Text Size: AAA

At 18'8" (5.68 m) the Z-7 is a scaled down version of Nitro’s premium bass boat, the Z-9, and designed to meet the needs of bass anglers who don’t need the size or the higher price tag a bigger boat brings to the table. The Z-7 is 25'' shorter and carries two inches less beam than the larger Z. The major compromises most anglers might note between the two Nitros end there. In fact, the Z with the lucky “7” designation is both more frugal with fuel and more nimble on the water than her larger kin. Take a look at our test and you'll see what an affordable bass boat can give you.

Key Features

  • Rapid Planing System transom
  • Ready to accept optional removable port console
  • Fold-down reboarding ladder
  • 32-gal. (121.13 L) divided, aerated aft livewell with recirculator, timer & pump-out system
  • 3-across seating with steps to aft deck & helm & buddy suspension systems
  • 2 rod lockers & center bow storage locker with power lid assists
  • Easy-to-read instrumentation & tinted windscreen
  • Flush-mounted Lowrance Mark-5x fishfinder
  • Step to bow deck with cooler & trash receptacle
  • Bow bicycle seat & aft folding chair
  • 24V, 70-lb. thrust foot-controlled trolling motor
  • Custom-matched trailer with Galvashield corrosion protection, swing-away tongue & EZ lube hubs
Length Overall 18' 8''
5.69 m
Beam 94''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 1,650 lbs.
748.43 kg.
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 15''
0.38 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 41 gal.
155.2 L
Water Capacity none
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.

Std. Power Not Available
Tested Power 1 x 150-hp Mercury OptiMax SX
Opt. Power 1 x 150-hp Mercury Optimax
1 x 150-hp Mercury Optimax Pro XS

by Capt. Dan Armitage

Nitro Z-7
Shorter is better when negotiating sticks-ups and other tight waters in search of bass.

Performance

At the other end of the speed spectrum, the Nitro’s hull was equally responsive to the helm when the full power of the standard 150-hp Mercury Optimax is put into play. After reaching planing speed in an average of 3.8 seconds, we averaged 59.4 mph WOT speed, peaking at 5450 rpm. During our testing we didn’t note a hint of pounding with the 16-degree, variable-deadrise hull crossing a reasonable chop at planing speed. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we were running at 31.4 mph and were getting 5.98 mpg. We found the 18’ 8” Z-7 to be very responsive to the standard Minn Kota Maxxum 70-pound-thrust bow-mounted trolling motor. The bow deck features a recess for the motor’s foot control.

Nitro Z-7
The performance characteristics of Nitro’s proven hull design were apparent during our recent review of the Z-7. Click on "Test Results" at the top of the page for all of the data.
Nitro Z-7
The Nitro Z-7 is designed to accept a variety of popular angling options, such as a Hot Foot throttle under the helm console.

Design Characteristics

We would exercise the Hot Foot option that Nitro makes available if we were ordering for the Z-7. A standard bicycle bow seat and the folding pedestal seat stow inside the forward locker. The rig has a 32-gallon divided livewell aft with aeration and timer standard. There is a second mounting base for the rear fishing pedestal located a bit farther forward on the aft deck.

Nitro Z-7
To help with the operator’s vision while running the boat during low light periods, the helm console includes a dimmer switch to control the amount of light coming off the gauges.

A standard flush-mounted Lowrance Mark 5x fishfinder centers a dash that features tachometer and speedometer gauges placed up high above the wheel for easy viewing. Trim and battery level gauges, located adjacent to the steering column and obstructed the wheel, are less visible.

Nitro Z-7
There is a lockable lid to secure the storage compartment on the convertible passenger console, which is an option on the Z-7.

Removable Port Console

Both the helm and passenger consoles offer reasonable protection for fishermen while the Nitro is underway. The companion console to port is removable for solitary fishing use or to gain more deck space no matter how many anglers are aboard. The console is attached with three fasteners, fitted with thumbscrews, so no tools are required to remove or install the convertible unit.

Nitro Z-7
Check out the amount of foam padding in these seats.

We were impressed with the comfort and the design of the seating we found in the Z-7’s cockpit, noting the all three seats are open at the back to keep the air flowing and occupants comfortable. The bottom sections of the outboard pair to port and starboard flip up to reveal storage compartments; the middle seat hides the access to the boat’s 45 gallon center-balanced fuel tank.

Nitro Z-7
Note the non-skid panels (in black) on the top of the port transom pod for secure footing during the re-boarding process.

We appreciate the Nitro’s easy-to-stow-and-deploy “re-boarding” ladder. It’s positioned correctly, with a hand grip and foot step where you need them.

Nitro Z-7
The Z-7 rig comes with a custom trailer built of welded tubular steel that carries standard features including retractable safety cables, transom saver and a swing-away tongue.
Nitro Z-7
A bird’s eye view of the Z-7 showing all the storage options reveals the boat’s capabilities in terms of securing fishing gear.

Recommendation

We like this mid-size bass boat from Nitro. It looks great, is well-built, handles like a champ at speeds high and low and is priced right at $26,995 including a 150-hp Mercury Optimax outboard and custom trailer. Unless you absolutely need the storage capacity and open-water performance attributes of a 20-foot-plus rig, we see no reason why an avid bass angler should not consider the Z-7.

Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Nitro Z-7 (2012-2013) is 59.4 mph (95.6 kph), burning 13.40 gallons per hour (gph) or 50.72 liters per hour (lph).
  • Best cruise for the Nitro Z-7 (2012-2013) is 31.4 mph (50.5 kph), and the boat gets 5.98 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.54 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 221 miles (355.67 kilometers).
  • Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury OptiMax SX.
  • Time to plane for the Nitro Z-7 (2012-2013) is 3.8 sec. seconds.
  • Time from 0 to 30 of the Nitro Z-7 (2012-2013) is 8.8 sec. seconds.

Marine Electronics

Fishfinder Optional
GPS/Chart Optional

Systems

Battery Charger/Converter Standard
Shore Power Standard

Exterior Features

Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard

Warranty

Hull Warranty
Transferable
Limited Lifetime
Yes

http://nitro.com/about/warranty.cfm

Price

Pricing Range: $26,995.00

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.

Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
550 3.1 2.7 0.3 10.2 8.8 375 326 72
1000 5.1 4.4 0.8 6.8 5.9 251 218 73
1500 6.6 5.7 1.8 3.7 3.3 138 120 75
2000 7.2 6.3 2.9 2.5 2.2 92 80 76
2500 22.2 19.3 4.5 4.9 4.3 182 158 77
3000 31.4 27.3 5.3 6.0 520.0 221 192 85
3500 33.9 29.4 7.5 4.5 4.0 168 146 86
4000 40.8 35.4 8.5 4.8 4.2 178 155 86
4500 45.7 39.7 9.8 4.7 4.1 172 150 87
5000 54.1 47.0 12.7 4.3 3.7 158 137 89
5450 59.4 51.7 13.4 4.4 3.9 164 142 92
RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
550 326 604 5.00 1.14 4.32 72
1000 218 404 8.20 2.84 2.89 73
1500 120 222 10.60 6.62 1.59 75
2000 80 148 11.60 10.98 1.05 76
2500 158 293 35.70 17.03 2.09 77
3000 192 356 50.50 19.87 2.54 85
3500 146 270 54.60 28.20 1.93 86
4000 155 286 65.70 31.99 2.05 86
4500 150 277 73.50 37.10 1.98 87
5000 137 254 87.10 47.89 1.82 89
5450 142 264 95.60 50.72 1.88 92

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.