Nitro’s Z18 gives you bang for buck
  |  First Published: September 2016

Although I test a range of boats for Fishing Monthly, I always get the most excited when I get to go and drive high-powered, low to the water fishing boats. Some call them bass boats or various other iterations, but for me they are fun to drive and even better to fish from in the areas they were designed to be used.

Best of all, is when we get to drive a boat that’s been already set-up, dialled in and debugged by a keen user. And that’s what we got at a cold, windy Moogerah Dam day, when Tim Stessl from Fishing and Leisure Boats introduced us to Brisbane’s Lee Parkhouse.

Well, it was more of a re-introduction, as I’d actually fished with Lee years ago as a non-boater in a BREAM event on Lake Macquarie and he’s a permanent fixture on any boat show Navico stand in the area.

Lee’s hull is the Nitro Z18, built in the USA and imported by Australian distributor, Fishing and Leisure Boats in Queensland. It’s a fully composite hull with no wood (Nitro stopped using wood in their hulls in 2012) and it’s supplied on a locally made Dunbier twin-axled trailer.

“By buying your Nitro through Fishing and Leisure Boats, you get a full warranty on the hull, motor and trailer, so you have 100% support and peace of mind,” said Tim Stessl.

Lee confirmed this and was also an advocate of the ease of ordering.

“I talked to Tim, picked the options and colours and a couple of months later I get the call to come and pick it up – it was that easy,” he said.

Six months after delivery, Lee is as happy as the day he picked it up.

“I looked at all of the brands and the Nitro just gave me the best bang for buck I could find,” he continued.

Since, he’s added three Simrad units, a Hydrowave, a boatload of tackle and he’s got the setup just right.

Stomping on the HotFoot, the Nitro lifts onto the plane, but it’s in the mid-range that the Mercury 175 ProXS really pushes you back into the seat. At 5000RPM, it pulled a very respectable and economical 90km/h and at wide-open it sat on 105 with a little bit of driver input required to avoid chine walking and optimum trim.

In my books, that’s perfect.

Touch the helm mounted trim up to drive it ‘on the edge’ and tap it down a touch to drop a couple of km/h but drive ‘hands free’.

As always, a feature of bass boats is the ability to dry-store a mountain of tackle, underfloor, in a manner that lets you access it easily. Of course, with decades of bass boat building under the belt, the Nitro does it easily.

On the trolling motor and with a rod in the hand, the Nitro is as well behaved as any bass boat. Stable, stealthy and quiet underfoot, a bass boat if minimally affected by wind and remains the ultimate platform for calm water lure casting.

There’s not much more to say – the Nitro does indeed look great, perform admirably and offers excellent value for money with local dealer support.

With just one of the 12” Simrads (instead of the three that Lee has mounted), this package would come in at $76,000, but basic packages start from around $60,000.

For more information, call Tim Stessl at Fishing and Leisure Boats on 0429 680 504 or visit www.fishingandleisureboats.com.au


RPMSpeed (km/h)
Idle (600)4


Max HP175
Capacity4 persons


Scan the QR code to watch the boat test on the Nitro Z18


Scan to watch Tim Stessl walk through the Nitro Z18 features.

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