The 8 Best Bass Boats to Buy in 2019

This article originally appeared on TripSavvy.

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As the name suggests, bass boats are built for a very specific purpose — bass fishing. They are low-slung, with raised platforms at the bow and stern for unhindered casting in any direction, and streamlined, so you can race out to your favorite fishing spots and back for weigh-in in record time. Bass boats are configured for use with an outboard motor in order to save deck and storage space and should have a mount on the bow for a trolling motor. Look for signature features including rod boxes and livewells that can keep live bait alive for hours at a time. Many bass boats are intended for tournament fishermen and have the price-tag to match, but some are more competitively priced for the everyday angler. Here, we look at a few of the best options on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Bass Cat Puma FTD

BThe Puma FTD is top brand Bass Cat’s most popular premium range option. It boasts a heavy-duty, ultra-comfortable fiberglass build and a 20’4” length that’s stable in open water yet easy to maneuver in tight spaces. The 94” beam gives you the confidence needed to go offshore. FTD stands for Full Team Deck, i.e. a front deck that’s big enough for team anglers to cast side-by-side. You’re spoiled for choice in terms of storage, with seven compartments in the front deck alone.

These include a ventilated central tackle box and an 8’ rod box with a tube organizer. The boat also comes with two ice chests and two triangular livewells, both with a pump-in/pump-out system, spray bars, and an inline filter. Use the twin Humminbird Helix 7 fish finders to choose a static spot or troll for bass with the included Minn Kota Fortrex 80 motor, powered by a battery and three-bank charger. The boat can hold 52 gallons of fuel and has a 200 to 300 maximum horsepower range. A stock engine and trailer are included. 

Runner-Up. Best Overall: Nitro Z21

BNitro’s most advanced bass boat, the Z21, was designed with the help of champion bass fishermen Kevin VanDam and Edwin Evers. With a 21’2” length and a 95” beam, it has space for four anglers on deck. Force Flex suspension in the seats makes for a comfortable ride even in rough weather while an advanced deck drainage system keeps things dry. Experience push-button functionality thanks to digital bow and console controls. The boat comes with a Lowrance fish finder and a Minn Kota Maxxum trolling motor.

Under the step to the bow deck you’ll find an insulated cooler, while the two 19-gallon livewells are equipped with digital timers, oxygen generators, and dual remote drain controls. There’s space for ten 8’ rods in the port rod organizer and integrated gunnel lights come in handy if you stay out after dark. The boat has a fuel capacity of 55 gallons. Included in the steep price is a 225 HP Mercury outboard engine. There are several engine upgrades available (up to 300 HP) and all prices include a custom-fit trailer.  

Best Under $20,000: Tracker Pro Team 190 TX

Sticking to a $20,000 budget generally means opting for an aluminum hull rather than a fiberglass one. The 2018 Tracker Pro Team 190 TX features the brand’s exclusive one-piece Revolution hull with a robotically welded stringer and transom for added structural strength. It comes with a Diamond Coat finish and a Smooth Ride Guarantee. Keep in mind this is a smaller boat with an 18’7” length and an 89” beam. You can fit four people on-board — two in the cockpit and two on pedestal folding seats.

In addition to a lockable 8’ rod box, the boat features six storage compartments and a 21-gallon, recirculating livewell. Standard accessories include a Lowrance fish finder and a 45-pound thrust Minn Kota Edge trolling motor. If you want to stay below the $20,000 mark, you’ll need to stick with the stock Mercury 90 ELPT FourStroke outboard, which has an estimated top speed of 44 mph. If your budget is flexible, you can upgrade to a faster 115 horsepower engine. All packages come with a custom-matched trailer. 

Best Under $30,000: Ranger Z175

BWith a starting price under $30K, the Ranger Z175 is a more reasonable option for those who don’t have an unlimited bass boat fund. With a maximum horsepower of 115, a 17’6” length, and a 90” beam, it’s not as powerful or as big as other boats on our list. However, it promises excellent performance and can still carry up to four fishermen. The price includes a Ranger Trail trailer and a Mercury 115 ELPT Pro XS FourStroke Command Thrust outboard engine.

