Up to the Triton 21HP
The 21HP by Earl Bentz is the largest bass boat built by Triton. Earl and company have put virtually everything needed to compete in the highest levels of tournament competition into this fishing machine. In other words, it takes a back seat no bass boat on the market.
Performance -- Plus Some.
For anglers ready to move up from run-of-the-mill bass boats, the 21HP has the stones and bottom design to handle a wicked chop as well as any boat in class, and on flat water she will scoot faster than most people will want to go. Our test of the 21HP powered by a 250-hp Mercury Optimax Pro XS proved a WOT speed of 77.1 mph at 5800 rpm.
Designed By A Pro.
High speed and good handling are only part of what makes a bass boat worth the consideration of someone moving up. Even more important is having everything aboard that is needed and having it easily at hand. That is where having a talent like Earl Bentz who is a world-class fisherman and veteran boat designer pays off. Earl makes sure that everything is where it should be and the boat is built with the best materials and executed to his demanding standards.
Standard Equipment -- Everything Needed
The true worth of all top-quality boats is more than the sum of its parts. That is because any builder can buy the parts, but proper installation to last and be trouble-free, having those components in just the right place, and making sure that all tolerances are in spec and the fit-and-finish is perfect is another matter. Having said that, here are the major items of standard equipment--
● "Stay-Full" livewell overflow system ● 2,800-gph aerator pumps ● 2,800-gph recirculation pumps ● 2,800-gph pumpouts ● Livewell timer ● Livewell capacity -- 44.5 gal. ● Both wells and lids are insulated
● USCG Person Capacity -- 675 lbs. ● Adjustable driver and passenger suspension bucket seats ● Folding, bench-style seat between driver and passenger ● 1 bike seat ● 2 front pedestal locations
Fishing Equipment Amenities
● Rear storage/baitwell -- 84 quart ● LED compartment lights ● Oversize rod lockers ● Passenger-side rod ramp ● 8' rack compartment for 12 rods ● Motorguide TR82/45"24V trolling motor ● Recessed foot control for motor ● Bow trim switch ● Lowrance HDS-7 with GPS and insight ● Stainless steel pull-up cleats ● Front storage box -- 300 quarts ● Rear storage box -- 168 quarts ● Locations for Plano tackle boxes ● Front deck drink/bait holder ● Power pro pole
Other Major Features
● 3-Year warranty on most factory installed components ● 8 standard color schemes to choose from ● Hot foot throttle ● Cockpit courtesy light ● SeaStar hydraulic steering ● Upright level flotation ● Polished adjustable aluminum jackplate ● 3-bank battery charger with deck plug-in ● Removable 12 qt Igloo cooler ● Built-in ice chest in front step ● Remote oil fill ● Cranking battery
Trailer -- Major Features Only
● Tandem axle ● Radial tires ● Vault hubs with 10-year warranty ● Disc brakes ● Spare aluminum wheel and radial tire ● LED trailer tail and marker lights ● Recessed, waterproof lighting ● GatorHyde protective finish
When we tested the Triton 21HP we got some pretty impressive performance numbers both in terms of speed and fuel consumption in the mid range. Starting with an empty weight of 1,840 lbs (834.6 kg) we added 505 lbs (229 kg) for the engine, a full tank of gas, two people, and our test gear to give us a test weight of 3,044 lbs (1,380.7 kg).
Our test boat was powered with a Mercury 250-hp Optimax Pro XS. Stomping on the hot-foot gas pedal, we launched off across the lake. At 60-62 mph the expected chine walk started to kick in, something that many boats in class do at these speeds. We simply steered through it and continuing to accelerate up to the max of 5800 rpms and 77.2 mph with the wind at our backs. We ran a duplicate run into the 5-mph wind and recorded 77 mph, even. That averages out to be 77.1 mph.
Best Cruise Speeds.
At 3000 rpm we found the best planing fuel efficiency. There we were going 35.3 mph, burning 6.7 gph, getting 5.30 mpg. At 4000 rpm she went 48.3 mph, burned 9.6 gph, and got 5.03 mpg -- almost as good as best cruise and a lot faster.
Hole Shot Time.
Her time to reach planing speed was only 3.2 seconds, and she accelerated to 30 mph in 7.1 seconds. These are impressive numbers.
The Triton 21HP comes standard with a single console, but an optional dual console unit can be easily popped in. We tested the dual console and neither windscreen really did a stellar job of diverting the 77 mph slipstream , but they usually don’t. It is still comforting to have the second console, as there is something to hold on to forward, as well as the additional storage.
At the bow, the 21HP comes pre-wired for plug-n-play application of one of the 15 offered optional trolling motors. The foot control rests in a recessed section of the bow. Next to the trolling motor is a console that has controls for the engine trim and a console for up to an optional 8” (20.3 cm) display fish finder.
Three across seating is at the cockpit, with the center seat folding down to become a step for access to and from the aft casting deck. For storage, there is a 300-qt. forward storage box, 168-qt. storage aft, a 44.5 gal. (169.1 L) livewell, and an 84-qt. baitwell. Additional rod store in a strap-down adjacent to the portside seat.
As can be seen in the promotional photos with this report there is plenty of room on the bow platform which measures 5'6" x 5'8" for two anglers to use at the same time. Obviously the preferred arrange is one in the bow and one in the stern. Since the boat can actually hold three people if their weight adds to less that 675-lbs., three people can conceivably fish from the boat.
Options for the 21HP can be selected a la carte from an extensive menu, or one of two packages may be chosen. These packages are: the "Elite Series" or the "Classic Edition." Both packages are cool and rather complete. We recommend that anyone interested in the Triton 21HP visit the builder's website to scope out the packages or confer with a dealer as to the best one for a specific assignment.
Pricing, of course, depends on many different factors, the most important of which involve the engine selected and the cost of the options selected. Equipped with a 200-hp engine will be the lowest priced way to go and we estimate that the cost will be in the low to mid 50k area. Going up in horsepower to the 300-hp range will bring the MSRP up to something in the mid 60s.
The Triton 21HP is not cheap and if the lowest price possible is wanted we can think of some alternative models and brands. However, for those who are ready to move up to a bass boat in the top tier of the breed, then we think the Triton 21HP is a good option, and given the long list of standard equipment and her fit-and-finish, she is a good value. There's definitely more built into this boat than mere prestige. We are not as keen on going 77 mph in a bass boat -- and we suspect well over 80 mph with a 300-hp engine -- as are a lot of boaters we know. So for those who can be happy with a top speed in the 65 to 70 mph range, there is a good savings to be had at contract time with a 200-hp engine.It is also important to note that while we tested this boat with Mercury power, Triton will pre-rig the boat for any of the major outboard brands.
Standard and Optional Features
Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty to Original Owner