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Old 12-30-10, 11:33 PM   #26
MississippiBoy
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Tilt wheel, no. Jackplate, maybe, if you want to play with your boat's setup. Remote oil, not sure what that is. Blinker trim would probably be nice if you have a Hotfoot, so you can have both hands on the wheel. Keel guard, definitely. Oxygenator if you're planning on doing any tournaments, but maybe not even then. Stealth charging system...maybe. Trolling motor upgrade and better electronics up to you.
Picking this stuff out is half the fun.
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Old 12-31-10, 12:31 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
I was actually looking at a dealer in SC that had all three brands- Triton, Skeeter and Nitro. The Z8 had a 200 on it for under $30K. But then I came home and went on the Nitro build your boat web site and saw all the option available.
Do I need Tilt wheel??
10 inch jack plate??
Remote Oil
Blinker trim
Keel Guard??
Oxgenerator with shut off switch
stealth battery charger system with gauages
Up graded Trolling motor to Motorguide TR82 with transducer??
Upgraded Console to HDS7
HDS5 for bow
God its so much easier buying a car. HELP!
Tilt wheel- it really depends on how big a guy you are and how hard it is for you to get up and down out of the seat. Also how comfortable are you with where the steering wheel is on models that don't have tilt steering?

10 inch Jackplate - I don't know what kind of set ups Z8's like, so I can't say on the 10 inch model. However you will want an adjustable jackplate so you can fine tune your set up to get the most out of your boat (Holeshot, mid range, top end, and fuel economy). You can check around and see what other guys with the same boat are running for jackplates. Hydrolic is very popular but also more expensive than manual.

Remote oil - It's very handy. I have it on my Triton and it not only makes it tons easier to add oil but also saves you from getting drops of oil on your carpet.

Blinker Trim - Yes, in my opinion you need this. It allows you to keep both hands on the steering wheel while driving and makes trimming down for wakes a lot easier (you will need a hot foot too, it and the pro trim are the best safety features you can buy on boats).

Keel Guard - I will never own a boat without one, it will save you a ton of scratches and dings.

Oxygenator - I have them on my Triton and I honestly believe in them. They are a great tool for keeping fish alive.

Stealth battery charger system - You will want some type of on board charger. They are worth their weight in gold when it comes to charging batteries. Just plug it in and you are charging all your batteries at once, no need to drag out a bunch of chargers and extension cords.

Trolling motor - I am not a big Motorguide fan. I have yet to know of someone who has one that hasn't had trouble with it. However whatever trolling motor you buy get the biggest one you can, you will never wish for less trolling motor.......I promise. Upgrade to a 101lb or 109lb if you can.

Graphs - I am very anti-Lowrance, their customer service is a joke and if you have problems (and you will) you are all on your own for the most part. I recommend going Humminbird if at all possible. Whatever graph you go with just get the best you can afford because again you will never wish for a cheaper graph. If you learn how to read a good graph it will be your best tool.

The Z8 with a 200 on it is a classic case of what I meant by Nitro underpowering their boats. I know some guys will tell you that with the new Rapid Planing hull that Nitro has a Z8 will do fine with a 200 but that boat is underpowered, period end of story. That boat is rated for a 250 and there is no way there should be any less than a 225 on the back of it. With it being underpowered you will not only lose top end but you will also suffer in hole shot, mid range punch, and fuel economy. Also once you fill the livewells with water and fish I can see that thing having trouble performing, and if the water gets rough your problems just got serious. It's your money, do what you want to but you asked for opinions and so here is mine. That boat is a good boat, however get a bigger motor on it. You are spending a mint on it already so why skimp on something as important as a motor, plus it will help you on resale should you want or need to sell it down the road (not many guys are interested in underpowered boats). I honestly think you need to shop around a little more too. I know it's easy to get excited and want to pull the trigger but this is a huge decision and it's easy to make the wrong one, especially when you are fairly new to it. Take a lot of time and look at all the brands you can because once you buy it, it's your baby and you need to make sure you get it right. Good luck and happy shopping.
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Old 12-31-10, 10:15 AM   #28
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C-Rig nailed it again. The reason I like Phoenix Boats is that their boats come pretty much ready to go... no adding options. You can choose from different graphs, but everything else is already included in their pricing.

