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Looking at new boats Nitro-Ranger-Phoenix (Need Opinions)
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   Fishing Boats, Motors, Trailering, Q & A or Discussion

Posted by Bomber 175
4/12/2018 10:26 AM
Best ride Gas mileage Best fishing I am looking at 20 ft with 250 hp Thanks for any help.
Posted by derek81
4/12/2018 10:56 AM
If I was going to buy a new boat it would be a Phoenix or Skeeter
Posted by BullMerc225
4/12/2018 11:19 AM
In my opinion, Phoenix is your best all around boat in every aspect. I have had 5 and they are a fine fishing machine. Would be happy to take you for a ride if you are interested!
Posted by jb366
4/12/2018 11:36 AM
I had a ranger and now a phoenix. Ranger has all the fancy bells and whistles, a little more attention to detail than most, and is very stable to fish from. But the ride leaves alot to be desired. The heavy chop to rollers the chick gets when they're rolling current and the wind is out of the south will loosen your teeth in a ranger. A 4 blade helps because of added lift but it's a flat running hull by design.

Phoenix isn't quite as fancy as the C or L series rangers but you can load them down with as much as you want. Build quality is solid. If you want to search and nitpick you can find a flaw here or there but you can do that with any boat.
The ride is the biggest reason why I have one. I took one for a spin then it was only a matter of picking a color and a motor. The front deck is smaller than the ranger but it doesn't fish small by any means. The design of the hull that makes it ride so good gives up a little stability with the tm down but it's still stable to fish from. They do chine walk a little when you get into the lower 70's but as long as your load is balanced it doesn't take much to counter it.

Fuel mileage will be more dependent on what motor you choose. The G2 will be the best followed by the pro xs then the sho. But they're all fairly close. The pro xs and sho come about to about even when you factor in buying dfi oil and running 89 octane in the sho.
Posted by 31airborne
4/12/2018 12:25 PM
I'm with BullMerc - of the three option you listed PHX is, by far, the best overall. Ride, storage layout, performance in all kinds of conditions are superior in the PHX. That said . . .

Fuel efficiency will be more a function of how you drive your boat than it will be a matter of which boat you chose. In my Triton, the 5200-5400 rpm range is kinda the sweet spot. My buddy's PHX is a little higher - around 5500-5600 rpm. If you load it up w/ tackle and people your fuel efficiency will suffer. If you keep it loader lighter it'll improve. Yes, some hulls are inherently more efficient by design but I don't know that it's discernible. Driving in the sweet spot range compared to running WOT all the time is very easily discernible.
Posted by Corey
4/12/2018 1:46 PM
My first new boat was a nitro z8 in 2014 an it’s the last nitro I will own the ride is ok but quality is just awful.
Posted by finbully
4/12/2018 1:48 PM
Best way to figure this out is go to the dealers and lake test.

I like Ranger and their 500 series hull is a big improvement over the previous version. I could tell the difference the first minute riding in the newer hull.
Posted by FishingwithRusty
4/12/2018 2:28 PM
of the 3, Phoenix! great layout for fishing, the 9series carries more width to the front of the boat vs the 721. the 721(with a 250ProXS) i ran for almost a year was an 80mph boat, was stable and fun to drive. trim the nose and do a 180 turn at 55mph with ease. if i was buying a new boat and money wasnt an issue it would be a Sterling, with Phoenix being a close second.
Posted by sdfd29
4/12/2018 5:09 PM
Don't overlook a Basscat. I know they don't have a dealer locally, but I have been very happy with mine and the customer support is the best in the business.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/12/2018 7:35 PM
Thanks for your help, test drove the ranger today wasn’t what I thought it would be, test driving the Phoenix 721 pro tomorrow will let you know how it was.
Posted by FirstLight
4/12/2018 10:03 PM
This is an interesting post! A lot of positive feedback for Phoenix boats. I guess that’s why we are seeing more and more of them on the water. Since I was a kid, all I wanted was a Ranger so that’s what I got, and I love it. It’s an 18 1/2 footer. Down the road if I get a bigger rig, I’ll have to drive a Phoenix. I love the look of Skeeters too.

The only bass boats I’ve ridden in are 3 Tritons and 2 rangers. All different size boats, but similar hull designs so I don’t know any different. They all are solid rides in a chop. That said, I would like to drive a lighter hull sometime.

For what it’s worth, I have heard from 2 different buddies that nitros are good for guys that are sponsored because they get regular upgrades. But hear/say on the nitro is not so good.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on the Phoenix....

