The Mission of the Nitro Z-8
Overall the Nitro Z-8 is designed to be ready for top bass tournaments right out of the box. Her bottom is designed to be quick out of the hole and manageable at speeds in excess of 70 mph.
What's In the Box?
The big three items of standard equipment are the Mercury 200-hp OptiMax Pro XS, color-coordinated, tandem-axle trailer, and the 24V Minn Kota trolling motor.
She has two 20 gal. (75 L) each aerated livewells aft, with timers and pump-outs; controls are at the helm. Port and starboard are two bins that can hold Plano tackle trays. This is an ideal system for anglers who like to arrange their tackle at home and label the trays so the right lure can be quickly found. Two bins forward can hold a number of rods that do not exceed 8' in length.The trolling motor has a 70-lb. thrust and a 42" (106 cm) shaft. There is a recessed foot control for comfort on the bow.
Amidships there is 3-across seating. The port console is optional and can be easily removed and put in place. The steering is hydraulic, and she has full instrumentation including a Lowrance Mark-5X fishfinder which is integrated right into the helm console front and center.
How is She Built? Warranty?
Boat and Trailer.
The Z-8 has a hand-laid fiberglass hull which has a foam-filled 'glass stringer system and composite transom. These days this is pretty much standard industry construction practice. Nitro is confident enough to cover her structure – hull, stringers and transom – for the life of the boat. And it's transferable. The rest of the boat is covered by a limited one-year warranty; the trailer comes with three-year coverage for the galvanized tubing.
The Mercury OptiMax 200-hp Pro XS and all models in this series carry a Mercury factory-backed limited 3-year warranty against defects of parts and labor and a 3-year warranty against corrosion. Both of these warranties are non-declining.
Is She Fast?
To attain maximum performance the Z-8 rides on what Nitro calls its "Rapid Planing System" hull. It incorporates a step near the transom which reduces wetted surface, possibly some drag, and effectively sets the prop further aft into what should be slightly less turbulent water. On the aft one/third or so of the keel is a pad which is nearly flat, thus giving the boat lift. This is a tried-and-true design. Further there are four other lifting strakes on each side of the keel. Altogether this design gives the boat fast times to plane and makes her capable of speeds in excess of 70 mph with a 250-hp outboard, according to the builder.
Her builder says she'll do 66 – 68 mph (106.2 – 109.4 kph) with the standard 200-hp OptiMax, and 70 – 72 mph (112.7 – 115.9 kph) with the optional 225-hp, and 74 – 77 mph (119.1 – 123.9 kph) with the optional 250-hp, which confirms what we have heard elsewhere. This sounds plenty fast to us, given she's just 20'1" long and about 3,600 lbs. (1,633 kg.) loaded.
●2 aerated Guardian livewells with timers, recirculators, and pump-out systems ●70-lb. thrust trolling motor ●Recessed foot pedal for trolling motor ●Two 20-gal. (76 L) livewells with baffles ●Rapid Planing System transom design ●1 bike seat with pedestal ●1 casting seat with pedestal ●Custom-matched tandem axle trailer ●Shallow draft (14") ●Optional, removable companion console ●10" jack plate
There isn't much really needed to add to the Z-8 to get the job done, but all anglers and boaters have different thresholds of what they think "should" and "needs" to be on their pride and joy. For that reason, Nitro has one of the longest lists of options we have ever seen for a 20' bass boat.
One thing that might be wanted by particularly keen anglers is a fishfinder on the bow that costs as little as $205, but can go as high as $4,755, for example. The standard Lowrance fishfinder in the dash can be changed out for far more sophisticated gear for a similar range of up-charges. Also, upgrading the trolling motor runs between $345 and $940. We'd want trim control on the steering wheel ($70), the Hot Foot throttle ($150) and maybe tilt steering ($200). All boats need covers, and here they are optional and some can be expensive. We have found that it is always best to buy from the builder to ensure the best fit and color match. And, of course, the trailer can be upgraded.
MSRP for the Z-8 is $35,595 with prep and freight and standard power. With the optional 225-hp OptiMax Pro XS delivered it is $37,540. The 250-hp OptiMax Pro XS, including prep and delivery is $40,340.
Even speed-crazed anglers who can't live without the large engine and a load of the optional goodies can buy the Nitro Z-8 for under $45,000; stick with standard power and equipment and she comes in for under $36,000. This is a price hard to beat.But these prices beg the question: Why are other bass boats from $10,000 to nearly $30,000 more expensive?
Most other bass boats in class are more expensive for a laundry list of reasons, none of which have to do with hull integrity (the hull has a lifetime warranty), speed, stability, comfort, or basic tournament-ready necessities. Some of the things that can cause boats to be more expensive are -- corporate overhead, corporate debt payments, corporate advertising and promotion including a large staff of expensive pro anglers, exotic materials, higher margins at corporate and dealer levels, more amenities, less-efficient production and lower sales volume, among other things.
Compared to Other Boats in Class.
When we compare other bass boats in class we discover that Z-8 ties two others for being the beamiest, is about the same weight as two and heavier than three others, has a greater livewell capacity than all boats but one, carries a greater fuel load than all and may be the shallowest draft of any other bass boat in class. We say "may be" because most other bass boat builders do not give the draft of their boats in the 20' class -- a sure sign that they feel it is not competitive. Based on our research, we can come to no other conclusion than the Nitro Z-8 is a capable boat and a very good value.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Generator||Optional Oxygen generator|