Outboards is a big decision here too. Those new Yamaha SHO's are teh only four stroke i would own, but they are super expensive. An FX 21 with an SHO can go over $70k from what i understand. I am an Evinrude E-Tec fan, but skeeters dont come with those as Yamaha owns skeeter.
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Old 12-31-10, 01:18 PM   #29
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Decision has to be yours ,type of water run on,rough lakes take big boats,any 20 ft bb out there is over 40 grand new,youve never run one so may be negligent or rough on one,my advise buy smaller affordable pay it off and look for what you really want.
Someting like a tracker with the larger motor one can get as an option,learn how what then trade up,they make an excellant entry level pkg,it isnt someything one wants to go out on the great lakes with,but something to learn with.Easyly towed,fairly easy on the wallet,not near as much of a loss if you screw it up,and being new you will do some things,PS put in the plug yourself dont accept help.
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Old 12-31-10, 06:29 PM   #30
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I appreciate all the emails and honest I am learning a lot from this forum. THANK YOU!
One of the things I am getting from this is to do my research.
So I have narrowd it down to a 19 or 20 foot boat...and thats about it so far. (besides a removable dual console)
I learned that I should not under power the boat and compare features and benefits from boat to boat. As I visit dealer to dealer and tttend several boat shows I am sure I will have other questions till then Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Old 01-01-11, 03:12 AM   #31
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Very informative thread!
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Old 01-01-11, 08:54 AM   #32
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check this boat out. I know it's not new, but close. Check the exteas already on it.

# 1906 **LIKE NEW ONLY 11 HRS**STRATOS 294**WARRANTY UNTIL AUG 2013** by Robin
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Old 01-01-11, 11:55 AM   #33
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Thanks bcklash.
I would consider a pre owned boat. One thing I did want was a dual console.
I will call the number on the ad but ask if you know if this can be an after market add for this boat??
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Old 01-01-11, 01:28 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
Thanks bcklash.
I would consider a pre owned boat. One thing I did want was a dual console.
I will call the number on the ad but ask if you know if this can be an after market add for this boat??
You should be able to add a second console to that boat.
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Old 01-01-11, 06:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
I appreciate all the emails and honest I am learning a lot from this forum. THANK YOU!
One of the things I am getting from this is to do my research.
So I have narrowd it down to a 19 or 20 foot boat...and thats about it so far. (besides a removable dual console)
I learned that I should not under power the boat and compare features and benefits from boat to boat. As I visit dealer to dealer and tttend several boat shows I am sure I will have other questions till then Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

"Removable Console" = Phoenix!!! The easiest and best to remove and reinstall . 1 minute each...see video:
http://www.phoenixbassboats.com/dualconsole.html
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Old 01-01-11, 06:41 PM   #36
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I love the phoenix!!
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Old 01-02-11, 12:10 AM   #37
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x 100 on Bass Cat. I am in the "no boat" position right now, but will have one soon. No question in my mind it will be Bass Cat. Their customer service is second to none and that in itself, sells itself when you are a new boat owner. I can't wait, I wish my Santa would give me the thumbs up too!

Good luck man!!

Tony
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Old 01-02-11, 12:44 PM   #38
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The 2008 pre owned Stratos 294 xl did not work for me so yesterday I went to BPS and took my time to go over the Nitro Z8- which is the boat I will compare all others to.
I only hope that both Phoenix and BassCat have boats at both the Atlanta and Greenville Boat Shows later this month.(As both have no dealers in GA or SC.)

Here is what I have as leading the boat project and have selected on the Z8 and if anyone has comments ..please I welcome them.
Mercury 225 Optmax
Removable second console
Hot foot
Rod organizer ( Do I get 1 or 2 1 for each side)
Remote Oil fill
Blinker Trim
Tilt Wheel
Keel Guard
Stealth battery charger with guages
AM/FM/CD
2 Jump seats vs 1 & 1 bike seat
Fish Finders- HDS-5 with insight for Bow
Fish Finders- DASH Not sure Do I go with HDS-7 or HDS8??
Undecided on fixed Jack plate or MaxBass ??
MotorGuide TR82(Not sure do i go with transducer or not??)
Not sure on whether I need a cover???
Not sure- Do I need Power Pole???
Undecided on Tackle Management system??
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Old 01-02-11, 02:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
The 2008 pre owned Stratos 294 xl did not work for me so yesterday I went to BPS and took my time to go over the Nitro Z8- which is the boat I will compare all others to.
I only hope that both Phoenix and BassCat have boats at both the Atlanta and Greenville Boat Shows later this month.(As both have no dealers in GA or SC.)