Edited by FirstLight 4/12/2018 10:04 PM
Posted by CATCHMAN
4/12/2018 10:50 PM
I love my Triton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by elwestb
4/13/2018 8:11 AM
From what you have suggested I would also go with the Phoenix. Then for your new boat be sure to look at the Yamaha SHO four stroke engine! The fuel economy, power, is unbelievable!
Posted by Bomber 175
4/13/2018 9:15 AM
I looked at Triton they did not have enough leg room my knees were almost touching the console, but i like the Triton.
Posted by 31airborne
4/13/2018 9:38 AM
Hmmm. The Triton has adjustable seats. You must be really tall. My partner also drives a Triton - he's 6'3" and has more than enuff room.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/13/2018 11:23 AM
Yes, I had the seat all the way back
Posted by Fshn Cpa
4/13/2018 11:25 AM
I have a Stratos but a guy loaned me his Skeeter. That was a while ago but that was the nicest riding boat I have ever been in. Have been in a couple of the Phoenix also and think they are a good ride. The Ranger ride depends on the model. Rode in a Nitro once and was almost thrown out of the boat.
Posted by beetlespin
4/13/2018 5:24 PM
Of the boats you mentioned Phoenix is best
Posted by Bomber 175
4/13/2018 6:18 PM
Just finished test driving the Phoenix in pretty choppy water and it rode great and had more speed than the other two boats, I think my minds made up now the Phoenix is the winner.
Posted by Blue76
4/15/2018 3:42 PM
What was the other boat you test drove besides Ranger? I have a Ranger and while it is a great fishing platform the ride isn't as good as others I have been in. I was also impressed with Phoenix when i was a co angler in one on a rough windy day. I was also very impressed with a basscat but the water was smooth that day. Never been in a Skeeter but I hear they also ride very good. What I don't want is a boat difficult to drive at higher speeds. I had rather lose a few MPH and have a safer ride.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/15/2018 4:06 PM
The other boat was a nitro Z20 with a 250 pro xs it rode pretty good but the Phoenix was the best they just cut thru the waves without the jarring.
Posted by fishinvol
4/15/2018 10:57 PM
I’ve been in dang nearly every brand now and generally when I have been in clients boat they let me drive . Of the 3 you mentioned a Phonix wins in several aspects in my opinion . Now I will say if you are going with a Phonix , definitely go with the 900 series . I’ve rode in two 721’s and 2 920’s . Hands down the 920 is more comfortable and roomier.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/17/2018 4:04 PM
I agree fishinvol, I'm searching for a 920 Pro XS with what i want in it, I may have to order one though i want a dual console
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
4/17/2018 4:43 PM
I spent a lot of time in Jmax's Ranger 119C and it from a fit and finish - bells and whistles standpoint would be hard to beat but I will have to agree that the newer Ranger hull slaps the water if there is much chop at all. I thought I wanted a Ranger for years but the ride in Jim's and the price caused me to look at other brands. I almost went Triton but as has been mentioned I also didn't want a boat that chine walked. Derek spoke very highly of his Skeeter which caused me to research them. I ended up with an FX21 and couldn't be happier. I think the fit and finish is on par with Ranger, I love the look, and when you hear that you can drive a Skeeter over 70 mph with one hand (if you wanted to - not recommending it) it is true. The hull just glides across the water with no chine walk at all. I've had mine up to 74 on gps and it was as stable as could be. Now the famous Skeeter porpoise that you read about is also a fact, at least in my 21' boat but it just takes some getting used to trimming down when you slow down and delaying trimming up as you get on plane. I also echo what Earl said about the 250 SHO. It is awesome how smooth, quiet, and powerful that engine is. I like Phoenix and as a matter of fact the original owner of my FX21 traded it for a 721 Phoenix because he wanted a little more speed. I talked to him a couple of times. He got his Phoenix with the 250 SHO and he did say he missed the Skeeter's stable ride at WOT and he thought the FX21 fished better. He said the Bird was 3 to 4 mph faster. For me I wouldn't trade a rock solid stable ride for 3 - 4 mph but everyone is different - if we all wanted the same boat it would be pretty boring. You really should test drive a FX20, FX21, or ZX250 with the 250 SHO before you sign on the dotted line.
Posted by jb366
4/17/2018 4:58 PM
fishinvol - 4/15/2018 10:57 PM

I’ve been in dang nearly every brand now and generally when I have been in clients boat they let me drive . Of the 3 you mentioned a Phonix wins in several aspects in my opinion . Now I will say if you are going with a Phonix , definitely go with the 900 series . I’ve rode in two 721’s and 2 920’s . Hands down the 920 is more comfortable and roomier.


