The relaunched 2400 BRX sport boat delivers a lot for the money.
Billy Moore was fresh off running two offshore race boats at the Key West World Championship when he slipped behind the wheel of the relaunched Checkmate Pulsare 2400 BRX for its first magazine evaluation.
Moore was hyped to showcase the updated 2400 BRX, three years after the company was purchased by Pete Caldwell, owner of Caldwell Marine Designs in Washington, N.C. The open bow sport boat is appealing to buyers getting into high-performance boating or someone wanting to make a switch from a sterndrive boat to one with an outboard.
The 2400 BRX (24’ LOA, 8’ 3” beam) delivers a lot of boat for the money and includes standard features that are often options on new 24-foot performance boats. Take our test boat, it came with a single Mercury Racing 300R outboard and had a MSRP of $133,099.
For the money, Checkmate delivers a 70-mph, semi-custom sport boat that is the essence of performance boating.
Checkmate updated the 2400 BRX’s running surface to improve higher-speed handling prior to relaunching the model in 2023. Moore pushed the Mercury Racing Zero Effort Digital Control forward and the V-bottom hopped on plane in 4.1 seconds with a clear view of the water thanks to a new wraparound windshield.
The Mercury Racing 300R outboard and hull felt connected to the water, especially putting the V-bottom through a series of S-turns in the 6” inch chop. The 2400 BRX cruised comfortably at about 32 mph with the 300-hp outboard turning 3,500 rpm and delivering an impressive 3.9 mpg. Bump the throttle up to 5,000 rpm and the V-bottom was running 55 mph and getting 2.7 mpg.
From a standing start, the 2400 BRX reached 30 mph in 6.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 67.1 mph at 6,200 rpm. Moore says the boat can run 70 mph and with less fuel on board and better water conditions, we have no doubt.
Base power for the 2400 BRX is a Mercury Marine 250 PRO XS and Checkmate offers a single outboard up to the Mercury Racing 500R. With 500 horsepower on the transom, the 2400 BRX is expected to top 90 mph. Moore believes most buyers will start with the 300R because of the outboard’s fuel efficiency and performance.
“Most of the time if you’re buying a bowrider, you’re buying it mainly to cruise around with the family, have some fun with pulling a tube or something behind it,” Moore said. “But it’s also a Checkmate. If you’re not pulling the family and want to go faster, you can let your hair down, so to speak, and get a little speed out.”
Checkmate Power Boats modernized the 2400 BRX interior with a new wraparound windshield and upgraded fabrics. What Checkmate offers as standard equipment on the 2400 BRX is often optional equipment on competitor boats in the same size range.
For example, Checkmate includes a 10” hydraulic jack plate, LED cupholders and a dual boarding ladder as standard equipment. The only options available on the 2400 BRX are custom paint graphics, an upgraded stereo system with additional speakers and amp, bow filler cushions, underwater lights, and soft-step flooring. Buyers basically have to pick the graphics and the power plant.
The helm featured a Mercury VesselView but is available with Livorsi Marine gauges with bezels to match cockpit seating trim. To the right of the wheel were the rocker switches, and the cupholder was within easy reach for the driver.
The copilot seat has a glovebox and a cupholder in the gunwale. Both the driver and copilot seats are on fiberglass bases, providing excellent sightlines over the bow. A rear bench comfortably seats three people.
A hinged windshield opens allowing access to the U-shape seating in the bow. Checkmate included well-padded, forward-facing backrests and abundant stowage under the seats. Cutouts in the gunwale have cupholders and there were four grab handles in the bow for passengers to hold onto while underway. An optional filler cushion can be used to create a large sun pad.
Checkmate will offer in 2024 a closed-deck version of the 2400 BRX. Our bet is most buyers will opt for an open bow that offers more versatility for a young family.
Caldwell Marine Designs contract builds boats and parts for other manufacturers in the marine industry, so every new Checkmate coming out of the North Carolina plant will benefit from its manufacturing expertise.
The 2400 BRX has no wood with Checkmate using Coosa and Penske composite boards and high-density foam in the build. Checkmate upgraded the epoxy and boats are vacuum bagged for added strength and to reduce weight. The 2400 BRX weighs about 2,200 pounds.
“They’re built with better products, better quality, there’s more glass in these boats than there was in the past,” Caldwell said. “I’m not bashing anyone. It’s just better materials and building techniques.”
Checkmate now fully encapsulates the bulkheads and stringers, Caldwell said, which results in a solid boat. The 2400 BRX was plenty solid crossing the few wakes on the late fall afternoon.
Checkmate deserves credit for building an entry-level sport boat to bring a new generation to performance boating. The relaunched 2400 BRX delivers style and performance for a price rarely found for a new sport boat.
Checkmate is back and giving fans of the brand something to cheer about!
Stax Performance Marine located in Brockville, ON, has recently signed on as the exclusive Canadian dealer.
LOA to Transom: 24’
Beam: 8’ 3”
Weight: 2,400 lbs
Fuel: 60 gal.
Deadrise: 22 degrees
MSRP (as tested): $133,099
Checkmate Power Boats