Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-)
(w/ 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot)

Now playing: 

Sea-Doo - X-Series

Watch some running footage of Sea-Doo's Personal Watercraft X-Series.
Text Size: AAA
The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX has been redesigned and modified to improve its fishability and safety. This twin-toon has an 8' 2'' (2.49 cm) beam, weighs 1,375 lbs. dry, and has a max rated hp capacity of 60. We tested her with a Mercury 40-hp BigFoot 4-stroke.

Key Features

  • Extra-plush marine-grade upholstery
  • 24'' (60.96 cm) diameter high-buoyancy, multichambered pontoon logs
  • Bow fishing platform includes 2 fishing chairs with secure screw-in pedestals and rail-mounted rod, tool and drink holders
  • Aft L-lounge with underseat storage
  • Forward-console seat with aerated livewell below
  • Aft fishing platform with vinyl floor, fishing chair, vertical rod holders and molded livewell unit
  • Boarding platform with non-skid surface and boarding ladder with handrails
  • 7' color-keyed polyester Bimini top with protective boot

Specifications

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Specifications
Length Overall 20' 0''
6.1 m
Dry Weight 1,375 lbs.
624 kg
Beam 8' 2''
2.49 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft N/A Fuel Cap 32 gal.
121 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap N/A
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 40-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke BigFoot
Tested Power 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot
Opt. Power 1 x 20-hp Mercury EL 4-stroke
1 x 20-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
1 x 25-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
1 x 50-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke BigFoot
1 x 60-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke BigFoot

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Line Drawing

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Captain's Report

By Captain Dan Armitage

Construction Highlights

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX is supported by twin pontoons that are 24''(.61 m) in diameter, which is pretty much standard.

The name of this boat describes her mission: a pontoon boat that has specialized features for bass or multi-species fishing. Because the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX has twin toons and an affordable price, she is intended for more sedate running, so this is not intended for high-speed towing. Sun Tracker has other boats for towing watersports.

Performance

Having said that, during our test of the Bass Buggy 18 DLX, powered by a 40-hp Mercury 4-stroke, we had a WOT speed of 16.8 mph on average, burning 3.8 gph. So that means that you can tow a banana or some other water toys in a pinch, but if that is what you want to do, you should get more power, and maybe even consider a triple-toon.

At best cruise, which was at 3500 rpm, we averaged 7.4 mph, burning just 1.3 gph and got 5.34 mpg, for a range of 168 miles from the boat's 32 gallon (121 L) fuel tank -- with a 10% reserve. This is the speed that most people will run the boat most of the time. At that speed you can motor around for 24 hours without refueling.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

The Sun Tracker deck is surrounded by metal "fence" panels that are corrugated for extra strength. We prefer to call them "bulkwarks."

Going for a more upscale look, the Bass Buggy 18 DLX features corrugated deck "fencing" coated in a high-gloss black finish and fewer graphics than found on previous models. The deck features a new extruded aluminum edging and has full-width Z-bar supports and sport cleats at each corner.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

The Bass Buggy 18 DLX's extended motor pod frees up space on the deck, allowing maximum use of its 20' (6.1 m) length.

The all-welded-aluminum motor pod is new for the Bass Buggy 18 DLX this year, and serves double-duty by securing the boat’s built-in fuel tank beneath the aft deck. The reservoir’s 32 gallon (121 L) capacity is generous, and by containing the weight of the fuel centered and below deck level, its position helps keep the boat’s center of gravity low.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

We like the Bass Buggy 18 DLX’s oversized boarding ladder with wide steps and large handrails.

At the stern to starboard of the motor pod is a heavy-duty boarding ladder that appears to be designed for a larger boat. The ladder has three rungs, unfolds to drop 38'' from the deck, and leads to a small boarding deck outside of the fencing.

Fishing Features

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

The aft fishing station combines rod and cup holders with an aerated livewell/baitwell within easy reach of the rear fishing seat.

Anglers find two aerated livewells aboard the DLX, one on the fishing deck aft and another built into the front of the steering console. Both livewell stations offer rod holders.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

We found that the throttle position at the helm of the Bass Buggy 18 DLX is positioned to allow the operator to sit or stand when running the 20 footer (6.1 m).

Angling Options

An optional fish package adds a Lowrance X-4 Pro fishfinder and a MotorGuide W55 Wireless Series 12V, 55-lb. thrust trolling motor with remote control. The bottom panel of the Bass Buggy’s bow gate is cut out to accommodate the head and shaft of a bow-mounted trolling motor when it is flipped up onto the deck between deployments. This feature allows the gate to remain in place and secured despite the presence of the optional secured motor.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

An L-shaped couch with roto-molded base features deep padding and hides storage lockers.

Creature Comforts

The deck of the Bass Buggy 18 DLX is a hybrid, with 22-ounce marine-grade carpeting underfoot in the cockpit and easy-to-clean, skid-free vinyl flooring on the fish platform aft. Accessories such as cargo netting on the underside of flip-up seat bases add utility to the storage capacity of this 20' (6.1 m) boat.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

A standard 7' (2.13 m) Bimini top protects occupants from the elements overhead.