721 and 920 are the same from the console back. The front deck is only a few inches wider on the 920 since they raised the deck on the 721 for 2017.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/17/2018 7:25 PM
How expensive are the skeeters loaded out, I would be willing to try one
Posted by Blue76
4/18/2018 8:12 AM

I have been considering the ZX225 or the FX20 along with a couple of the basscat models. I really like the layout and features on the FX20 but it appears to be close to 12 grand more than the ZX225 which is pretty much the same hull but with a different deck layout. The biggest drawback or I might already own a ZX225 is they come "packaged" you don't have a lot of options to choose from... You must use Lowrance electronics... Nothing against Lowrance but I am used to Humminbird. Color choices are ...well... so so... nothing really excited me. Hoping that changes with 2019 models. I cant remember now but there were some other rigging issues with the ZX I didn't like.... maybe it was trolling motor... I wanted an Ultrex.

 Skeeter has NAP posed on their web site... not sure how much you can get off of them.  Only the FX20LE is posted though... usually around $67,000 vs $55,000 for the ZX225.





Edited by Blue76 4/18/2018 8:14 AM
Posted by derek81
4/18/2018 9:18 AM
Bomber 175 - 4/17/2018 7:25 PM

How expensive are the skeeters loaded out, I would be willing to try one


Go drive one, you may love it
Posted by FlippinManiac
4/18/2018 9:18 PM
Not sure where you landed, lots of opinions, but would echo the Bass Cat comment made earlier. Fished out of many, own a Bass Cat and love it. Great ride, fast = fuel efficient, durable, and customer service is amazing. Not sure why you are excluding Bullet but those boats are incredibly fuel efficient, stable, smooth riding and the service is great too.
Posted by Bomber 175
4/18/2018 10:32 PM
I like the Phoenix 920 best the wide front deck and good ride and speed, I may look at a skeeter but I’ve heard of cracking and gel Cote coming off after just 1 year and was garage kept, and the bass cat the deck is too narrow, and the bullet is narrow also and the ones I have rode in didn’t ride good in rough water but that’s just my opinion.
Posted by silvertalon
4/19/2018 12:02 AM
I wouldn't buy anything new. Just like a car- drive it off the lot and loose 10K! There's plenty of practically new, used rigs out there barely broken in with better electronics etc for 20k less than new. Also, after owning a 21 Triton, I'd never run a smaller boat than a 21'. If I did buy new, I'd look at an Allison first. They make the best built hi quality hull in the world. Bullet and Phoenix are close 2nds as well as the Charger 210 Elite (formerly Champion), voted and tested as the best rough water hull out there. Allison being the exception. All the top names have their positives. I wouldn't rush into a purchase. The new 2019 models will be out there in August. Test everything at least twice because water conditions vary. Rough water ride would be my biggest concern. IMO
Posted by Blue76
4/19/2018 11:31 AM
Allison is kind of polarizing... I hear people say how they love the look... I think they are the ugliest boat made and the layout is not something I would care for... but others love them and wouldn't have anything else... It is definitely a boat to be considered IF that is your style.

I also would love a 21' boat but I don't have a garage large enough for most 20 footers.
Posted by silvertalon
4/19/2018 11:53 AM
A swing-a-way tongue will help fit into a smaller garage but you'd still need about 26' deep for a 21'. Sort of agree about the Allison look but check out their website as they have several models most folks don't know about. They are also one of the only companies that show manufacturing details. Most boat companies hide that stuff. Most use chopper guns in their construction and don't want you to see that. Bullet is different as they are All hand laid Kevlar- no chopper gun build up. Allison has a very deep V hull that cuts rough water and rides very high. Anyway, I'd be sure to tour a factory before I'd buy anything. I wish Bullet would come out with a wide model hull. I think it would take the market by a storm. They don't care to expand tho and stay with 2 boats per week. I don't know why they bother to sponsor anyone. Oh well. I guess they are proud tho, that Mercury uses their hulls for HP test platforms. Thats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzHw4SdBakkcredible! Here's a good look at the Charger/Champion 210 Elite.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
4/19/2018 8:31 PM
Bomber 175 - 4/17/2018 8:25 AM