Here is what I have as leading the boat project and have selected on the Z8 and if anyone has comments ..please I welcome them.
Mercury 225 Optmax
Removable second console
Hot foot
Rod organizer ( Do I get 1 or 2 1 for each side)
Remote Oil fill
Blinker Trim
Tilt Wheel
Keel Guard
Stealth battery charger with guages
AM/FM/CD
2 Jump seats vs 1 & 1 bike seat
Fish Finders- HDS-5 with insight for Bow
Fish Finders- DASH Not sure Do I go with HDS-7 or HDS8??
Undecided on fixed Jack plate or MaxBass ??
MotorGuide TR82(Not sure do i go with transducer or not??)
Not sure on whether I need a cover???
Not sure- Do I need Power Pole???
Undecided on Tackle Management system??
For rod lockers do you get to choose if you want one or two? I thought it was standard within the boat company whether you got one or two. I will say that unless you will be carrying a gross amount of rods with you, one will be fine. I had two in my Ranger and only used one for rods and I used the other for storage. My Triton only has one rod organizer and I still use the other locker for storage, it's a great place to keep things like bumpers, throwable flotation device, ropes, and other things that just don't have a designated place in the boat.

For the graph I would go as big as you can afford in the dash, it will make life a lot easier. It will make it a lot less difficult to tell what you are looking at.

I really discourage you from going with a fixed jackplate. You will need to be able to raise and lower your motor on a jackplate so you can get the best setup for your boat. No two boats will have the same setup, not even two of the exact same boat with the same motor. You will need to get it dialed in for your boat so that you can get the most out of your rig. You are paying big money for it and should get everything you can out of it in return.

I really like built in transducers. You don't have to worry about them breaking off or getting bumped and moving (they need to sit level when the motor is down, and it can be a pain to get a skimmer transducer adjusted just right) However as I said earlier I don't like Motorguide at all and the built in transducer is one example of this. They had a bunch of trouble with them leaking and going bad. From what I understand that problem isn't as common now but it would still be in the back of my mind. If it doesn't give you any problems you will like a built in transducer.

A cover is really nice for those trips to the lake or back home when it is raining. Also if it has been raining and the road is wet it will help keep road grime off the boat. I don't know how good the Nitro covers are, you might ask around and see if you would be better off having one custom made rather than buy the Nitro cover.

I don't have a powerpole, but I would love to have one. They are really cool and would be very handy to have but I would find it hard to believe that anyone actually "needs one". It would be nice to have but we have survived this long without them so they are a handy little accessory but you certainly can get by without one.

Tackle management system.........It really depends on you and your needs. I know that Cooks go to system is real popular and is a great way to keep track of spinnerbaits and bags of softplastics. Also you can make your own version of this for a fraction of the cost if you would rather. It just depends on what your needs are and how you want to keep things stored.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:03 PM   #40
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Thank you for your comments Carolina-rig-01
The Z8 I believe comes with no rod systems but for $115 I will get one and use the other locker for storage.
I liked the HDS8 because it split into 4 screens but it was much larger on the dash than the HDS7- If I get the Z8 most likely will go HDS8 for dash
Whatever boat I get will be sitting on a float air lift under a covered boat dock with no plans to travel to other lakes ...so I ask do you still suggest a cover???
I went to Powerpole website and really think they are cool. Addtl cost for Power pole is $1,875 ...can I use just one or do I need 2?? The web site most boats had 2??

Again Thanks to all who have read and commented on my search for a new bat..this forum ROCKS and the comments have been very VERY helpful. I only hope to eturn the favor one day.

