Fishing companies are looking at new ways of reaching the fishing community and the five million new license holders who started fishing as a result of the COVID pandemic. With youth activities, golf courses and other things they used to do on lockdown, being outdoors and fishing was a great release and many of those who tried it got hooked. Some just took the kids outdoors but many found it was a great activity and have jumped in with both feet.
One store owner told me that he has seen customers come in a buy and inexpensive rod and reel to only return and upgrade that setup only a few weeks later. Once bitten by the fishing bug its hard to shake it and many companies are looking at creative ways to help with the process of getting involved and having the right gear to enjoy the experience more fully and it doesn't stop with just rods, reels and tackle. Boat companies are seeing that value too and I just noticed that Xpress Boats has come out with a new model with great fishability plus an exceptional price point in their H18.
High-performance boat at an affordable price point
The H18 is a 17-foot, 10-inch model rated for a 115 horsepower engine, Yamaha standard, that comes equipped with Xtreme Coat liner, SeaDek liner on the decks, a Helix 5 Humminbird graph and a Minn Kota 45 Edge trolling motor standard. Of course this boat comes with the highly sought after Hyperlift padded hull for better performance and five color options, too.
The aluminum is 0.125 gauge and has a Back Track trailer that fits the boat like a glove. The beauty is in the price point too coming in at an MSRP at $26,295.00; affordable for those who work hard for their dollars. The overall package length is 23 feet, 2 inches and has an 18-gallon fuel capacity with a 93-inch beam that provides exceptional balance and stability.
Speed and comfort
Weighing only 1,215 pounds, it can be pulled easily with just about every vehicle that has a hitch. It also has injected foam throughout the boat for safety and a quieter ride. This rig is perfect for those just starting out, high school and college anglers or the savvy weekend tournament angler too. Because it says you know you are in for a fast, smooth, and comfortable ride. Great fit and finish and attention to detail just complements the entire package.
Currently five anglers are running Xpress Boats on the BASS Elite Series including Jason Christie, Bill Lowen, Caleb Sumrall, Dale Hightower and Harvey Horne.
All-welded and designed by fishermen
I am excited to see boat companies who see this new untapped market and are building products to fit that niche. I believed that boats might be last to do this but underestimated the wherewithal at Xpress Boats and their family-owned boat builders. They saw this market before others and knew they needed a product with all the bells and whistles of the big boy price point but an affordable price that weekend anglers could manage. I see that every day with Xpress as they stay on top of trends and have held their position as the original all-welded aluminum boat that is designed by fishermen for fishermen and was the first to incorporate a padded hull design in aluminum.
A practical option for anglers of all skill levels
For those of us a little longer in the tooth, we see this H18 as a great boat for mid-size lakes and the H18 has many of the amenities of larger more expensive boats but are less costly to pull, run and fish from. Upgrades are easy to add, too. We never hear much about a last boat but this could be the ticker for those who still want to fish but don't want to worry about big payments and feeling obligated to have to go when family and other things are on the docket. The sleek look of the H18 makes it a great purchase no matter where you are in your fishing life.
Plenty of storage, enough deck space for two anglers to fish from the front deck and a great ride makes this a great package for everyone who loves to fish, is just starting out and just wants a boat to take a boat ride with the family.