Each year boat manufacturers release new models with exciting features designed to make boat ownership better. Just like cars, bass boats continue to improve with more technology, smart design features and better overall quality. One of the best ways to get the rundown of new boat features is to talk with someone who deals with them every day. We talked with Mike Peterson of Last Chance Performance Marine, who explains what’s new in the bass boat world.
Last Chance Performance Marine offers Phoenix, Skeeter, as well as Lowe and Lund aluminum boats. All of the brands have features that should interest those looking at a new fishing boat.
- Stainless Hardware – All of the hardware used on Phoenix boats is stainless steel. “This is throughout, the hardware, latches, drain and cleats are all stainless,” he says.
- 100% Custom – One thing that sets Phoenix boats apart is that they are fully customizable. “Everything from the colors to the graphs and motors can be ordered,” says Peterson. This allows the buyer to select the brand of outboard, trolling motor and electronics based on their own preferences. Phoenix allows customers to select from Mercury, Evinrude, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki outboards.
- NEW 921 PHX – 21’ 6” and comes standard with padded decks, a custom boat cover and a Lowrance HDS 12 and HDS 9.
- Day Boxes – These small boxes are ideal for quick access to what you will need that day. The new Skeeter ZX and FX models have them on both sides in front of the consoles.
- Padded Decks – While this feature is available from many boat brands as an option, it is standard on the new Skeeter models, the entire front deck on the FX and area around the trolling motor on the ZX. “It is like night and day standing on it. It really saves your knees and back,” says Peterson.
- Dry Dock Station – Anyone who has ever had a wet rod locker or storage compartment knows the frustration it can cause with mold and mildew. The Dry Dock system circulates air into these compartments to keep them dry.
- Skeeter Trailers – in the past, another company built Skeeter trailers, but now they are built in-house. “The FX has a true fiberglass fender. Also, since they are built by Skeeter it is much easier to get parts if you need anything like a new trailer light,” he says.
- Rod Lockers – The new Skeeter models have two separate rod lockers, ideal for team tournament anglers, and they have been moved to the center of the boat for better access.
The Lund brand is well known and sets the standard for aluminum boats. Their Pro-V Bass models are excellent in rough water and fish just like fiberglass bass boats.
- 100% Aluminum – Lund Pro-V Bass models are completely aluminum. “There used to be wood inside the decks and transoms, but now the transom is made of composite and the deck is 100% aluminum,” Peterson says.
- Large Storage – One thing that sets Lund apart, aside from the quality, is the large storage.
- Ski Upgrade – This boat turns a fishing boat into a boat that can be used for taking the whole family for a day on the lake. “Some fish and ski boats are ski boats with a trolling motor attached. This option allows you to get the bass boat you really want and still use it to take the family out,” says Peterson.
- Seating Options – The Pro-V Bass allows buyers to choose between bench seating like a standard bass boat or pedestal seating.
Another brand offered at Last Chance Performance Marine is Lowe. Peterson says they offer boats for everyone with many different models and price points to choose from.
Why Last Chance Performance Marine?
One thing that separates Last Chance is that they are entirely owner operated. “We have no sales staff and we are able to pass that savings to our customers,” Peterson says. “We started this seven years ago, Dan Merchant had worked for AutoZone and I was in construction and we decided to retire from those jobs early and start this business.”
The two men, along with their wives Lynne Peterson and Megan Merchant do it all. They have a tackle store, four brands of boats and a large parts department that will drop ship parts anywhere. They also have a Yamaha and Mercury certified mechanic for service needs. “We started this during the recession with our first shipment that was four boats in a 7,000 sq. foot building and now we are on 2 acres and looking to expand again already,” says Peterson.
If you are in the market for a new boat, now is a good time as boat manufacturers continue to impress with quality boats and innovative features.