A premium-quality aluminum bass boat, the Vexus AVX1880 is built by passionate bass anglers for serious fishermen. When she’s equipped with Evinrude’s new E-TEC G2 115 H.O., the boat is an impressive performer that could save an owner in operating and ownership costs.
• Welded aluminum construction
• Stretch-formed gunwales
• Oversized pedestal bases
• The graphics are protected by a Hard Case clearcoat
• Custom-built trailer
|Length Overall||18' 10'' / 5.74 m|
|Length on Trailer||20'9"|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.4 sec.|
|0 to 30||5.6 sec. (0to20)|
|Load||3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||84 deg., 81 humid; wind: 5-12 mph; seas: chop|
1 x 115-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O.
Captain’s Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher
Vexus designed the AVX1880 to be a well-equipped, solid-performing bass boat at a reasonable price. The lightweight, high-output Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. should pair well with the boat from a performance and cost perspective. The manufacturer says that building the boat out of aluminum saves money and the boat comes standard with accessories like a stainless-steel propeller and hydraulic steering.
•Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O.
•All welded V-bottom with an aft pad
•Vector Force Transom
•Wood-free all-welded construction
•Injected closed cell foam
•Trailer is custom-matched to the boat
The Numbers. When it comes to bass boats, the first thing many people want to know about is the performance. That curiosity is compounded exponentially by the E-TEC G2 115 H.O. being clamped to the Vexus AVX1880’s transom. The boat measures 18’’10” (5.74 m) with a 7’11” (2.41 m) beam. Empty weight is listed at 1,500 lbs. (680 kg) and with two people, 24 gallons (91 L) of fuel and test equipment aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 2,479 lbs. (1,124 kg). We tested the boat with a Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. two-stroke outboard turning a 14.5” x 22” (36.83 cm x 55.88 cm) RX3 stainless-steel propeller.
Cranking up the motor to 5750 rpm, we hit a top speed of 50.0 mph at 6000 rpm. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we recorded 26.0 mph and burned 3.3 gallons per hour, resulting in 7.9 mpg and a range of 227 statute miles while holding 10 percent of the boat’s 32-gallon (121 L) gas tank in reserve.
In acceleration tests, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. pushed the boat on plane in 3.4 seconds and to 20 mph in 5.6 seconds.
Vexus designs all its boats with Trac-Tight Handling and says the intention is for the boats to track tighter while trolling even in windy conditions. Advantages include less drain on trolling motor batteries and smoother overall operation. The Vexus AVX1880 turned smoothly and held its line through sweeping arcs.
The 2020 Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. is a new 1.9-liter two-stroke, the only one of its kind in the industry. One of the most important attributes of the new 115-hp high-output motor is its torque. A two-stroke makes power on every stroke of the crankshaft, which means it’s always generating torque.
Advanced Injection. A key to the E-TEC G2 115 H.O.’s performance is the motor’s fuel injection. It uses direct-injection that has an injector at the top of each cylinder and the whole system is managed by Evinrude’s proprietary EMM. At low rpm, the EMM tells the motor to use Stratified Fuel Injection, which takes a small amount of fuel at the top of the cylinder and turns it into a fine mist before it’s injected. When the throttle is advanced, the EMM switches things over to Homogeneous combustion by injecting a larger amount of fuel into the primary section of the cylinder. From the driver’s standpoint, the throttle response is instantaneous. Additionally, the motor is 3-Star certified for the California Air Emissions Board and legal to run in Europe.
Smart Steering. As we’ve seen on other E-TEC products, the 115 H.O.’s steering pump is integrated into the engine’s midsection and mounting bracket. This facilitates installation and rigging and results in a much cleaner transom. The captain can set the steering friction on Evinrude’s digital instruments and when it’s time to tow the boat over a long distance, a pin can be inserted to keep the motor from flopping from side to side.
No Salt. As we’ve seen with other motors in the E-TEC G2 series, the 115 HO trims all the way out of the water, which is beneficial in a saltwater environment. The 2020 version of the motor is equipped with Evinrude’s Auto Trim function and the onboard oil tank holds 1.9 gallons (7.19 liters) of lubricant.
