Most of us aren't going to become professional bass anglers for the same reason we're not going to become Olympic medallists.
We don't want to.
Most of us think we could do it, but who wants to go through all that trouble? Life is too full of options.
Which is why many of us prefer spending quality time on a boat that serves as a well-rounded entertainment center. The 2001 Javelin Renegade 20 Fish/Ski understands this concept and makes the most of it by adding a number of fun features to the basic bass-boat formula.
To find out what the new Renegade 20 F/S is all about, I went to the recent Javelin 2001 product roll out in Dallas and headed out to Joe Poole lake for an on-water test.
Like all weekend bass anglers, the first thing I did was hop into the 20-foot, 5-inch multi-use boat and throttle up. Equipped with a 225-horse Johnson outboard (maximum power allowed), the boat topped out at a brisk 63 mph at 5,750 rpm.
Breaking the 60-mph barrier is an unofficial benchmark for bass boats, and the Renegade 20 F/S easily passes muster.
Acceleration is impressive, too. The Renegade hit 30 mph in 6 seconds and 60 mph in 19.5 seconds. Suffice it to say this boat can run with the best of them.
(Note: Test data was gathered by making multiple runs in opposing directions with two adults aboard, half a tank of fuel and minimal gear. All speeds were recorded on the dash speedometer and checked by GPS. Conditions were windy with at least a foot of chop.)
Handling was precise at all rpm levels. No chine walking or bow looseness could be detected even with the throttle firewalled and the engine trimmed all the way. This was a pleasant surprise. Most bass boats trade a touch of stability for a shot of raw speed.
The rock-steady Renegade probably has more hull in the water than most bass blasters. This was evident while doing full-throttle, wheel-lock turns. The boat held a line without skidding and prop blow out didn't occur until the very end of the 360-degree turn, which is exceptional.
The deeper running surface may bleed off a few ticks on the speedometer, but the result is a sweeter handling hull, an ideal characteristic for a multi-use, family boat.
An abbreviated list of fishing and fun features shows just how this boat handles multi-tasking duties:
- Two swim steps on the transom
- Port swim step has a recessed boarding ladder, grab handle and non-skid pad
- Aft casting platform has a pedestal-seat mount
- Removable extension creates aft sundeck
- Dual, aerated livewells are located in the aft casting deck
- Canvas sun top
- Tilt steering wheel
- Zercom Classic in-dash flasher with water-temperature gauge
- 12-volt accessory outlet
- Port-side passenger seat with attached observer seat for spotting skiers
- Passenger-side console with a radio/cassette player, glove compartment, grab handle and cup holder
- Large in-deck locker for skis, wakeboards, kneeboards
- Snap-on pads for sun pad on bow casting deck
- Bow seating pads
- Rod storage compartment beneath bow casting deck
- 54-pound thrust, 24-volt Evinrude trolling motor
- Bow panel with switches to control trim and anchor light
Javelin positions itself as a mid-priced boat, leaving Stratos, its production-line sibling, to take care of the high-end, tournament fishing market. As tested, this fully rigged Javelin Renegade 20 Fish/Ski runs $34,544. Base price is $28,405 with a 175-hp Johnson.
There are less expensive 20-footers in this class, but few come with this much standard equipment. Fewer come powered by a whopping Johnson 225. And fewer still deliver 60-mph speed, sure-footed handling, complete fishing features and the versatility of a family-style runabout.
Now if the Renegade 20 F/S could guarantee a spot on next year's Bassmaster tournament trail, it would be perfect. Nah. Life is too full of options.
|Weight (w/Johnson 225)||2,640 lbs.|
|Fuel capacity||46 gal.|
|Max load||1,400 lbs.|
|Top speed||63 mph|
|0-30 mph||6.0 sec.|
|0-60 mph||19.5 sec.|
|Price as tested||$34,544|
|Base price||$28,405 w/Johnson 175|
880 Butler Rd.
Murfreesboro, TN 37127