Boats & Maintenance

Xpress Boats Xclusive X21 Bass Boat Review

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The times sure have changed. More and more anglers are seeing aluminum as a great option and manufacturers are stepping up with better built and more fishing friendly features and options. It used to be anglers had to give up features and comfortable ride but not anymore.

The original all-welded Xpress Boats line-up is cutting new ground and bringing “high-performance” into aluminum boats that used to be owned by fiberglass only. The proven Hyper-lift hull, cool graphics and paint schemes, aluminum trailer and user friendly features like plenty of storage and fishability highlight this boat. Once on the water we were impressed with the dry ride and superb fit and finish. The X-21 is  loaded with features like XTreme Coat, custom Xpress seating and custom Xpress paint and graphics that make it functional as well as sharp. With boat lengths up to 21 feet in the Xpress Xclusive Series line-up this boat allows anglers to have everything they want in a tournament equipped bass boat with a cost effective price. This boat ballparks as it set at around 40K. By the way, Xpress Boats was the first all welded aluminum boat.

We recently got to test out the X-21 Xclusive Series from Xpress and honestly were set back by what we saw…literally. Fast, steady, dry and comfortable were words used to describe this test drive.

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We took this boat out on a breezy day on Kentucky Lake out of New Johnsonville, Tennessee. Mike Eutsler, Pro Staff Manager from Lew’s jumped behind the cockpit first. Clay Connor from the Xpress Marketing Team rode around with him to get his first take on the boat. “Honestly, if I was blindfolded I would not have known it was an aluminum boat” said Eutsler. “The boat took the waves exceptionally well and it was comfortable and quiet. It surprised me a bit, I guess, with the ride and performance plus the fit and finish. I am totally impressed with the X-21.”

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Xpress adds a proprietary XTreme Coat on the gunnels and surfaces that are normally slippery on aluminum boats. The cool part of XTreme coat is it can be color matched to the boat and provides grip even when wet. It quiets the boat and prevents chipping inherent in painted finishes.

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The helm of the boat is spacious and includes all of the creature comforts including tilt wheel, a full gauge package, including tachometer, speedometer, trim, fuel and water pressure, and a fiberglass console with adequate space for new larger electronics with plenty of leg room. A drink holder is blended into the console.  The wiring was neatly bundled under the console.  The switch panel(photo below) is easy to get to and sits adjacent to the ignition key. The seats are comfortable and actually give you a sense of security as they wrap around the driver.

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Storage in the X-21 includes a large dry center compartment, two rod boxes; one on both sides of the front deck, underseat storage and two rear storage compartments. A large foam encased livewell with split lids compliments this tournament package. Sound deadening and insulating Xtreme coating is sprayed under all storage compartment lids.

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Lockable carpeted starboard rod storage with coated lids and a cable race to keep wires need and tidy back to the battery compartment.

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Port Rod Storage

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Carpeted center front deck storage with rubberized boot for keeping it and equipment in it dry.

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Non-skid coated  and fuctional under-seat storage

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Single Split-lid Livewell can be divided for draw tournaments or for separating fish based on size when fun fishing. It too has coated lids for insulation and aids at keeping the water cool.

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Large port side rear storage area with carpeted interior

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Starboard rear deck storage

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The battery compartment is large and gives easy access to batteries, on-board charger, and fuel tank. It can accessed from both inside and outside the boat easily for maintenance. The X21 comes standard with a 30 gallon gas tank , has a 95 inch beam and plenty of room for 4 group 27 batteries.

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The front deck is huge and provides trim, navigation lighting and trolling motor switches for easy access while fishing. It is big enough for two anglers to easily fish side by side, and a built in step allows for easy access to the deck from the console. It too is accented with XTreme coat and logo.

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We also noted the neat welds, the cleanliness of the trim and and how well the carpet and lids fit. There were no ragged or sharp edges anywhere on the boat and the symmetry of cut-outs and trim were noted and appreciated. The fit and finish of the interior of the boat was superb. The dry riding Hyper-lift hull increases performance and the all alumium tandem trailer built at Xpress was flawless, good looking and simple. The trailer matched the boat perfectly. This boat was set up with a Yamaha 250 SHO engine and manual jackplate from the factory but we felt a hydraulic jackplate could be a better option for adjusting loads and types of water fished. It would however add cost. At nearly 70 mph in 1-2 foot chop this boat was both quiet and sturdy and handled exceptionally well. Tight turns were no problem and it jumped easily on plane. There was no skidding in tight turns and unless over-trimmed had no chine walking or porpoising.

Below are the specifications for the Xpress X21 Xclusive Bass Boat:

BOAT SPECIFICATIONS

LENGTH 21’3? MAX WT./PER/MO/GR 1,800 LB.
BOTTOM 67? TOTAL WT. PER CAP 4/775 LB.
BEAM 95? ALUM 5052 GAUGE 0.125
SIDES 24? MAX HP 150/250**
TRANSOM HEIGHT 22? OVERALL PKG. LENGTH* 26’10”
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 30 GAL. BACKTRACK TRAILER MODEL AW21
APPROXIMATE WEIGHT 1,580 LB.

The Xpress X-21 Xclusive bass boat has taken tournament size aluminum boats to the next level. Building a pad boat in aluminum is a next generation step and Xpress has it nailed with the X-21 and its Hyper-Lift Performance all-welded hull. The Hyper-lift hull is celebrating 25 years of enhanced cutting edge performance. You can learn more about Xpress Boats at their website.