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Nitro Z18 (w/ Mercury 150-hp Pro XS) (2019-)
(w/ 1 x 150-hp Mercury Pro XS)

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Brief Summary

Key Features

  • NITRO Vortex Technology (NVT) hull with Rapid Planing System
  • Z-Core seating system with Force Flex suspension and contoured, rotomolded frame for driver and passenger seats
  • 34-sq.-ft. bow deck with 100% composite deck core with superior thermal stability and strength-to-weight ratio
  • Room at the bow and console to flush-mount fishfinders
  • Bow with 62-qt. insulated cooler, removable trash receptacle and optional sandwich tray
  • Oversized, lockable port and starboard bow rod lockers with lift assists for rods up to 8' and center bow storage locker
  • Aft 30-gal. Guardian aerated, divided livewell with timer
  • Factory rigged with a Mercury outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance fishfinder & custom-fit trailer with GALVASHIELD Impact corrosion and chip protection for improved durability
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 18' 8''
    5.69 m
    Beam 7' 10''
    2.39 m
    Dry Weight 1,700 lbs.
    771 kg
    Tested Weight 2,765 lbs.
    1,254 kg
    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 1,350 lbs.
    612 kg
    Person Capacity 4
    Fuel Capacity 40 gal.
    151 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    3,200 lbs.
    1,451 kg

    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
    600 3.4 2.9 0.6 5.6 4.9 201 174.8 59
    1000 4.9 4.3 0.9 5.4 4.7 196 170.4 63
    1500 6.1 5.3 1.6 3.8 3.3 137 119.3 71
    2000 7.0 6.0 2.9 2.4 2.1 88 76.3 72
    2500 7.2 6.3 4.1 1.8 1.5 63 55.0 76
    3000 25.7 22.3 4.0 6.4 5.6 231 201.1 81
    3500 33.0 28.7 5.3 6.2 5.4 224 194.6 79
    4000 37.8 32.8 6.6 5.8 5.0 207 180.4 81
    4500 43.5 37.8 8.4 5.2 4.5 187 162.9 81
    5000 50.3 43.7 10.3 4.9 4.2 176 152.7 87
    5500 57.3 49.8 14.0 4.1 3.6 148 128.6 87
    5770 60.2 52.3 14.5 4.2 3.6 150 130.4 88
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    600 174.8 323 5.50 2.27 2.38 59
    1000 170.4 315 7.90 3.41 2.30 63
    1500 119.3 220 9.80 6.06 1.62 71
    2000 76.3 142 11.30 10.98 1.02 72
    2500 55.0 101 11.60 15.52 0.77 76
    3000 201.1 372 41.40 15.14 2.72 81
    3500 194.6 360 53.10 20.06 2.64 79
    4000 180.4 333 60.80 24.98 2.47 81
    4500 162.9 301 70.00 31.80 2.21 81
    5000 152.7 283 81.00 38.99 2.08 87
    5500 128.6 238 92.20 53.00 1.74 87
    5770 130.4 241 96.90 54.89 1.79 88

    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.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 4.1 sec.
    0 to 30 6.4 sec.
    Ratio N/A
    Props 25p Fury 4blade
    Load 2 persons, full fuel, no water
    Climate 75 deg., 62 humid; wind: 12-15 mph; seas: light chop

    Captain's Report

    Contents of Report

    Nitro Z18 running
    With Mercury’s new V-6 4-stroke 150-hp Pro XS outboard, the Z18 runs in excess of 60 mph.

    Mission Statement

    The Nitro Z18 is a high-performance bass boat that is fully rigged for tournament anglers who don’t need the ego massage of a more prestigious brand name and a price tag that is $20,000 more with virtually no extra functionality.

    Little wonder that the Nitro Z18 is the largest selling fiberglass bass boat model.

    Nitro Z18 layout
    The Z18 is designed to provide as much fishing space as possible in a compact package.

    Major Features

    Nitro Vortex Technology hull with Rapid Planing System. The bottom is designed for a smoother ride and quicker holeshot.

    Composite Coring in the Deck. No wood in the deck means nothing that can rot or go soggy with time and water absorption.

    Z-Core Seating with Force Flex Suspension. Bucket seats are contoured for comfort and designed in collaboration with fishing legend Kevin VanDam.

    Standard Hydraulic Steering with Tilt. Makes for a more responsive feel and it’s safer.

    Lowrance HOOK-5X Fishfinder. It comes standard, which isn’t something that can always be expected on an 18’ (5.49 m) boat.

    Matched Trailer. Designed specifically to fit the Z18 so it sits deeper on the trailer and rides more smoothly over the road.

