Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofNitro Z-8 Promotional Video above furnished by Tracker Marine Corp.
The new Nitro Z-8 has a detatchable dual console, a redesigned bottom, insulated livewell, and lots of standard equipment. And, she's dry! At 20'1" (6.12 m) LOA and 8' (2.44 m) beam, she's big enough and stable enough for neophyte and veteran anglers alike.
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.
What's In the Box?
Nitro Boats sets up the Z-8 with plenty of gear, both built-in and added-on. She has two aerated livewells aft, with timers and pump-outs; controls are at the helm. Her steering is hydraulic, and she carries full instrumentation and a Lowrance Mark-5X fishfinder. There's a 24v MotorGuide trolling motor forward, a fold-down reboarding ladder aft, and plenty of seating and stowage in-between. All your rigs will fit in two rod lockers under the foredeck, with a large stowage box for other gear; aft, lift-out boxes hold tackle trays. All of this is standard, too, as is a color-coordinated, tandem-axle trailer.
How is She Built?
The Z-8 has a hand-laid fiberglass hull backed up with a foam-filled 'glass stringer system and composite transom. 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's covered by a limited one-year warranty; the trailer comes with three-year coverage for the galvanized tubing.
Is She Fast?
To coax maximum performance out of whatever power you choose, the Z-8 rides on Nitro's Rapid Planing System hull, which incorporates a step near the transom. The company says this makes the Z-8 quicker out of the hole, with little bow rise, better handling and faster with less horsepower than conventional hulls. Nitro offers Mercury OptiMax Pro XS outboards from 200-hp (standard) to 250-hp; 225- and 250-hp motors can be upgraded with Merc's race-bred Torque Master lower unit.
We haven't tested the Nitro Z-8, but her builder says she'll do 66 – 68 mph (106.2 – 109.4 kph) with the standard 200-hp OptiMax, 70 – 72 mph (112.7 – 115.9 kph) with 225-hp and 74 – 77 mph (119.1 – 123.9 kph) with 250-hp. This sounds plenty fast to us, given she's just 20'1" long and about 3,600 lbs. (1,633 kg.) loaded. Remember, these are Nitro numbers, not BoatTEST.com's, so don't call us if your Z-8 won't run this fast.
Extras You'll Want
Other than standard equipment, there isn't much you really need to add to the Z-8, but some things you might want. Adding a second fishfinder on the bow costs between $225 and $3,700, depending on how crazy you get, and if you want GPS. You can exchange the standard Lowrance finder in the dash for a similar range of upcharges. Upgrading the trolling motor runs between $450 and $850. We'd want trim control on the steering wheel ($95), the Hot Foot throttle ($125) and maybe tilt steering ($155).
Whatever options you select, you won't have to argue over the cost of your Z-8, since Nitro's policy is no-haggle pricing -- and they publish all prices on their website. Before you walk into the dealership, you know what the boat you want will cost. Save your haggling skills for buying a new pickup to tow it. MSRP for the Z-8 is $31,995 plus prep and freight for standard power, $34,995 for the 225-hp OptiMax and $36,195 for the 250. The Torque Master adds a bit to the larger motor prices.
Even if you get speed-crazed and choose the biggest engine and lots of extras, you can buy the Nitro Z-8 for under $40,000; stick with standard power and you're in for under $35,000. We found a well-equipped 20'9" (6.32 m) Ranger Z520 listed for $52,000 with a 250-hp outboard. A Triton 21HP Elite DC with a 225-hp engine we tested last year carried an MSRP of almost $58,000, so the Nitro looks like a bargain to us. What's not to like about that? And, maybe that's why Nitro's sales are up.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $34,595.00Prices, 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.