Captain's Report by Capt. Dan Armitage
While not unique to Triton, the convertible passenger console is a key feature found on the 19' (5.79 m)bass boat. And, according to marketing VP Adam Adkisson, the convertible console is one of the few areas that Triton deemed necessary to “tweak” for 2012 after the model’s introduction in 2011. Triton has replaced the latches that secured the console to the deck on the 2011 model with a new screw-in knob system for the 2012 SE. The new hardware still allows deployment or removal in less than a minute and retains the same three-points-of-contact for securing the console to the deck.
Both the passenger and the operator’s consoles on the 19SE are complemented by seats set on sliders that can be adjusted six inches forward or aft to offer the most comfortable leg position. The sole beneath the helm console features a foot-well that offers more than an inch of extra room between the console and the operator’s legs. On top, the Triton’s consoles are designed to allow flush mounting of electronics with ten-inch display screens, an aesthetic, space-saving feature we haven’t found on other bass boat in the 19-foot class.
Although the 95-inch-beam isn’t the broadest in the class, Triton appears to take advantage of every angle to offer the largest casting decks possible. There is room for two anglers up front, and a third on the aft casting deck. The decks are covered by marine carpet with seams trimmed and hidden for a clean look.
Underfoot up front is a pair of lockers, to port and starboard, with capacities to store items up to eight feet long. The port-side locker has racks designed to secure up to a dozen fishing rods; the locker to starboard can accommodate – if not organize -- twice that number, but without racks is able to serve as storage for a variety of items. In the center of the forward deck, where some bass boat manufacturers place the primary rod locker, are a bulk storage compartment and a bin designed to hold up to seven Plano-style tackle boxes. Two more designated tackle box lockers are found under the aft casting deck.
Available engines for the 19SE range from Mercury 150- to 225-hp motors to push the 1844-pound modified-V hull to speeds in the low 70, according to Triton. The hull features traditional high-performance attributes including a pad, lifting strakes and a variable deadrise, reverse chine design. Triton’s wood-free, composite “unibody” construction unites the hull, stringers and deck using hand-laid fiberglass to reduce flex, and is backed by a full-width transom to distribute outboard weight. The rig’s standard trailer is built using tubular steel, has tandem axles with disc brakes, Vault oil bath hubs and submersible, waterproof lights. Tandem axle rigs are unusual as standard equipment
Triton includes a traditional array of features as standard items with the 19SE package, including full instrumentation, dual-bank battery charger, bilge and livewell pumps (800 gph), hydraulic steering (SeaStar), navigation and deck lighting and fishfinder (Lowrance Mark 5X) and bow-mounted trolling motor (Motorguide FW75/45”/24). Notable standard items are Triton’s Res-Q retractable boarding ladder, which is hidden in the transom where it won’t snag fishing lines, and a trailer with a swing-away tongue to shorten the trailered rig from 24 to 22 feet to better fit in garages. We’d like to see a spare tire included on the standard items list. The standard package is offered with a three-year warranty on most factory installed components and a limited lifetime hull warranty to the original owner.Overall, we find this to be an impressive list of stand equipent, so when comparing bass boats you must crank that into your equation.
Depth finders from Humminbird and Lowrance and electric motors from Motorguide and Minnkota lead the list of options available for the SE19. Seating, jackplate and livewell upgrades are offered, as are AGM batteries. Options also include Hot Foot throttles and Power Pole anchor systems. Trailer options include upgrades such as Gatorhyde coating, radial spare tire and second-axle surge brakes, or cost-cutting features including a channel frame and singe-axle choices. Most are covered in the three-year warranty on factory installed components.
The fact that little was changed between the first 19SE and the model for 2012 tells us that, right out of the gate, Triton came very close to ‘nailing’ their initial 19 foot bass boat entry last year. Tournament anglers who purchased the 2011 model would have pressured the manufacturer into changing anything significantly lacking – especially if it affected their abilities to be competitive. Another plus of interest to tournament fishermen considering purchasing a boat in this class is the Triton Gold program, which rewards Mercury 225 hp-powered SE owners who win qualifying fishing competitions with contingency money. Also of note is Triton’s Local Heros and Veterans purchase program for employees of fire, police and related service departments and active duty and veteran members of the armed forces. Regardless of those incentives, we think the MSRP of $48,000 for the standard 19SE package including a Mercury 225 Pro XS Optimax is a reasonable one for tournament anglers who are serious about their ride.
Standard and Optional Features