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Vinny Chase

First Bass Boat!

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I just put the deposit down on my first bass boat today. She is a 2004 Stratos 295 elite pro xl with a 200 HP Merc EFI. I could not be happier with the deal I got on this boat and I cannot wait to take it out on our first run.

Does anyone else have this boat or have had experience? Any neat features that I might not be aware of?

Thanks,

VC

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No comments! Someone has to have had experience with either the boat or motor!

Can anyone comment on the terrible MPG with the EFI...How bad is it? Anyway to improve?

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Vinny,

I have no experience with your boat or motor but learn to drive it safely. It is a performance craft and you can get in trouble. Remember to tuck your motor uder for hole shot and learn to trim for max performance not highest rooster tail. MPG will be small regardless of boat and motor. You are pushing a bath tub through the water not rolling a car down the highway. For years I went on a two week fishing trip and only fueled my 45 gallon tanks one time and had fuel when I got home. While I did run some miles I spent a lot more time with the TM down than on plane.

Good luck with your boat.

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Just a reminder, it isn't MPG with a boat, it's GPH. ;)

My guess, about 20 GPH at WOT.

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Just a reminder, it isn't MPG with a boat, it's GPH. ;)

My guess, about 20 GPH at WOT.

Ahhh thanks for the heads up! Yeah, as you can tell I am a newb when it comes to boats. How does the 20 GPH compare to other motors such as the Opti or Yammi hpdi?

Thanks,

VC

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I had a 2003 295 Pro Star w/ a 200 Opti. loved that boat. take your time learning to drive it. mine would start to chine walk at about 65mph. it took me almost a full season to adjust my driving from 1998 298 Pro Elite. 8" jp and 26p trophy plus got me to 72 gps. you'll be very happy with the boat.

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Thanks for the input guys! I really don't see myself making long runs, so I feel a little better about going with the EFI over the Opti...

I will definitely be taking her easy until I feel comfortable working on the chine walk...I know how dangerous it can be driving a performance boat without the knowledge or experience (which I have never of)

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How bad it is on fuel depends on where, and how, you fish.

I had a Z-7 with a 150 EFI Merc. I wouldn't burn five gallons a day. But, it was a small pond, a mile and a half long and 3/4s of a mile across. It's a pond I've fished a lot in the past three years so I didn't do a lot of running around on the Merc. At Pickwick, and KY lakes on the road trip the past two years, I burned about 12 gallons per day, but launched where I did not have to make long runs. The boat would do nearly 60 mph, but most of the time I cruised at 35 - 45 mph.

It is you who will determine how much fuel you burn, by how you operate your boat.

The rule of thumb many years ago was one gallon per hour for every ten horsepower at WOT.

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but most of the time I cruised at 35 - 45 mph

There are spots where you can rip off a high speed run, but most of the time 40ish is about all you can get up to. Remember - no brakes in a boat!

I can run a month's worth of tournaments staying in the 3/4 throttle range with one tank of gas. Open her up to WOT, and even my little 115 gets relatively thirsty, and the tank goes dry quick.

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At wot that EFI will drink the fuel. You should be able to keep it in the 4000 to 4500 range and get much better fuel efficiency. I run an Opti 225 I can't afford wot more than a little while as it uses 30 gph. Backed off I can get down to 10-15 and with the price of gasoline, oil, and carbon guard that is expensive enough for me.

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At wot that EFI will drink the fuel. You should be able to keep it in the 4000 to 4500 range and get much better fuel efficiency. I run an Opti 225 I can't afford wot more than a little while as it uses 30 gph. Backed off I can get down to 10-15 and with the price of gasoline, oil, and carbon guard that is expensive enough for me.

Thanks for the advise. the only times I will ever need to go WOT is tournament day...3-4 times a season.

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I just this year traded in my 2005 295 XL Pro for a new Ranger. I loved the 295 XL Pro though and the size was great to fish in tight spots like between docks, but, big enough to handle some pretty rough water. Mine had the 200 Evinrude HO with 6 inch Slidemaster jackplate and hole shot was fantastic and it was fast. As others have pointed out the boat does have a tendency to chine walk, mine would start around 63mph with just me in it, and I never did in three years learn to drive through it. The GPS data said that the boat had been at 72mph before I got it. The layout and storage is excellent in the 295 XL Pro. The specs say that the boat is 19'6"; however, I put a tape from bow tip to furthermost point on the stern and it measured 18'6". I never understood how they called it a foot longer boat -- maybe you can figure it out.

It's a great boat that looks good and fishes even better. Let us see some pictures.