    Features Inspection

    Fishing First

    The Foredeck

    Out front, the Z18 has a 34-sq.-ft. (3.2 sq. m) forward casting deck that has a composite core instead of the old plywood one. Nitro says it gives the area improved thermal stability and strength. The boat comes with a Minn Kota Maxxum trolling motor with 70 lbs. (32 kg) of thrust and a 42” (1.07 m) shaft.

    Nitro Z18 fishing
    The forward fishing area is finished in 16-ounce marine-grade carpet for increased comfort underfoot.
    Nitro Z18 trolling motor
    A trolling motor with a recessed well for the foot control comes standard and there’s space for a multifunction display in the newly designed electronics panel.

    Bow Storage. As we’ve seen on other Nitro models, the Z18 has ample storage capacity and the company pays attention to the small details. Hatches are reinforced on the underside with aluminum so they don’t flex when someone walks on them. They open on gas struts, so two hands can be used to retrieve gear and in the center locker, the partitions are move-able so the area can be customized. Just aft, the step down into the seating area opens and inside are a cooler and wastebasket.

    Nitro Z18 lockers
    Outboard lockers have rocks to accommodate rods up to 8’ (2.44 m) long and in the center compartment, two lift-out molded boxes have slots for seven Plano 3700 tackle boxes.
    Nitro Z18 step
    This step makes it easy to transition from the bow to the seating area.
    Nitro Z18 waste basket
    The step is hinged and beneath it are a wastebasket and a 62-quart (59 L) cooler.
    Nitro Z18 tool holder
    On each side of the step are cupholders and racks for tools like knives and pliers.

    The Seating Area. The Z18’s twin bucket seats feel supportive and well padded. To port, an optional second console can be installed and there’s another rod rack that lets anglers stash gear quickly and securely for a run to a hot spot. To starboard, the helm has the aforementioned hydraulic steering with a tilt wheel. Up top, three multifunction gauges integrate the fuel level in the speedometer and the trim indicator in the tachometer with a separate volt meter and water-pressure instrument. They flank the centrally mounted HOOK-5x fishfinder that displays surface temperature and down imaging.

    Dash lights can be dimmed with a switch and all the livewell switches are to the starboard side of the steering wheel.

    Nitro Z18 seats
    Notice the wraparound bolsters on the bucket seats that are designed to hold the occupant in place.
    Nitro Z18 rod rack
    There’s space for six rods in this rack ahead of the port bucket seat and the rubber mat is positioned to keep reels from getting banged around.
    Nitro Z18 helm
    The dash has an elevated windscreen and is finished in black to reduce glare on the chartplotter and instruments.
    Nitro Z18 helm dash
    The tachometer is to port with an integrated drive trim indicator. To starboard, the fuel level is in the speedometer. We applaud Nitro for including a separate water-pressure gate, which we think should always be used with an outboard motor.
    Nitro Z18 power switch
    To the left of the steering wheel, the master power switch shuts down all electrical power and the dimmer can be used to reduce eye strain when driving at night.
    Nitro Z18 switch
    To the right, the livewell and bilge switches and horn button are clearly labeled.

    Aft Deck. A step between the bucket seats leads to the aft fishing deck. That step is hinged and opens to provide access to the fuel tank and fittings. The area is finished in the same carpet as the forward casting deck and has space for one angler to work a fish.

    Beneath the outboard hatches are removable storage tubs and the dual forward hatches open a 30-gallon (114 L) Guardian livewell that has aeration, a timer and a removable divider. Aft in the center, dual hatches provide access to the twin Series 29 Interstate trolling batteries and 24M-RD cranking battery plus the 2-bank, 8-amp charging system. The 1,000-gph (3.785 lph) bilge pump and units for the livewell are also accessible.

    Nitro Z18 fittings
    Access to the fuel tank fittings is provided via this hinged step. Notice that it’s hinged at the front so it won’t fly up when the boat is running at higher speeds.
    Nitro Z18 toe rail
    Note the raised toe rail outboard on the starboard side to help anglers know their position on the boat.
    Nitro Z18 aft storage
    The red arrow is pointing at the gel coated stringers.
    Nitro Z18 ladder
    This ladder lays flat on the aft deck when not in use and folds down easily to help an angler re-board.

    Performance Test

    The Z18 Specs. The Z18 measures 18’8” (5.69 m) long with a 7’10” (2.39 m) beam, and an empty weight of 1,700 lbs. (771 kg). The boat is available with 150- or 175-hp outboards and our test model was equipped with a Mercury Pro XS 150. With two people and 40 gallons (151 L) of fuel on board, our boat’s estimated test weight was 2,765 lbs. (1,254 kg).