Onboard, you’ll find quality Lowrance electronics and speed, tach, fuel, and trim gauges at the helm. The Minn Kota Edge 70 trolling motor is powered by the included battery and charger, while the 15-gallon, recirculating livewell comes with an automatic timer. Keep your sticks in one of two carpeted rod boxes, the largest of which has a maximum length of 8’. The boat can carry up to 23 gallons of fuel, making it well-suited to outings on smaller inland lakes. It’s also comfortable, thanks to Soft Ride Seating and an offset console that allows for maximum legroom. 

Best Splurge: Skeeter FX21 LE Bass Boat


Luxury features include top-of-the-range Lowrance fish finder/chart plotter combos on the dash and bow and a Lowrance Sonic Hub 2 marine entertainment system. A Minn Kota Fortrex 112 trolling motor and a Yamaha V MAX SHO VF250 outboard come as standard; and the livewell system features independent fill, recirculating/drain, timer, and pump-out modes. All storage boxes are internally lit; they include integrated rod and tackle systems and an ice chest under the center bench seat. The boat’s custom trailer boasts torsion tandem axles and a tongue step that simplifies loading and offloading.  

Best Aluminum: Crestliner 1750 Bass Hawk

BIf you have a bigger budget but like the idea of an aluminum hull’s sturdiness (great when you do most of your fishing in heavy cover), consider the Crestliner 1750 Bass Hawk. Its all-welded, deep-V hull measures 17’9” in length and it has a wide, 95” beam for extra stability. With space for five people, it boasts roomy casting decks in the bow and stern and premium bucket seats for the skipper and one passenger. There are 13 storage compartments in total, in addition to an illuminated central rod locker with 15 tubes for rods up to 8’ in length.

Other highlights include a 28-gallon, aerated livewell, and a removable SureMount aluminum accessory brackets. These let you attach cup or rod holders to the gunnels without having to drill through the metalwork. The price includes a trailer and a Mercury 90 EXLPT EFI FourStroke engine. Optional extras range from easy-wash vinyl flooring to a center seat or shallow water anchor. You can also add a Minn Kota trolling motor or upgrade to a 150 horsepower outboard.

Best Saltwater: Ranger Z520Ci Intracoastal

BIf you plan on targeting marine bass species such as the kelp, sand, or spotted bay bass, you’ll need a boat that can withstand repeated exposure to saltwater. The Ranger Z520Ci Intracoastal is built specifically for fishing in salt and freshwater, with a 20’9” length and a 95” beam that affords extra stability in the waves. It has a potent 200 to 250 horsepower range and a 45-gallon fuel capacity. The cleats and hardware are all made from stainless steel to prevent saltwater corrosion.

Instead of carpet, the deck is covered with a durable foam cushioning that’s quick-drying and easy-to-clean (important for effectively removing salt residue). You’ll have plenty of room for longer rods thanks to the space-saving offset helm, while Ranger’s Soft Ride Seating compensates for rougher waters. Other typical bass boat features include a spacious bow casting deck, an insulated cooler, and a recirculating livewell. Rod boxes are kept dry by the patent-pending Power Ventilated Rod System. A Minn Kota trolling motor and Ranger Trail trailer come as part of the package. 

Best Multi-Species: Nitro ZV21

BSome bass fishermen choose to shun specialty bass boats in favor of multi-species designs, especially if they typically fish in big water. The 2018 Nitro ZV21 has an aggressive performance deep-V hull for standing up to the roughest big-lake conditions. Measuring 21’7” in length and 100” across the beam, it’s plenty big enough for six people. It also carries up to 64 gallons of fuel and has a maximum horsepower of 350 (although it comes with a 250 XL OptiMax Pro XS capable of around 57 mph).