How expensive are the skeeters loaded out, I would be willing to try one


I haven't heard of any gelcoat issues on Skeeters but I'm sure every brand has those occasional problem boats. Derek is right in that just buying a couple of years old will save a ton of money and you can also eliminate getting a lemon as a lightly used boat without gel coat issues is likely going to be ok. I was tempted and may do this if I'm ever in a position to get into another boat to try to pick up a "new" but previous year Skeeter. Keep an eye out online and when the 2019 boats come out the dealers with 2018s on their lot will drop the prices. Seems like I had some ZX 250's that were left over 2016 models priced $12K to $15K off the "new" price and they were new just not the current model year. Really it comes down to all the major brands of bass boats are good boats and they are all too expensive. That's the way luxury items are. I mean by luxury that none of us have to have our bass boats. I know, I know it seems like it and I for one wouldn't want to do without mine but in the big picture they are expensive toys for big boys and as such they carry a premium price. I think slightly used with a bunch of engine warranty is the way to go. My boat was in excellent shape with two years of motor warranty left. It had low hours and everything worked as it should. I was able to speak to the original owner who verified everything the dealer told me including what $$ they allowed him for trade in. My boat isn't perfect, it has some slight indications of wear but I even like that. If it was brand new and perfect and costs $70K I would have been so nervous to not put a scratch on it that it would have been a pain. As it is I can take care of it but enjoy it:-) If you are looking for top of the line with all the bells and whistles then you really should test drive a dual console FX with the 250 sho. They are awesome! Combination of superb ride in all conditions, handling like a sports car, and a super stable fishing platform with plenty of storage. The FX is Skeeter's top of the line with all the bells and whistles and fit and finish. The ZX series is cheaper but still a fantastic boat. Good luck with whatever you decide. Stick with Skeeter, Ranger, Phoenix, Bass Cat, Charger, Allison and you'll have something to be proud of.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
4/19/2018 8:38 PM
Oh one more thing I forgot. It was mentioned that your color choices are limited with Skeeter. That's not true if you have the cash! The package boats are just that, pre-configured in certain color choices to try to hold the $ down but you can custom order from Skeeter whatever color combinations you want. It just will cost more. Visit a Skeeter dealer and take a test ride and then see what your options are. Be forewarned, if you do I think you'll end up in a BUG
Posted by Bomber 175
4/19/2018 9:21 PM
Thanks for the info snake man, I’m taking a FX20 with a 250 SHO for a test drive Saturday, I will let you know how it compares to the Phoenix 920 in my opinion.
Posted by jb366
4/19/2018 10:00 PM
Bomber 175 - 4/19/2018 9:21 PM

Thanks for the info snake man, I’m taking a FX20 with a 250 SHO for a test drive Saturday, I will let you know how it compares to the Phoenix 920 in my opinion.


I've never ridden in a Skeeter but you'll like the sho. I was planning on another pro xs until I test drove a boat with a sho on it. Changed my mind quick.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
4/23/2018 4:00 PM
Bomber 175 - 4/19/2018 10:21 AM

Thanks for the info snake man, I’m taking a FX20 with a 250 SHO for a test drive Saturday, I will let you know how it compares to the Phoenix 920 in my opinion.


So did you try out a FX? Let us know what you think
Posted by Bomber 175
4/23/2018 9:44 PM
No, The guy that was going to take me out had a family emergency, may try it again this weekend.
Posted by Blue76
4/24/2018 10:18 AM
Moses has a 2017 FX20 demo boat at a very good price... Someone needs to buy it so it stops calling my name as I sleep....
Posted by Bomber 175
4/24/2018 7:12 PM
That’s the one I was going to try out
Posted by lafae7
4/24/2018 7:22 PM
I would love an Allison. Resale value is the best amongst any boat brand as well. Just my 2¢
Posted by ga284
5/1/2018 9:28 PM
Well, what's the verdict ? Skeeter or Phoenix ?
Posted by Blue76
5/31/2018 8:02 PM
Did the OP ever make a choice? Just curious.
Posted by Bomber 175
6/2/2018 10:39 AM
Going with Phoenix 920 Pro, just haven’t pulled the trigger yet still deciding on color and where to get it.
Posted by beetlespin
6/2/2018 3:20 PM
Bomber 175 - 6/2/2018 11:39 AM

Going with Phoenix 920 Pro, just haven’t pulled the trigger yet still deciding on color and where to get it.


Good choice
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