    The prop was a 25’ Fury 4-blade.

    The Pro XS propelled the Z18 to 60.2 mph at 5770 rpm. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we ran 25.7 mph and burned 4.0 gph for a rating of 6.4 mpg and a range of 231 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 40-gallon (151 L) fuel capacity in reserve.

    At 600 rpm idle, we saw 3.4 mph and recorded 4.9 mph at 1000 rpm.

    Nitro Z18 running
    With a 150-hp engine, we saw just over 60 mph.

    In acceleration tests, the Z18 planed in 4.1 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 4.6 seconds and to 30 mph in 6.4 seconds. Mercury uses Transient Spark Technology to advance engine timing under hard acceleration and the company says that increases torque from 5% to 7%. Nitro’s Rapid Planing System is also designed to help improve hole shot.

    Nitro Z18 running
    The Z18 had respectable hole shot times with the Pro XS 150.

    Keeping in mind that bass boats are designed primarily to run in straight lines to fishing spots, when we put the Z18 through some maneuverability tests, the boat responded predictably, carving sweeping arcs in each direction at reasonable speeds.

    Nitro Z18 running
    Don’t get too aggressive with the steering wheel and the Z18 will carve smooth sweeping turns.

    Construction

    Nitro builds the Z18 with a unitized hull and deck and foam-filled stringer system. As mentioned previously, a composite core has replaced plywood in the deck and a composite core enclosed in fiberglass is used for the transom. All open voids in the hull bottom are filled with foam for buoyancy. It is a USCG requirement that all boats 20’ (6.10 m) and under float level if swamped.

    All wire harnesses fasten with waterproof Deutsch connectors and the trolling motor has a 50-amp circuit breaker.

    Trailer

    The Z18 rides on a custom-matched trailer that’s powder-coated and finished in Galvashield protective treatment. The single axle is equipped with 14” (.36 m) tires on No Touch Vortex hubs with a 6-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

    There’s a spare tire carrier, but the extra tire and rim are an option. The tongue swings away to save space for on-land storage and an outboard motor support comes standard. Bunks and fender boards are covered in carpet to protect the hull.

    Nitro Z18 trailer
    The Z18 rides on a custom-matched trailer, creating a turn-key package that’s ready to head to the ramp.

    Price

    The base price is $29,995 with a Mercury 150-hp FourStroke outboard.

    Warranty

    Lifetime transferrable on the hull, interior stringers and transom, plus a one-year warranty on components. Galvashield coating on the trailer is warranted against corrosion for three years.

    Options to Consider

    • • Bow graph choices from Lowrance, Humminbird, and Garmin
    • • Choice of five battery charger upgrades
    • • Two bike seats (exchange)
    • • Two jump seats (exchange)
    • • Center bucket seat
    • • Automatic bilge pump
    • • Keel protector
    • • Livewell control valve
    • • Hot Foot throttle
    • • Trim lever on steering wheel
    • • Tackle management system with center box dividers
    • • Removable port console with hardware
    • • R&R Design or Bob’s Machine Shop 6” (15.24 cm) jackplate
    • • Choice of shallow water anchors from Minn Kota or Power-Pole
    • • Mooring cover for side console or dual consoles
    • • Spare tire for trailer
    • • Brakes for single axle

    Observations

    We can’t see any reason why the Z18 won’t continue to be a strong seller for Nitro. With a 150 or 175-hp motor, the boat is affordable to buy and operate and it comes equipped with everything an angler would need to head straight to the water.

    The upgrades to the seats were noticeable and the addition of the composite deck is noteworthy because it basically means there’s nothing on the boat that can rot or get soggy.

    With the weight of the boat, motor, and trailer package listed at an average of 3,200 lbs. (1,451 kg), there’s no shortage of mid-sized and half-ton vehicles that can tow the Nitro Z18.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Nitro Z18 (w/ Mercury 150-hp Pro XS) (2019-) is 60.2 mph (96.9 kph), burning 14.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 54.88 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Nitro Z18 (w/ Mercury 150-hp Pro XS) (2019-) is 25.7 mph (41.4 kph), and the boat gets 6.4 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.72 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 231 miles (371.76 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury Pro XS.
    • Time to plane for the Nitro Z18 (w/ Mercury 150-hp Pro XS) (2019-) is 4.1 sec. seconds.
    • Time from 0 to 30 of the Nitro Z18 (w/ Mercury 150-hp Pro XS) (2019-) is 6.4 sec. seconds.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    Fishfinder Standard
    GPS/Chart Optional

    Systems

    Battery Charger/Converter Optional
    Shore Power Standard

    Exterior Features

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

    Warranty

    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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