Flippin, AR – The days when tournament anglers relied on short fiberglass rods and wooden plugs are all but gone. Bass fishing has evolved and the equipment used by today’s professional has to keep pace. Enter the new Stratos 189 VLO – bass boat evolution accelerated with a wealth of tournament-specific features new and unique to the marine industry. The 189 VLO arms its owners with virtually every conceivable advantage in their quest for on-water success, including a list of features that dominate other boats in its class, all at a price tag under $30,000.
Measuring 18 feet, 9 inches, the Stratos 189 VLO is rated for 150 horsepower and available with a host of precision-matched, factory-rigged outboards. This future-inspired fishing machine flexes its muscles on the water with a strong hole shot and top-end speed to quickly deliver serious anglers wherever they need to go. The 189 VLO balances its appetite for power with ultra-responsive hydraulic steering and an intuitive layout that delivers sportscar-like handling in rough waters.
“The Stratos 189 VLO is a completely new design; a whole new layout,” said Stratos Pro, Mike McClelland. “It’s a boat that’s thoroughly grounded in some intense R&D work. Now that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with it, I’m incredibly impressed. I know this VLO is going to fill a major need for guys looking for that next generation in boat design.”
Realizing that dual-console layouts can be both a benefit and a hindrance, the Stratos 189 VLO features an easily deployed and stored, piston-assisted passenger windscreen, which stores flush in the cockpit when not in use. A truly unique and innovative feature, this windscreen offers the comfort of a traditional passenger console while using only a fraction of the space. Also inside, the driver and passenger seats are covered with durable and easy-to-clean material akin to those used on high-end ATVs. At the helm, drivers will find a sleek, aggressively designed console with a full complement of gauges, which is offset to allow space for longer rods resting on the front deck. The custom layout also provides easy access to an integrated storage console between the driver and passenger seat, which doubles as a step to the back deck and is covered in an all-weather, rubberized, non-slip surface. The cockpit floor of the 189 VLO features the same durable finish covered with snap-in carpet, allowing for easy cleaning or complete removal when conditions warrant.
When competing for money or pride, Stratos owners want to maximize their time on the water. Knowing that every second spent searching for baits or tools can result in fewer casts, the Stratos 189VLO brings a workstation into the interior of the boat where anglers can quickly and efficiently re-rig after delivering another fish to the livewell. To the port side of the center rod locker, the VLO houses a quick-pull organizer that stores a ruler and space for several tools. Just adjacent, on the port side of the driver’s console is even more additional tool and gear storage, while the front-deck step includes space to keep cell phones, wallets or the day’s hottest baits.
“As a competitive angler, organization is key,” McClelland said. “The VLO workstation will save you a lot of time during a tournament day – the layout is perfect. You’ve got easy access to everything you need.”
Equipped with a 33-gallon fuel tank, the Stratos 189 VLO features an electronics package to suit competitive anglers at any level. Standard electronics include a Humminbird graph, Minn Kota trolling motor and on-board Minn Kota charger. At the bow, anglers will find yet another intuitive and angler-friendly design trait – the mounting area for bow electronics and switches is offset to eliminate the trolling motor cable from blocking an angler’s view or accidently hitting a trim or livewell switch. A recessed trolling motor foot pedal also comes standard.
The Stratos 189 VLO provides plenty of storage space throughout, including center and portside rod lockers under the carpeted front deck, which accommodate 7- and 7-foot-6-inch rods, respectively. The rod storages also include an organizer system – a feature typically reserved for larger, more expensive models. To the rear, the 189 VLO boasts a divided, 34-gallon livewell, additional tackle storage, plus an easy access to batteries, pumps and breakers through a generously proportioned hatch at the stern, the underside of which also serves as an integrated storage space for the stern light.
The Stratos 189 VLO comes paired with a custom-built, single-axle trailer. Designed to perfectly match the boat, Stratos trailers are equipped with a super-tough polyurea “Road Armor” protective finish; submersible, LED lights and individually balanced, aluminum wheels. The trailers also feature swing jacks that retract flush to the frame and locking, swing-away tongues. With stainless steel fenders and matching spare, the trailer delivers peace of mind when towing and serves as the perfect complement to the striking good looks and fast-forward performance of the new Stratos 189 VLO.
2012 STRATOS 189 VLO
- Overall Hull Length: 18 feet, 9 inches
- Beam: 93 inches
- Maximum HP: 150
- Inside Depth: 21.5 inches
- Fuel Capacity: (1) 33-gallon tank
- Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 1,325 lbs.
- Approx. Boat Weight: 1,500 lbs.