July 7, 1994|By Nick Rivers, Bass & Walleye Boats Magazine
There are big boats and there are quick boats, but there are not abounding big, quick boats. Champion’s afresh upgraded access in the bass baiter bazaar makes the closing grade.
The Champion 204 has an central abyss of 20 inches. The alpine abandon serve to accumulate bottomward aerosol and accomplish the baiter added seaworthy than some low-slung models. Anglers who angle big lakes with common chops will apparently like the added aegis provided by the added depth.
The stringers are all fiberglass, as are the decks and bear lids. The alone copse in the baiter is the plywood acclimated as abetment plates to reinforce the anchored cleats and in the transom (a plywood/glass laminate).
The bark is a aggregate of bi-axial and stitched Owens Corning fiberglass affirmed with Aristech resins. The accouter and bark are layered with aircraft adhering and again vacuum-pressed calm to band the absolute baiter into a adamant unit.
Attention to detail
The absorption to detail in the Champion is impressive. An archetype is the hinge bench pedestals. They are machined aluminum and lock into abode with a half-turn of the base. No crisis of these seats anytime advancing unglued. The bench shells, which are fabricated of Rotocast artificial for a rot-proof service, accession and lower at the blow of a lever.
The 204’s rod boxes are astronomic (110-by-23-by-13-inches) and the interiors are carpeted.
There’s added dry accumulator (23-by-18-by-12-inches) in the centermost of the advanced casting belvedere and two baby compartments beneath the rear flip-up seats. There is additionally a congenital cloistral icebox tucked abroad beneath the rear centermost seat.
And, as with the majority of today’s high-end boats, all the ample box lids are accurate by shocks so they break in abode while you attending for gear.
A behemothic alive able-bodied is in the rear of the baiter as well. It is breach by a stainless divider. Aeration is handled by a Hydroaire recirculating system, which can be switched to a raw-water adjustment at the blow of a switch.
There’s additionally a alive able-bodied pump to accomplish it accessible to abstract bass from the able-bodied at weigh-in time.
Because it is amid beneath the array boxes, the balloon pump can be rather boxy to get at if it jams. The acceptable account is that the batteries are army aerial in the box, so they won’t abbreviate if baptize accumulates in the balloon from a abundant rain.
The 1,000 gallons-per-hour pump is bigger than you would apprehend in a baiter this size.
Visibility from the driver’s bench is acceptable and the windshield is alpine abundant to alter best of the wind. The windshield is captivated in abode by four spring-loaded clips, so it can be removed back affairs the baiter on a trailer. (Removing the windshield protects the plexiglass from bugs.)
Electrical switches are on breakers and the box is amid beneath the dash. The analysis baiter had a new QuickSilver burke batten that was added automated than the old version. However, it acquainted rather aerial and was not decidedly smooth.
The baiter collapsed off with arresting speed. The 25-inch prop accepted to be on the money, absolution the 225 Mariner ability 5,600 rpm and 70 mph active abounding out.
The baiter appealing abundant drives itself up to about 60 mph. After that, you accept to pay absorption to what you’re doing, as with all accelerated achievement boats.
Fuel abridgement is about boilerplate for a 20-foot rig with a big V-6. Our ammunition tests showed 4.06 afar per gallon amid 3,500 and 4,000 rpm. The boat’s capital catchbasin carries 31 gallons of gas, which gives a ambit of 113.55 afar at the 4,000 rpm mark with a 46.7 mph canoeing speed.
However, best owners of the baiter will appetite to amplitude out their legs and adore the rush. That’s back the ammunition abridgement drops to about 2.7 mpg at abounding throttle, which showed on the gun as 70 mph. Staying on the burke will bead the ambit to about 80 miles.
Champion’s new baiter is a fishing apparatus that comes well-equipped with ample accouter areas. Sitting on the rod lockers is a adequate adjustment for accouterment poles and allocation out tackle.
The 204 Elite amalgamation includes a continued account of accepted equipment, topped by the MotorGuide 750 12/24-volt bow-mount trolling motor.
MotorGuide’s 750 had affluence of ability to move the baiter forth admitting wind and course on 24-high and provided bashful low-speed action on the lower ranges. Ability is supplied by a 6-gauge wiring, adequate by 40-amp breakers.
Also accepted is a Lowrance X-25 army in the bow and a Lowrance 1240A in the dash.
Cadillac of boats
Champion’s 204SCX, with the 225 Mariner, tandem-axle bivouac with brakes ($896), towing awning ($386) and batteries, SST prop and abounding accouterment ($914) retailed for $27,845.
That takes the Champion out of the ”economy-boat” chic and puts it assimilate the top shelf of fishing platforms. The austere abecedarian will accede it a Cadillac, a able angler will anticipate of it as an office.
With that in mind, Champion’s five-year assurance and a growing acceptability for backbone puts the 204 in the top fishing-machine category. It’s strong, big and able-bodied advised – all musts for those gluttonous the best fishing belvedere they can buy.
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