|Deadrise/Transom||16 deg.||Water Cap||none|
|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||1 x 150-hp Mercury OptiMax SX|
1 x 150-hp Mercury Optimax
1 x 150-hp Mercury Optimax Pro XS
by Capt. Dan Armitage
Shorter is better when negotiating sticks-ups and other tight waters in search of bass.
At the other end of the speed spectrum, the Nitro’s hull was equally responsive to the helm when the full power of the standard 150-hp Mercury Optimax is put into play. After reaching planing speed in an average of 3.8 seconds, we averaged 59.4 mph WOT speed, peaking at 5450 rpm. During our testing we didn’t note a hint of pounding with the 16-degree, variable-deadrise hull crossing a reasonable chop at planing speed.
Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we were running at 31.4 mph and were getting 5.98 mpg.
We found the 18’ 8” Z-7 to be very responsive to the standard Minn Kota Maxxum 70-pound-thrust bow-mounted trolling motor. The bow deck features a recess for the motor’s foot control.
The performance characteristics of Nitro’s proven hull design were apparent during our recent review of the Z-7. Click on "Test Results" at the top of the page for all of the data.
The Nitro Z-7 is designed to accept a variety of popular angling options, such as a Hot Foot throttle under the helm console.
We would exercise the Hot Foot option that Nitro makes available if we were ordering for the Z-7. A standard bicycle bow seat and the folding pedestal seat stow inside the forward locker. The rig has a 32-gallon divided livewell aft with aeration and timer standard. There is a second mounting base for the rear fishing pedestal located a bit farther forward on the aft deck.
To help with the operator’s vision while running the boat during low light periods, the helm console includes a dimmer switch to control the amount of light coming off the gauges.
A standard flush-mounted Lowrance Mark 5x fishfinder centers a dash that features tachometer and speedometer gauges placed up high above the wheel for easy viewing. Trim and battery level gauges, located adjacent to the steering column and obstructed the wheel, are less visible.
There is a lockable lid to secure the storage compartment on the convertible passenger console, which is an option on the Z-7.
Removable Port Console
Both the helm and passenger consoles offer reasonable protection for fishermen while the Nitro is underway. The companion console to port is removable for solitary fishing use or to gain more deck space no matter how many anglers are aboard. The console is attached with three fasteners, fitted with thumbscrews, so no tools are required to remove or install the convertible unit.
Check out the amount of foam padding in these seats.
We were impressed with the comfort and the design of the seating we found in the Z-7’s cockpit, noting the all three seats are open at the back to keep the air flowing and occupants comfortable. The bottom sections of the outboard pair to port and starboard flip up to reveal storage compartments; the middle seat hides the access to the boat’s 45 gallon center-balanced fuel tank.
Note the non-skid panels (in black) on the top of the port transom pod for secure footing during the re-boarding process.
We appreciate the Nitro’s easy-to-stow-and-deploy “re-boarding” ladder. It’s positioned correctly, with a hand grip and foot step where you need them.
The Z-7 rig comes with a custom trailer built of welded tubular steel that carries standard features including retractable safety cables, transom saver and a swing-away tongue.
A bird’s eye view of the Z-7 showing all the storage options reveals the boat’s capabilities in terms of securing fishing gear.
We like this mid-size bass boat from Nitro. It looks great, is well-built, handles like a champ at speeds high and low and is priced right at $26,995 including a 150-hp Mercury Optimax outboard and custom trailer. Unless you absolutely need the storage capacity and open-water performance attributes of a 20-foot-plus rig, we see no reason why an avid bass angler should not consider the Z-7.
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
= Standard = Optional
|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.|