Menu

Choose One or All to Start Looking

Engines Search

Search For

Nitro Z20 (2016-)
(w/ 1 x 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS)

Now playing: 

Nitro Overview Builder Promo

X

Join BoatTest for FREE Now!

Login

Own a boat? Please fill out the following options.

By submitting this form, you acknowledge that you have read and agree with the Privacy Policy & Terms of Use of BoatTEST.com
Signup

Enter in your email below to view all content

;
Do you have a question?Ask a question about this boat or engine?
See the PRICE by becoming a BoatTEST member.
(It's quick and FREE!)
 

Brief Summary

The Nitro Z20 is a turn-key tournament bass fishing package. She comes complete with a Minn Kota bow-mount trolling motor, a basic sonar, dual aft livewells and a low-rider tandem-axle trailer. The rod boxes are "stepped" to keep tackle separated and easy to remove, and there are several added storage boxes where Plano tackle boxes can be stored vertically. Powered with the optional 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS, the boat ran an impressive 71.2 mph in our tests.

Key Features

  • Nitro Vortex Technology (NVT) hull with Rapid Planing System
  • Huge 38 sq. ft. anti-fatigue padded bow deck
  • Unitized hull, foam-filled stringer system and deck for superior durability and flotation
  • Room at the bow and console for flush-mount 12'' (30.48 cm) fishfinders
  • Improved cooler with more insulation, a trash receptacle and snap-in sandwich tray
  • Oversized, lockable port and starboard bow rod lockers with lid assists for rods up to 8'
  • Large lockable center bow storage locker with Tackle Management System
  • 2 aft 19-gal. Guardian aerated, divided livewells with timers
  • Partner rod ramp with rod handle organizer and rod holder strap
  • Factory rigged with a Mercury outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor and custom-fit trailer
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 20' 2''
    6.15 m
    Beam 96''
    2.44 m
    Dry Weight 2,000 lbs.
    907 kg
    Tested Weight 2,668 lbs.
    1,210 kg
    Draft 16''
    0.41 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 16-deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 55 gal.
    208 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    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

    Std. Power 1 x 200-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS
    Tested Power 1 x 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS
    Opt. Power 1 x 225-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS with Torque Master
    1 x 250-hp OptiMax Pro XS with Torque Master
    1 x 250-hp Mercury Verado Pro 4-stroke

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    700 3.3 2.8 0.4 8.1 7.1 402 350 77
    1000 4.3 3.7 0.6 7.2 6.2 355 308 76
    1500 6.3 5.5 1.6 4.1 3.5 201 175 82
    2000 7.0 6.0 3.5 2.0 1.8 100 87 85
    2500 8.3 7.2 6.6 1.3 1.1 62 54 85
    3000 28.1 24.4 6.5 4.4 3.8 215 187 86
    3500 32.5 28.2 8.2 4.0 3.5 197 171 87
    4000 39.9 34.7 9.9 4.1 3.5 201 174 93
    4500 49.3 42.8 10.8 4.6 4.0 227 197 96
    5000 57.3 49.8 12.4 4.6 4.0 229 199 97
    5500 67.2 58.4 17.5 3.8 3.3 190 165 98
    5800 71.2 61.9 22.2 3.2 2.8 159 138 99
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    700 350 647 5.30 1.51 3.46 77
    1000 308 571 6.90 2.27 3.05 76
    1500 175 323 10.10 5.87 1.73 82
    2000 87 161 11.30 13.06 0.85 85
    2500 54 100 13.40 24.79 0.54 85
    3000 187 346 45.20 24.42 1.85 86
    3500 171 317 52.30 30.85 1.69 87
    4000 174 323 64.20 37.29 1.72 93
    4500 197 365 79.30 40.69 1.95 96
    5000 199 369 92.20 46.94 1.96 97
    5500 165 306 108.10 66.24 1.63 98
    5800 138 256 114.60 84.04 1.36 99

    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. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 4.1 sec.
    0 to 30 8.5 sec.
    Ratio 1.78:1
    Props 25'' Fury 3-blade SS
    Load 2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
    Climate 79 deg., 64 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm
    Elevation 920

    Captain's Report

    Nitro Z20 running shot
    The Nitro Z20 can be packaged with a 200-hp outboard in the base package or for guys who want to go big, she can have a 250-hp motor clamped to the stern.

