The Z19 is a latest offering from Nitro, a member of the White River Marine Group built in Clinton, Mo. Nitro specializes in high-performance freshwater fishing boats. At 19-foot-4, the Z19 is the smallest of their Z models available in the pro package for a package price that should be in the range of many budgets and exceed expectations.
The BlackJack 256 is the flagship of the BlackJack line of high-performance bay boats. Constructed by skilled craftsmen in Knoxville, Ark., the 256 is the largest of the BlackJack models and is made for the fisherman who wants to push the boundaries of the bay boat and explore bigger waters.
The Blue Wave 2400 Pure Bay is the flagship at Blue Wave and embodies the latest in modern bay-boat design and construction. The Seminole, Okla., boat-builder set out to design the ultimate 24-foot bay boat and followed that mandate well this time.
Fishermen will find a lot to like about with the 227 Xtreme Tournament Series bay boat from Nautic Star in Amory, Miss. This is the newest addition to Nautic Star’s XTS series; it offers standard features like forward and aft fishing decks, 3-across jump seats aft, a deluxe leaning post, a dash big enough for 12-inch electronics, and an optional console large enough for a head.
The 2350 Bay Ranger from Ranger Boats in Flippin, Ark., is a serious bay boat, yet also brings an innovative, family-friendly, do-it-all inshore/offshore design to all kinds of anglers. The 2350 packs a bunch of features, is rated for 300 horsepower and has impressive performance in terms of speed and economy.
The Shearwater 260, the newest boat in Shearwater’s line, is a product of two years of development to establish a new standard in bay boats. Built by American Marine Sports in Groveland, Fla., the 260 includes more fishing-friendly and creature-comfort features than any other bay boat.
As the only catamaran, the Tideline 235 Hybrid is the odd boat out in this review. Don’t take that to reflect anything negative; it may be a strong positive. The hybrid designation of the 235 is different, too. It was designed from the beginning to fish inshore and offshore equally well. Some boats make similar claims but are found to be lacking at one end of the spectrum; this one isn’t.