Many of its attributes lend themselves well to bass fishing, including a large bow casting deck with anti-fatigue matting, a 26-gallon livewell, and a 5.5-gallon baitwell. The driver and passenger seats have premium suspension and were designed in collaboration with Kevin VanDam. Keep your rods in the three-level central locker and discover new spots with the included Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Combo fishfinder and GPS. The price also includes a Minn Kota Terrova 112 trolling motor and a custom-fit GALVASHIELD-protected trailer. 

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular bass boats on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different boats overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.


Sailboats 2019 (Tuesday Cruise-day)

Sailing season is just around the corner. Today we are going to look at some impressive offerings for the upcoming season.

Monohulls Cruising

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1
Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

An offshoot of last year’s Oceanis 51.1, the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 offers the same “stepped hull” as its predecessor, as seen in the chine running all the way forward. This, in turn, allowed designer Finot-Conq to maximize accommodation space in the bow while retaining a fine entry. Topsides, the Oceanis 46.1 boasts a complicated deck molding that incorporates a spacious twin-helm cockpit with easy access to the massive drop-down swim platform and an attractively drawn cabintrunk. Forward, a combination sprit/anchor roller will help keep the gelcoat safe when dropping or weighing the hook, while twin rudders ensure control in a blow. A “First Line” performance version of the boat is also available. Beneteau,

Dufour Grand Large 360
Dufour Grand Large 360

Dufour Grand Large 360

The Dufour Grand Large 360 packs a lot of boat into its 33ft of LOA (36ft if you add in the combination anchor roller and sprit), including twin helms and chines to increase both stability and interior volume. Aft, the helm station features a pair of sleek steering columns and consoles that have been placed in close proximity to the winches to facilitate sailhandling when shorthanded. Even farther aft, there’s an outside galley equipped with a barbecue and a sink concealed in the seats. Dufour Yachts,

Hanse 348
Hanse 348

Hanse 348

If there’s one thing we love more than well-designed big boats, it’s well-designed little boats, what with all the ingenuity required to pack as much yacht as possible into a shorter LOA. And the new Hanse 348 looks to be another excellent example of the type, thanks to the way it offers so many of those same features found aboard its larger cousins, including twin wheels, a self-tacking headsail, a plethora of windows and ports, and as many as three full berths. This being a Hanse, a variety of different aesthetic and performance options are also available. Hanse Yachts, 

Hanse 418
Hanse 418

Hanse 418

Another one of the many new Hanses to hit the market over the past year or so, the Hanse 418 is pure Hanse through-and-through: whether it’s in the boat’s angular lines topside (long a company trademark) or its easy-to-handle rig, complete with self-tacking headsail and the company’s one-rope reefing system. Twin wheels (and a pair of flip-up helm seats) provide clear sightlines forward and easy access to the huge swim step aft—another Hanse trademark. A plethora of hatches and hull windows admit an abundance of natural light belowdecks and also provide excellent ventilation, either underway or in a stuffy anchorage. Hanse Yachts,

Hanse 458
Hanse 458

Hanse 458

One of the newest arrivals in Hanse’s “8” series, the Hanse 548 is designed by Judel/Vrolijk, and couples a powerful, semi-balanced spade rudder with plenty of waterline length and a self-tacking jib to provide a combination of speed and ease of use. (A reaching sailing can also be tacked onto the combination anchor roller/fixed sprit for additional power off the wind.) Aesthetically, the boat appears to have hit a real sweet spot thanks to the way the minimal sheer and cabintrunk are set off by the plumb bow and stern. For the epicures in the audience, an integrated BBQ can be found hidden in one of the twin helm stations aft. Hanse Yachts,

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

The big brother of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440—one of SAIL’s Best Boats winners for 2018—the Philippe Briand-designed Sun Odyssey 490 includes many of the same features and innovations that made the 440 such a success. First and foremost are the sloping wraparound sidedecks that make it possible to get from the cockpit to the foredeck and back without having to step over the coaming. Other great touches include separate terminals for the cap and lower shrouds, creating a clear passageway forward in way of the chainplates; hinged lounging pads that lie hidden in the aforementioned coamings; and ergonomically friendly inboard positions for the primaries. Jeanneau and Briand started with a blank sheet of paper when creating these boats, and the results are impressive. Jeanneau,