    Mission Statement

    The Nitro Z20 is aimed at the price-conscious bass boat buyer who wants a 20’ (6.09 m) boat that can top 70-mph and do some serious fishing.For the Z20, Nitro uses the NVT (NITRO VORTEX TECHNOLOGY). She has a 16-degree deadrise at the transom and the Rapid Planing System helps with quicker holeshots and better handling. She’s also designed with more bow flare and a lower profile. That combination helps knock down spray while improving aerodynamic efficiency.To appeal to buyers who want a turn-key package, the Z20 comes with a trolling motor, a fishfinder, fore and aft livewells and a tandem-axle trailer.

    Performance

    Top Speed 71.2 MPH.

    The Nitro Z20 is a bass boat and one of the first things people want to know about a bass boat is her top speed. We tested the boat with a 250-hp Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS 2-stroke outboard, turning a 14 5/8 x 25 Fury three-blade stainless-steel propeller and hit a top speed of 71.2 mph at 5800 rpm, while burning 22.2 gph. This gave the Z20 a range of 159 miles at wide open. Best cruise came at 5000 rpm where we ran 57.3 mph and burned 12.4 gph, giving the boat a range of 229 statute miles with a 10% reserve.

    Rapid Planing.

    During development of the new model, Nitro worked on improving holeshot and overall performance with what the manufacturer calls its Rapid Planing System. When we stomped on the optional foot throttle, the boat planed in 4.1 seconds and darted to 20 mph in 5.9 seconds before continuing to 30 mph in 8.5 seconds. The new hull was also designed to reduce backwash over the transom when the boat decelerates quickly and when we came to a sudden stop, no water made it past the splashwell.

    Nitro Z20 keel
    Note the double strake inboard closest to the Z20’s keel. The boat has four strakes per side plus reversed chines to help her plane quickly.

    Maneuverability.

    Bass boats have long been thought of as being one dimensional, as in they’re only good at going fast in a straight line. With the Z20’s bottom, Nitro wanted to dispel that notion and when we put her through slalom and circle turns she completed every maneuver with ease.

    Nitro Z20 casting deck
    The Z20 maximizes fishing space with a 38-sq. ft. (11.6 sq. m) forward casting deck and an aft only that is only slightly smaller.

    Features Inspection

    Trailer.

    The tandem-axle trailer is custom made for the Z20 and has a swing-away tongue, jack, a spare tire and mount. There’s a step at the bow plus one on each side behind the fenders so it’s easy to climb into the boat from either end when she’s on land. It’s finished in the manufacturer’s Galvashield finish for corrosion resistance and comes with custom-aluminum rims.

    Nitro Z20 trailer
    Notice how low the Z20 sits on the custom made trailer, which should make it easier to tow. Total package weight is estimated at 4,050 lbs. (1,837 kg).

    The Stern.

    The aft casting deck has a receptacle for a portable fishing seat and with that seat removed, there’s space for an angler to do his thing. In the aft port corner, there’s a folding ladder that clips in place.

    Aft Storage.

    There are a total of four in-deck hatches. The outboard locker to port has a removable bin about 6” deep and beneath it is a spare propeller mount. The locker to starboard also has a removable tub that has slots for seven Plano 3700 Series tackle boxes. The large center hatch in the stern accesses the batteries, charger and oil injection tank. Forward, two hatches open the 19-gallon (71.92 L) Guardian livewells.

    Nitro Z20 port locker
    The port locker in the aft deck has this spare propeller mount plus some additional space.
    Nitro Z20 aft locker
    This locker in the aft deck has slots for seven Plano 3700 Series tackle boxes. Many anglers buy extra tubs and re-pack them with gear before trips.
    Nitro Z20 battery access
    The large hatch in the center of the aft deck opens to access the oil injection tank, batteries and charger. Nitro reinforces the panel with an aluminum hat section so it won’t flex and supports it with a gas strut.
    Nitro Z20 livewell
    Twin hatches open the Z20’s livewell, which has aeration and recirculation systems. These Velcro straps are part of the boat’s net storage that extends to port behind the bucket seat.

    Racing Seats.

    Bass Pro Shops, Nitro’s parent company, sponsors a team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and not surprisingly the boat manufacturer got some input from the car racers to improve the seats in the Z20. The boat comes standard with a third fold-down seat or buyers can order the boat with a carpeted step between the two buckets.

    Nitro Z20 bucket seats
    The standard carpeted hatch between the bucket seats provides for easy passage to the aft fishing deck.
    Nitro Z20 fuel tank fittings
    The same hatch opens to access the fuel tank fittings. It is wise to inspect them from time to time.

    The Cockpit.