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For some strange reasons, boat are measured several different ways. Chances are that yours is measured along the rail/gunnel. Some boats are measured along the centerline from the bow to the rudder post. Others are measured at the waterline.

My last lobsterboat was 45 feet long when measured from stem to stern along the centerline. It's documentation papers listed it as 39 feet because it was measured from the stem to the rudder post. (the shaft on which the rudder turns) The stern was six feet beyond the rudder post. Then you get into the way they measure the Bristol Bay salmon boats in Alaska. They have a length limit so they cut back on the bow making it square. They have the deck space of a larger boat while meeting the length regulations.

gn353.jpg

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Just a reminder, it isn't MPG with a boat, it's GPH. ;)

My guess, about 20 GPH at WOT.

I rate my boat in GPM (gallons per mile) at WOT :cry3:

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That is pretty frustrating about the lenght...does it fish like a 19'6"? I didnt want to go any less...

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As I mentioned in my post, I loved fishing in this boat. There's plenty of room on the front deck and I really liked the storage layout, in particular the tackle storage locker just in front of the icebox/step in the front deck and the rod storage on the port side. Mine had a 74 lb thrust MinnKota Max which was plenty of power even in Missouri winds on big water. Of course when I compare it with my new boat at 21ft 3in I feel like I'm standing on my front porch when I'm on the front casting deck. If you have doubts about the size just stand up there and see what it feels like to you. Like you, the Stratos was my first bass boat and I feel like it was a great boat to start with.

You mentioned any other "features." I always gassed up on the lake in the water and found that it was fussy about taking the gas without burping. I found that if I stood opposite the gas fill to tilt the boat a little that it solved the problem and it took the gas just fine.

Hope that you have as good an experience with yours as I did with mine.

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That is pretty frustrating about the lenght...does it fish like a 19'6"? I didnt want to go any less...

Most boats are measured along the gunnel/rail. I'm assuming that all fresh water bass boats use the same standard of measure. Whether it's a Ranger, Nitro, Triton or whatever, they'll all be measured the same. If your boat is called a 19' 6" boat, that's what it is. In the end, the technicalities of how it is measured matters little as long as it's measured by the same standards as boats in the same class.

As far as what it fishes like, I'd guess it fishes like a 19' 6' boat.

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My Xpress H18 is exactly 18' from the tip of the bow to the transom. It probably has more to do with marketing than anything.

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That clears everything up! Thanks guys. I will post pictures when I get her back and cleaned up :)

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My guess was wrong. Measured my Z-8, which Nitro says is 20' 1". That's what it is measured down the centerline of the boat from the outside of the rub rail at the bow to the back of the molded in bulges at the stern.

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Vinny, that's one of the best Hulls that Stratos ever produced. I had that hull and the 195 Pro XL. The 295 fishes every bit of it's length and it's a great performing boat. There's a LOT that you can do with it in terms of prop and jack plate height to get it running comfortably. It's a very stable hull design that shouldn't present you many issues in handling. If you're not pushing the envelope, it's quite comfortable. It will handle all the water you throw at it, and provide a very good ride while doing it.

I fish out of my old 195 a lot, and it's still one of my favorite boats. I've got a 200 Ficht on it and it will out and out scream. It's a 70mph boat with a light chop, albeit nearly empty. Loaded with me, a buddy, and gear, we can hit 64 with no issue. It'll do that all day long and chew through about 16GPH. I still tend, very much, to look at mileage on the water because it's a very good comparison. With my Triton, I'll hit higher fuel consumption but get more miles because of the better speed and better handling on plane. That said, the Stratos isn't far behind at all. The biggest gripe I have about it is the step to the front deck should have been moved back between the consoles, instead of step up in front of them. It would have allowed for better weight distribution and better storage, as well as more deck space.

Anyhow, yeah, you made a great buy on that ride, the EFI will serve you well, it's a good, solid motor, and there's no reason the throw an Opti on it unless you're really, really, concerned about consumption. The other thing that you're going to have to play with, is find where your sweet spot is with the prop that is on it. That rig can handle a LOT of prop, there's a lot of guys out there that are running 15 5/8 26 pitch props on it. That's a LOT of prop for a 200, but they're not having any issues with it. I personally have a 14 5/8 25 Raker on it and have found that with my jack-plate settings it's about perfect. The Merc is a little heavier, though, so your mileage may vary.

I love that hull...

Edit: in terms of length, that boat is a dead on 19' from stern to bow, centerline. I've measured mine a dozen times, the 195 is slightly longer. I believe that Stratos counts the stock 6" jackplate on it.

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