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Fresh out of the mold and having only been announced in July, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 represents the third iteration the of Best Boats Award-winning Sun Odyssey 440. As such it includes the same sloping wraparound sidedecks, which make for such an easy transition in and out of the cockpit; the same ergonomically positioned winches that make grinding that much easier, especially when the headsail is fully loaded; and twin rudders and twin helms, in the interest of control and good sight lines forward. It’s good to see these design features making their way toward the smaller end of the company’s product line. Jeanneau,

Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42
Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Drawn by Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design, the Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42 combines a sophisticated bluewater hull form with a raised-saloon configuration to provide both good performance under sail and superb comfort (and great views of the outside world!) when belowdecks. A plumb stem and nearly plumb transom maximize the boat’s sailing length, while chines and a broad run aft create additional power and sail-carrying ability. Completing the hull package are twin helms and rudders to ensure control even when the boat is on its ear. As has long been the case with Wauquiez, joinerywork is impeccable throughout. Wauquiez Boats,

Smaller Boats

Hood 24
Hood 24

Hood 24

Chris Hood, builder of the drop-dead gorgeous CW Hood 32 daysailer, has come out with another eye-catching daysailer, this time designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design of Belfast, Maine. As is the case with Hood’s 32-footer, the new Hood 24’s classic lines belie its thoroughly modern underbody, which comes complete with spade rudder and bulb keel. Topside, the boat’s square-top main and slightly overlapping headsail provide plenty of power while remaining easy to handle for a singlehander. There’s also a spacious cockpit with room for as many as a half-dozen sailors. It would be hard to imagine a nicer way to spend an afternoon on the water than aboard a boat like this. CW Hood Yachts,

Ventura 23
Ventura 23

Ventura 23

Where do we start with the Ventura 23? With the 8ft-long cockpit that provides room for a family of five? Or should we start with its 6ft—that’s right 6ft—of headroom belowdecks? (In a boat with a 23ft LOA no less!) Then again, maybe we should talk about the boat’s four berths and two settees, or the functional galley and enclosed head. Or maybe we should talk about the fact it can make 9 knots off the wind under sail or up to 25 knots under power. Or with the fact that it’s trailerable or…oh, we give up. You’re just going to have to check out this clever little sloop for yourself! Ventura Sport Boats,

Seascape 14
Seascape 14

Seascape 14

After making its mark with such offshore, shorthanded cruiser-racers as the Best Boats-winning Seascape 27 and Seascape 24, the Slovenian-based boatbuilder (recently acquired by Group Beneteau) is now venturing into the dinghy space with its new Seascape 14. Of course, this being Seascape, not just any dinghy design would do, and to this end, the Seascape 14 can be sailed either singlehanded under main alone, or singlehanded or doublehanded with a main, jib and A-sail. The hull is vacuum-infused in vinylester resin to keep it as light as possible, in the interest of boatspeed and easy launching. The mast, which breaks down into two parts, and sprit are both carbon fiber. Wide sections aft and chines serve to promote easy planing. Seascape,

Corsair 760R
Corsair 760R

Corsair 760R

An evolution of the company’s standard 760 and 760 “Sport,” the Corsair 760R (“R” for racing) includes such go-fast features as a tall rotating aluminum wing mast (carbon is an option) with high-modulus shrouds and a hull in which the cuddy has been minimized and the cockpit enlarged in the interest of providing room for boathandling and minimizing weight. Like the 760 and 760 Sport, the 760R also features longer, more buoyant, wave-piercing amas than the Dash 750 from which they were all derived, thereby ensuring stability and security even when the boat is hard-pressed in a blow or a rough seaway. Corsair Marine,

