cat but don’t interfere with performance when on plain. It sits flatter at rest and doesn’t have the butt down, nose up the older Champs have. Now you can strap on all the aftermarket gadgets on the transom and not worry if you’re going to take on water or not. No, mine doesn’t have poles nor do I want em. It’ll draft in about a foot of water. I got it stuck on a mud flat once with the TM in high winds. It took some doing but I got it off with the TM and didn’t have to get out to push.
Performance: After a extensive two year prop test I’ve settled on two props. The 24P Fury 3 and 25 P Fury 3 are the wheels for this set up. The 24 in the summer and 25 in the winter. For those wanting 250s I’d run the 23 in the summer and 24 in the winter. Both are pushing around 6k and high to mid 70’s loaded ready to fish. I’ve bumped 80 a few times in cooler temps. I’ve never run it light or empty, I’m sure it’d be low 80’s or better but not fair to judge it this way as it’s a fishing boat, not a racing boat. The Tempest is a close second and about 1 MPH faster but the hole shot suffers under a load and you have to play with the plugs with temperature changes from summer to winter. I’m willing to lose that 1 MPH for a better hole shot under a load. The Fury’s are the real deal for this set up and engine. The Bravos, Fury 4 and Trophy’s are dogs and cut about 4-5 MPH out of em, slow hole shot and don’t carry a load as well as the Fury 3s. Straight line speeds are very respectable and over all performance in ALL conditions are just top notch. When everyone else is slowing down in the rough stuff I just wave as I pass em in the Hybrid. Easy to drive, smooth, dry ride, wrist over elbow turns, no slipping and stop on a dime if you need to. Pretty much a carbon copy of the ChampioN 203 performance of old. The only slight difference is it blows water out the the side of the boat rather than up and out like the Champs do. It makes for a even dryer ride. Lake of the Ozarks is my home lake and I’ve run it in some of the nastiest stuff you can (some by necessity, some by accident and some by idiocy) and it just eats it up. Running WOT on that lake after take off is almost impossible after 9am-6pm. The ride and comfort make this hull really shine from the rest when the wind picks up and the water turns nasty. This is the ONLY hull on the market that gives you the performance of the old skool Mt. Home skinny Champs with the added improved extras of BCB twists they added.
Overall Review: Rick and BCB really knocked this one out of the park. It’s a real sleeper hull when you line all the BCB rig up together, side by side, equally powered, often times gets overshadowed and dosn’t get the attention or respect it deserves. BCB accomplished their goal in making a heck of a cross over rig for those of us begging for the old skool ChampioN performance. If you’re in the market don’t overlook taking a spin in this hull (with someone who knows how to drive it) before making your decision, chances are you’ll have a eye opening experience and be sold. Well done Rick and BCB on the Hybrid.
If anyone is passing through Missouri look me up and I’ll give you a rip your lips demo ride.
Hi Matt, I just got my 2022 Cougar Hybrid. and having prop setting issues. Have a 25 Fury and 300 Mercury on it and with a light load no problem but not great, but with a heavy load 2 guys full of gas and live wells full, a real struggle to get up. Maybe 7 -8 seconds to break over!! Jack Plate was set flush as all Cats come out but raised it and is better with a moderate load but again struggles with a heavy load. Wondering if dropping the motor would help. I know your are running a 24 and am sure it would help but it will not cure this issue. Just wondering if these motors need to be set differently. I am running no plugs and can still spin it if I stand on it. Would really like to talk to you. I also am at the lake on the mouth of the Niangua. Joe Riley 913-530-1085
I got your message and be happy to help ya. I’ll call ya soon. If you’re on Facebook join our Hybrid Owners page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/270845500989135
Joe, do you have a H/D plate on your boat?
We do not suggest a 25 on the 300 Pro XS and Hybrid 203 hull. We do suggest the 24 and even a 23 if your loaded more heavy. we do not feel a hydraulic plate is necessary, because we do not suggest raising the plate on a Hybrid hull.
When I picked up my hybrid I emailed a picture to Rick. He came right back with congratulations as well as telling me that a H/D Jack plate was “Not” necessary, no performance increase!
Hi, No jack plate see above. going to try a 24 as the 25 does not work with a load on this hull. Just coming from the standard Cougar I thought a 300 would be perfect for this application but alas not so much. I will keep you posted. Thanks
Just put on the 24 and it is much better out of the hole and running about 77 top in. I will adjust the jack plate but it is pretty close. This is the best prop for the hybrid with a 3oo . Typically does the hole shot get better as you raise the jack plate or lower it. Thoughts….
Raising the plate helps hole shot, though it must be brought down as the nose breaks over. The Hybrid hull runs very low on the Jack plate.
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