We appreciate the coverage of the Bimini top, as well as the options for stowing it while fishing, cruising or trailering: folded overhead and secured against the aft supports or dropped down to stow atop the stern railing. Note the amount of deck space to port of the helm in the bird's-eye photo. We like the way the contours of the re-designed helm console reflect those of the helm seat and the lounge seat base, giving the boat a stylish appearance.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

There are three gates to allow passengers to gain entry to the Bass Buggy 18 DLX, each fitted with dual-locking latches. The aft fishing seat is under the rolled up Bimini.

Layout Features

An overhead view shows just how much space is available to passengers – including elbow room for anglers – aboard this 20 footer. Check out the combo cup-holder/tackle racks on the bow and the vertical rod storage rack adjacent to starboard of the forward fishing seats. The aft angler has a deck to his or her own, complete with livewell and a rod holder.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

On the trailer, the 20' (6.1 m) Bass Buggy 18 DLX is easy to tow, maneuver and stow back home. We’d like to see a folding tongue as an option to make the rig more family garage-friendly.

On the Road

The trailer for the Bass Buggy is custom built for the boat, with full length bunks supporting the pontoons and the trailer’s wheels underneath. The trailer structure offers direct support and a broad stance for stable towing. The three-step entry with handrail on the winch stand is a welcome standard feature, as are the EZ Lube hubs and the trailer’s powder-coat-over-galvanized “Galvashield” finish.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

Everyone in the family can participate in the fishing fun while on the Bass Buggy 18 DLX.

Recommendations

Most of us here at BoatTEST.com have children of our own and appreciate any attempts at addressing the needs of families – especially where boats are concerned. The stability and high bulwarks (aka "fences") inherent with most pontoon boat designs make them an excellent choice for anyone considering boating with youngsters. Just remember that pontoon boats are designed for use on protected waters.

With features such as pinch-free folding seats, dual-locking latches on the gates, a sturdy, deep-reaching boarding ladder, enough elbow room on deck and plenty of protection from the sun and rain overhead, the Bass Buggy DLX is about as family friendly -- and affordable -- a boat as we can find. Even without the optional fishing package, the boat can serve as a fine fishing platform for occasional angling.

At the end of the day, the 20' Sun Tracker rig is easy to load, trailer back home and store. You can match the boat to the outboard power and price point you wish to hit, and get the family on the water for what we feel is a very reasonable cost.

Our test boat was powered by a 40-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke EFI BigFoot which has an MSRP of $14,595.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) is 16.8 mph (27 kph), burning 3.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 14.38 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) is 8.6 mph (13.8 kph), and the boat gets 5.34 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.27 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 168 miles (270.37 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Fishfinder Optional
Systems
CD Stereo Standard
Trailer Optional
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Canvas
Bimini Top Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Warranty

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Price

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX (2014-) Price
Pricing Range $14,595.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.


Test Results   (Printer Friendly Page)

Test Power: 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot
  Range  
RPM MPH Knots Total GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM   KM    KPH    LPH    KPL   dBA
700 1.8 1.5 0.2 8.8 7.6 276 240 444 2.90 0.76 3.72 65
1000 2.2 1.9 0.3 8.8 7.7 277 241 446 3.50 1.14 3.74 67
1500 3.3 2.9 0.4 9.4 8.2 297 258 478 5.30 1.51 4.01 67
2000 4.5 3.9 0.5 10.0 8.7 315 274 507 7.20 1.89 4.25 68
2500 5.3 4.6 0.7 8.2 7.1 257 223 414 8.50 2.65 3.46 68
3000 6.5 5.6 1.0 6.8 5.9 214 186 344 10.50 3.79 2.89 69
3500 7.4 6.4 1.3 5.9 5.1 185 161 298 11.90 4.92 2.50 75
4000 8.6 7.4 1.6 5.3 4.7 168 146 270 13.80 6.06 2.27 77
4500 10.8 9.3 2.2 5.0 4.4 158 137 254 17.40 8.33 2.13 80
5000 13.1 11.3 2.8 4.8 4.1 149 130 240 21.10 10.60 2.02 81
5500 15.0 13.0 3.3 4.6 4.0 145 126 233 24.10 12.49 1.96 81
5800 16.8 14.6 3.8 4.4 3.8 139 121 224 27.00 14.38 1.87 84

All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation.

Performance Chart

Performance Chart

Test Conditions

Test Power: 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot
Time To Plane N/A
0 to 30 9.2 sec. ( 0 to 15 mph)
Test Power 1 x 40-hp Mercury EFI BigFoot
Transmission N/A
Ratio N/A
Props 14 x 9 Aluminum
Load 2 persons, full fuel, no water, 25 lbs of gear
Climate 81 deg.; 35% humidity; wind: 0 mph; seas: calm