Service Points. Evinrude changed the design of the E-TEC G2 115 HO’s cowl. Remove the top section and there’s easy access to the oil fill, the poles for jumpstarting the motor, the forward freshwater flush line, Evinrude’s private network connection and the NMEA 2000 plug-in.
Convenience Features. For ease of ownership, the E-TEC G2 115 H.O. comes with a couple of operating features including I-Trim, Evinrude’s automatic trimming system, and push-button winterization. It can be done with the key switch or via a smart phone with the I-Link smartphone app.
The Bow. Now, let’s take a look at the AVX1880 starting at the bow. We measured the forward casting deck at 7’6” (2.29 m) long and 6’2” (1.88 M) wide aft and 4’2” (1.27 m) forward. The stretched gunwales provide a raised deck that anglers can use to find the edge of the area, which is covered in fatigue-reducing carpet. A sign that this boat is designed by anglers, it’s equipped with fold-up cleats so lines won’t snag. The boat comes standard with a Minn Kota Fortrex 80 45” (1.14 m)-long trolling motor with a foot pedal in a recessed well. The Humminbird Helix 7 fishfinder in the bow is an option, and outboard to starboard are the switches for the navigation lights and outboard motor trim. The removable fishing seats also install on 1.77” (4.50 cm) diameter bases. Vexus says competitors us a ¾” (1.91 cm) diameter base.
Bow Storage.Three hatches in the AVX1880’s foredeck open to reveal open carpeted storage outboard on each side. To ensure that the hatches close tightly, Vexus uses compression locks that pull the lid down against the rubber gaskets. The center locker has dedicated slots for 10 rods or long items such as the anchor light or a boat hook.
The Cockpit. It’s 7” (17.78 cm) down from the bow to the top of an intermediate step and then another 8” (20.32 cm) down to the AVX1880’s cockpit. The top is hinged and opens a carpeted locker. The cockpit has three-across seating and the center backrest folds down to make it easy to step up to the aft cockpit. More on that later. Outboard of the port bucket seat is a bungee cord for securing rods. There is a dedicated rack for the rod ends.
The Helm. To starboard, the helm console has analog-style gauges on each side of the Humminbird Helix 7 fishfinder. The 7” (17.78 cm) screen provides all the fishing data, but we would swap the positions of the fuel and trim gauges. Bass boats are trim sensitive and the gauge would be easier to see to starboard. Outboard to starboard are the accessory and livewell switches and the shift/throttle control.
Aft Deck. Fold down the backrest for the center seat to make it easier to step up to the aft fishing deck that measures 7’1” (2.16 m) and 3’10” (1.17 m) fore to aft. Aft to port is a fold-down reboarding ladder that appears to be more for emergencies than for use after a swim. Across the front of the aft deck are twin lockers on each side of the centrally positioned livewell. Dividers can be used to separate multiple species in the well, which is aerated. The larger hatch in the center of the aft deck opens to provide access to the batteries, charging system and bilge and livewell pumps.
Construction. Vexus builds the AVX1880 with its Vector Force Transom that’s made of .125” (.32 cm) aluminum and the company says it’s reinforced with 60 percent more material than the industry standard to support setback jack plates and shallow-water anchors. The hull is backed up by a full stringer-and-transverse grid that is welded in place and after the deck is installed, flotation foam is sprayed into all open voids.
$31,195 with an Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. outboard.
Options to Consider
•Upgrade to a choice of Minn Kota trolling motors
•Dual Pro On Board Charger 15 x 3
•Console Fishfinders from Lowrance, Garmin or Humminbird
•Bow fishfinders from Lowrance, Garmin or Humminbird
•Custom boat cover
•Front trailer step
•Aluminum frame upgrade
Many people look at an aluminum bass boat and think “entry level,” but the AVX1880 is anything but. She’s built to exacting standards and with rugged internal structures commonly found on top-flight boats. Yes, an aluminum bass boat costs less to build than a fiberglass one and that savings is passed on to the consumer with a cheaper base retail price. Add the efficiency and lower cost of ownership that come with the E-TEC G2 115 HO and this should be an inexpensive boat to own and operate. It comes with the features an angler would want in a turn-key package including a trailer, a livewell and a trolling motor.
With an as-tested weight of just under 2,500 pounds, on the trailer, the AVX1880 should come in at less than 4,000 pounds so even a mid-sized truck like a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier should be able to tow the package.