    The port console on our test boat is an upgrade that installs with three thumbscrew-style plastic fasteners. It has a locking glovebox that’s lined with carpet and there’s more locking storage in the angled footrest.

    Nitro Z20 port console
    For fishermen who like to go out in all types of conditions, the port console could be a worthwhile option that provides some protection from the elements as well as a hand hold for the co-pilot below the glove box. The glove box and locker in the footrest adds storage.

    The Helm.

    To starboard, the helm console is finished in glare-killing black and has a removable acrylic windscreen. The instruments are easy to see as is the centrally positioned with blue blacklighting Lowrance Mark-5x Pro fishfinder and there is space for the optional 12'' fishfinder. The optional turn-signal style trim switch and foot throttle are worth considering because they allow a captain to keep two hands on the wheel at high speed. To starboard of the wheel, the boat has a touchpad-style accessory switch panel that includes a Master Power switch. It shuts down the DC power so an accessory can’t be left on accidentally.

    Nitro Z20 fish finder
    The Lowrance Mark-5x pro fishfinder comes standard but there’s plenty of panel space for a bigger unit.

    The Bow.

    The business end of the Z20 has a 38-sq.-ft. (11.6-sq. m) bow casting deck that has a trolling motor and a forward electronics panel with space for a 12” fishfinder. There are two receptacles for the fishing seat to accommodate anglers with long and short legs.Beneath the step to the bow area is an insulated cooler with a snap-in tray that keeps sandwiches from getting soaked in the melting ice. In the forepeak, the boat comes with switches for trimming the outboard motor and the navigation lights and a panel that will accept a 12” screen.

    Nitro Z20 trolling motor
    The Minn Kota trolling motor comes standard and there’s a recessed spot for the foot control.

    Bow Storage.

    In the center of the bow casting deck, a large hatch opens to reveal a locker that has removable dividers so owners can decide how to use the space to store gear. Outboard to port is a large rod locker and to starboard is a large open space that is home to the fire extinguisher.

    Nitro Z20 cooler
    The cooler in the step up from the cockpit to the bow has a wastebasket to port and a sandwich cooler to starboard.
    Nitro Z20 bow locker
    The large locker in the Z20’s bow has removable panels that let owners customize this large storage area.
    Nitro Z20 locker
    Outboard to port, this locker has space for eight rods that measure up to 8’ long.
    Nitro Z20 starboard locker
    This locker in the starboard bow opens on a gas strut and it has an aluminum reinforcement on the underside so the long hatch doesn’t sag when people walk on it.

    Price

    $39,595 with a Mercury 200 L OptiMax Pro XS 2-stroke outboard and tandem-axle trailer.

    Options to Consider

    • Carpet embroidery ($165)
    • Elite four-color option ($350)
    • Removable port console and hardware ($1,095)
    • Mercury SmartCraft gauges ($755)
    • Tackle management system ($75)
    • Keelguard (black or white) ($250)
    • Hot foot throttle (Non Verado engines only) ($130)
    • Trim lever on wheel ($75)
    • Nitro rope ratchet cover ($785)
    • Tandem-axle trailer upgrade ($1,200)
    • Bow graph upgrade (see dealer for choices)
    • Dash graph upgrade (see dealer for choices)

    Observations

    The Nitro Z20 is for the bass fisherman who wants a 20’ (6.09 m) boat that can run 70 mph on conservative power and still do some serious fishing.With the new model, Nitro has improved fishermen's comfort with padding beneath the casting deck and the new bucket seats in the cockpit. The manufacturer also improved the insulation for the in-deck cooler.It’s important to know that Tracker Marine Group has switched its emphasis from low price to high quality. And while the quality is competitive with any brand bass boat, its price is usually considerable less.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Nitro Z20 (2016-) is 71.2 mph (114.6 kph), burning 22.20 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.03 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Nitro Z20 (2016-) is 28.1 mph (45.2 kph), and the boat gets 4.35 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.85 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 215 miles (346.01 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS.
    • Time to plane for the Nitro Z20 (2016-) is 4.1 sec. seconds.
    • Time from 0 to 30 of the Nitro Z20 (2016-) is 8.5 sec. seconds.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    Fishfinder Standard
    GPS/Chart Optional

    Systems

    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    CD Stereo Optional Bluetooth-capable
    Shore Power Standard

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Standard
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard

    Boats More Than 30 Feet

    Generator Optional

    Warranty

    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

    See the PRICE by becoming a BoatTEST member.
    (It's quick and FREE!)