Boat Test: 2014 Nitro Z-9

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Boat Tested2014 Nitro Z-9
Price As Tested$48,732 CAD
Category Bass Boat
Manufacturer Nitro
Length20ft 9in / 6.32 m
Beam8ft 6in / 2.59 m
Weight2100
HullAluminum
Engines1
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeMercury
FuelGas
Fuel Capacity68

By Mike Gridley

Bass boats are all about performance and Nitro's latest Z-9 dual console is no slouch. If getting to the next hot spot in tournament fishing is your thing, the Z-9 will give you an adrenalin rush hustling across the water topping near the 70 mph mark.

With the Nitro Rapid Planing System transom and wide beam with 16 degrees of deadrise at the transom, the Z-9 is plenty fast with the optional Mercury 250 OptiMax XS. Not only does it accelerate effortlessly, the Z-9 is stable at high speeds, not prone to chine walking and feels quite solid. Turns will have you thumbing the trim switch, but that is to be expected in this league of performance boat.

At rest, the Z-9 is quite stable, with plenty of roomtomove around on the forward padded casting deck. The deck conceals a rod storage locker to port, a large centre gear locker, a second long locker to starboard, and a cooler and trash receptacle are under the step.

When working the bow, the bicycle seat is comfortable and well positioned to control the Minn Kota Maxxum 80-pound thrust trolling motor with its recessed foot control. The forward control panel has room for an optional fishfinder, along with lighting and livewell controls.

Under the aft deck are the two 20-gallon Guardian livewells with Max-Air aeration systems. Other key fishing features include bow rod hold-down straps, two console pull-out storage trays,moulded rigging utility compartment with storage trays, lift out aft storage lockers and a rear fold-down fishing seat.

Nice touches are the stainless boarding ladder, pop-up cleats,multiple drink holders and dual battery bank with charger.

The three-across seating is comfortable with solid combination step and stainless handholds between the seats. The passenger helm deflects the wind nicely and has a lockable locker. The stylish helm positions the electronics front and centre, where they should be, and flanked by the tach and speedo.

Anglers ask only a few key things from a professional-level performance bass boat: that they be fast, stable, user friendly and fishable. The Nitro Z-9 is all of those -- plus it’s affordable, even when including a trailer.

TEST BOAT ENGINEMercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS, 250-hp, 3-litre (183 ci), V-6, two-stroke outboard with two-stage DFI
ACCELERATION (mph/sec)0-20 / 5.0 ; 0-30 / 7.0 ; 0-40 / 8.8
TOP SPEED (rpm/mph)5500 / 68.2
CRUISING SPEED (rpm/mph)
4000 / 42.90

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