RS21 Sport Boat
RS21 Sport Boat

RS21 Sport boat

The UK’s RS Sailing has long-since made a name for itself by producing a dizzying array of small boats for everyone from rank beginners to high-performance skiff sailors. Now comes the RS21 Sport Boat, a performance keelboat specifically designed and manufactured for club and fleet ownership with an eye toward making one-design sport boat racing accessible for as many sailors as possible. As such it includes all the fun features you would expect from a sport boat, like an A-sail flying from a retractable sprit, complete sail controls and a spacious cockpit with room for four sailors to hurl their elbows around handling lines. Chines aft provide additional form stability, which works with the boat’s 50 percent ballast ratio to help keep the boat on its feet while under a press of sail. The two-part, carbon-fiber mast is light and easy to step by hand. A durable Mylar laminate mainsail, jib and gennaker are supplied as standard. RS Sailing,


Retreat 250 RFL (Tuesday Cruise-day)

Escape the ‘every day’ with the Lowe Retreat 250 RFL! This deluxe pontoon features everything you could wish for in an on-water oasis: Plush rear-facing lounge seating with armrests at the stern provide uninterrupted views. Spacious seating throughout the pontoon also includes custom reclining helm and passenger seats, which swivel easily to join the conversation. A stylish plexiglass table includes convenient holders to keep your beverages secure, and a 9’ Bimini top lends welcome shade from the sun. Plus, because it’s a Lowe, you can count on durable construction and lasting quality for the season after season of use. Crank up the Bluetooth®-compatible Marine Audio® stereo and hit the throttle—your own personal Retreat has arrived.

Overall Length25’7″7.80 m
Beam8’6″2.59 m
Approx. Basic Hull Weight2707 lb/ 2928 lb TL/ 3288 lb TLX1,227.87 kg/ 1,328.12 kg TL/ 1,491.41 kg TLX
Deck Length25′7.21 m
Fuel Capacity24 gal/ 30 gal TL/ 50 gal TLX90.85 l/ 113.56 l TL/ 189.27 l TLX
Log Gauge.080″2.03 mm
Max HP Capacity150 hp/ 250 hp TL/ 300 hp TLX111.85 kw/ 186.42 kw TL/ 223.71 kw TLX
Max Person Capacity12/ 14 TL/ 13 TLX12/ 14 TL/ 13 TLX
Max Person Weight1704 lb/ 1953 lb TL/ 1779 lb TLX772.92 kg/ 885.87 kg TL/ 806.94 kg TLX
Max Weight Capacity2366 lb/ 2767 lb TL/ 2593 lb TLX1,073.20 kg/ 1,255.09 kg TL/ 1,176.16 kg TLX
Maximum HP Capacity300223.71 kw
Pontoon Diameter25″63.50 cm
Pontoon Log Length24′ 3″7.39 m
Prop Minimum Horsepower2518.64 kw

Included Features


  • Bow & stern mooring cleats


  • Raised fiberglass console w/integrated kick panel
  • Switch panel w/tip lit toggle switches
  • USB/MP3 port
  • Deluxe chrome steering wheel
  • 4:1 Anti-feedback steering

Convenience Features

  • Heavy-duty 9′ bimini top w/boot & quick disconnects
  • Custom plexiglass table w/ drink holders
  • Stern entry w/heavy duty 4-step boarding ladder

Drink Holders

  • Stainless cup holders

Driver and Passenger Seats

  • Custom reclining helm seat w/ swivel & slider
  • Custom reclining passenger seat w/ swivel & slider
  • Plush lounge seating, port and starboard at the bow
  • Vinyl wrapped seat bases
  • Lavish dual rear facing lounge seating w/armrests, center walk thru


  • Full deluxe vinyl


  • Multi-function tach, speed, fuel, trim & volt


  • Chrome bow gate Lowe® logo
  • Chrome port and starboard Lowe® logo
  • Raised model designator-(Crystal cap)


  • Marine Audio stereo (MA300) 160 watts w/AM/FM tuner, App ready, Bluetooth® compatible, waterproof LCD display, LED backlit buttons
  • (4) 50 watt speakers


  • Tinted windscreen