PS Does anyone know if Bass cat or Phoenix plan to display at the Atlanta or Greenville boat shows??
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Old 01-02-11, 03:39 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
Thank you for your comments Carolina-rig-01
The Z8 I believe comes with no rod systems but for $115 I will get one and use the other locker for storage.
I liked the HDS8 because it split into 4 screens but it was much larger on the dash than the HDS7- If I get the Z8 most likely will go HDS8 for dash
Whatever boat I get will be sitting on a float air lift under a covered boat dock with no plans to travel to other lakes ...so I ask do you still suggest a cover???
I went to Powerpole website and really think they are cool. Addtl cost for Power pole is $1,875 ...can I use just one or do I need 2?? The web site most boats had 2??

Again Thanks to all who have read and commented on my search for a new bat..this forum ROCKS and the comments have been very VERY helpful. I only hope to eturn the favor one day.

PS Does anyone know if Bass cat or Phoenix plan to display at the Atlanta or Greenville boat shows??
If it's just going to sit on a lift I wouldn't worry about a cover. It could however help sell the boat down the road if you decide to get rid of it or buy another one, but that doesn't sound like it's in your plans (which is a good thing, if you can buy the boat you want and be happy with it the first time it will save you a bunch of trouble and money) so I don't think I would get a cover if I were you. If it turns out that you want one you can always order one later on.

The biggest benefit to having two powerpoles instead of just one is simple. If you have one then the wind can still turn you in circles, if you have two then you can just drop them both and not have to worry about the wind moving you around. Two is without a doubt the way to go if you can swing it but like I said earlier, they are just nice to have and not necessary.

Another thing to look into is a Minn Kota Talon. It's a shallow water anchor that works a lot like a Powerpole but it has some benefits over the Powerpole, however the Powerpole also has a few benefits over the Talon but it's worth checking out. The Talon is electric operated where the Powerple is hydrolic operated. This means that the Talon will not only be more quiet (which is huge in shallow water) but also doesn't have any hydrolic pumps to fail (and I have heard of a few Powerpole pumps failing, but they were also taken care of in a timely manner by Powerpole which is nice). Also without the hydrolic pumps, the Talon will leave you a lot more room in the battery compartment and will not add as much weight to your rig. The biggest downside I know of is that they don't fold down like the Powerpole when they are deployed, rather they have a spike that comes straight down out of them. This is a bit of a problem for guys who have low clearance when backing the boat into a garage because with the Powerpole you can lower them part way to clear the door and then raise them back up once they clear the door. This doesn't sound like a situation you will be faced with so maybe the pros of the Talon will outweigh the cons, I would check them out for sure if I were you. Sorry to throw another curveball into your shopping but I want you to know all your options before signing the dotted line lol.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:41 PM   #42
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Here is a link to the Minn Kota Talon.............. http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...hor/talon.aspx
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Old 01-02-11, 05:19 PM   #43
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Another simple thing to consider with the power pole, since you are keeping this boat at the lake, is whether or not the techniques you will be using on this lake will even make the power pole needed. If its a deep lake, you really might not bother.
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Old 01-02-11, 05:43 PM   #44
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I would add a cover. I know you trust your neighbors but if some can see in your boat and you have $3,000 worth of electronics visible, that could be awful tempting to a thief. A cover won't stop them, but it also keeps them from seeing what you have in it.
I would look here to see if any dealers will have Bass Cat or Phoenix. Also look for "fishing" shows. Typically they will have more bass boats then recreational boats.


http://www.atlantaboatshow.com/
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Old 01-02-11, 05:58 PM   #45
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I would also get a cover, because do you what the white stuff in bird crap is? It's a easier to clean it off the cover than your nice new shiney boat.
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Old 01-02-11, 06:54 PM   #46
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Unable to find a Phoeniux dealer near Atlanta or Greenville Sc so I plan to call Phoenix and talk to them
One thing i noticed on the Phoenix web site is you can choose your engine..
Can I get some opinions on what is better??
MERCURY
YAMAHA
EVINRUDE
HONDA
I dont think there is a price differnece from my understanding you chose which one you want.
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Old 01-02-11, 08:02 PM   #47
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Sit in them. If you're tall (over 6') leg room under the Nitro console is tight. I'm 6'5" and I run an older TR-21 and I went with Triton due to the leg room and being able to slide right into the seat with no problem. I'm on my second Triton and I like them. I really don't like the console layout on the BassCat, only negative I can say about them otherwise they are a top shelf boat. The Phoenix is the best laid out platform for the angler, but I've never rode in one. Ranger - great riding stable fishing platform, but man they are also one of the most expensive and a bit slow. Find a dealer that is rasonably close and has a great service department - that should be about 25% of the reason you buy a particular brand.
As to what size boat - with having a home at the lake, my choice would be a 20' with 250 HP. You'll have all the storage you need, with the house close you won't have to take EVERY piece of gear on the boat every day. Max out the HP and you'll have a very fast boat, with a good fishing platform. You could go with a smaller outboard if cost of fuel is a concern, but the fun factor would be dimished. I also recommend a dual console - I think it balances the look of the boat, plus anyone riding with you in early spring or late fall will greatly appreciate it. The extra glove compartment storage is a plus also.
The 20' would be OK with a 24v T/m, but I'd want a 36v. Like the outboard - you can NEVER have too much power. You do have to consider the weight/expense of the additonal battery and a 3 or 4 bank charger, but it would be the way I'd go. You will appreciate that on windy days or if you fish areas with current.
Batteries - size 27's for t/m (either 2 or 3) will power you all day. Buy the biggest (31) series for the cranking battery - it also runs the electronics and today's big color units draw a lot of amps over a day, running the livewells in addition can drain a smaller battery by days end. I also highly recommend AGM batteries over wet cell - no water to add, anything that decreases the routine maintence of a boat is a plus, and nothing kills a battery quicker than letting it run low on water.
Electronics - tough choice. I've used Lowrance for a long time, but recently purchased a Humminbird SI unit. I haven't used it yet, so the decision for me to make a complete change over hasn't been made. Cust. Service for Lowrance the last couple years is in the BOTOM of the bucket, Humminbird is, from what I've heard, top notch. I also like the fact the 'bird units are self contained when it comes to side imaging - Lowrance you need to buy an additional SI unit ($600) for the sonar to have side scan capability.
Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 01-02-11, 08:49 PM   #48
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Powerpoles seem useless to me when freshwater fishing. They seem to be at home fishing the flats for Trout and Reds. If you DO decide for a shallow water anchor remember that the Talon moves much slower than the power pole, which may be of issue in a lot of wind.

I would get the cover... remember that birds like covered docks too.

As for outboard choice, well it is like like asking which truck is better... Chevy, Dodge, or Ford. It is all a matter of opinion. Yamaha seems to be the most popular. I am personally a huge Evinrude E-Tec fan. But if you buy a Nitro, you wont have too much choice.
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Old 01-02-11, 09:43 PM   #49
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Quote:
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Powerpoles seem useless to me when freshwater fishing. They seem to be at home fishing the flats for Trout and Reds. If you DO decide for a shallow water anchor remember that the Talon moves much slower than the power pole, which may be of issue in a lot of wind.
I think there are several situations in freshwater fishing where a shallow water anchor would be a big help. Fishing any shallow area with any technique would be made much easier if the wind was blowing hard and you were wanting to pick an area apart slowly. Bed fishing or just flipping shallow cover in general are just two applications I can think of off hand. It all depends on the angler and how often he finds himself fishing shallow water. Personally I do a lot of shallow fishing and could find plenty of uses for it. In a lot of the tournaments I fish we beach our boats for weigh-in and being able to drop a Powerpole or Talon would sure be nice too.

However I believe the Talon is actually faster than the Powerpole. There is a video at this link that shows how fast the Talon deploys compaired to the "competition" which is Powerpole http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...hor/talon.aspx
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Old 01-04-11, 11:40 AM   #50
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I have owned them all from BassCat pumas to Ranger Z22 with a 300 hammer, and Skeeters in between. IMO the best all around boat made for serious bass fishing is a Phoenix 721 with a 250 Merc. I can run 78 tourney loaded two men, rides better than ANY boat that I have ever had. It is my opinion that the wider the front deck, to a point, the more hull slap you get in very rough water. The Phoenix is designed to do one thing, catch fish......They have my business, until something better comes along.
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