Phoenix boats are one of the best, if not THE best options out there when it comes to bang-for-buck. So, what about these boats make them such a good choice? Here are my thoughts after owning a 2018 Phoenix 819 Pro:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHow Comfortable Can a Boat Be?\n\n\n\nBarge or Canoe? This boat is roomy for its size. The front deck is very wide and is spacious enough to give three people proper \u201celbow room\u201d. Perfect for that cousin who likes to set his hook by jerking the fish completely out of the water. When you can\u2019t take his antics anymore, just move to the rear deck. Where there is more than enough space for two anglers.\n\n\n\nWhen compared to Champions, Skeeters, Rangers, Nitros, Bass Cats, and Jon boats, you can\u2019t beat how the Phoenix rides in rough water. Phoenix prides itself on having the best hulls in the industry. Their hulls are designed to give you more control and comfort when cruising around in \u201cthe chop\u201d. This is great news unless you really like being beaten to death (we won\u2019t judge).\n\n\n\nOn cold days it\u2019s nice to have a console for your passenger. Luckily, you can have one installed while spending less than $1,300.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDo Passion and Loyalty Really Matter?\n\n\n\nEver heard of Gary Clouse? Gary is the owner of Phoenix. He is also a professional angler. Gary knows what people want in a boat and expects his company to give that to all his customers. His love for the sport can be seen as it is carried over into the design.\n\n\n\nThere is passion in every detail. Phoenix consoles come completely enclosed. You never have to look at ugly wires and other various parts that really aren\u2019t meant to be seen. It\u2019s just nice to know someone cared enough to make something look finished even though they knew most people would overlook it. \n\n\n\nPhoenix uses only the best materials and never compromises on design. Want to know why they stick to their guns? \n\n\n\nWell, they aren\u2019t owned by Cabela\u2019s or another giant company that wants their subtle little \u201cfeatures\u201d on everything. Don\u2019t get me wrong, I love Cabela\u2019s but I don\u2019t let them come into my house and let them pick out my furniture. \n\n\n\nPhoenix is a privately-owned company that does what they think is right. They don\u2019t have to make decisions that affect anglers based on what guys in stuffy suits think. Phoenix can truly say that they make boats for people that own boats.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTell Me These Features Aren\u2019t Awesome.\n\n\n\nCheck out the photos at the bottom of the page.\n\n\n\nIs your garage big enough for your boat and all of your vehicles? If you are like most of us, the answer is probably no. And that means that your pride and joy is sitting under a tree and getting ravaged by the weather. That may be acceptable for a used Jon boat but not your pride and joy. \n\n\n\nCan you believe Phoenix throws in a high-quality cover that is specifically fitted to your boat? What better way to take care of your customers than to give them a cover that even takes the trolling motor into consideration? It says a lot about a company when they give you the tools to take care of their products. \n\n\n\nHow many boat companies can you think of that don\u2019t charge you for a cover? It might just be me, but I don\u2019t want to pay $1,500 for something that should be standard.\n\n\n\nDo you ever get the feeling that someone thought of everything when they built something? Not very often does this happen in life, but wow! When it does happen it just makes you feel good that someone cared more about building something functional than getting your cash. Phoenix seemed to have thought about everything. Seriously, how awesome are retractable cleats?\n\n\n\nThe livewells are huge. I\u2019ve had an 8-pound bass in there and he was very happy with his temporary room. It definitely isn\u2019t a fish jail cell.\n\n\n\nHumminbird Helix 9 graphs were integrated into the console and upfront when I took delivery from the dealer. If you are a person that likes Apple, Amazon or many others, you have come to love seamless integration with all of your devices. The Helix 9 takes this approach resulting in both systems being networked together. They are also capable of connecting other systems, like some of the trolling motors Minn Kota sells. \n\n\n\nLED lights are one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. Every light on the boat is an LED. So now, you can almost guarantee you won\u2019t have to change bulbs and everyone will be able to see you on the water and on the road (yes, the trailer has LEDs too). Heck, even you can see how happy your catch is with well-lit livewells.\n\n\n\nThe greatness of this boat doesn\u2019t stop at the boat. The trailer is also top-notch. How silly is it to drop $50k on a boat and get a trailer that won\u2019t last? This isn\u2019t the case with the Phoenix trailer. The company allowed their attention to detail and passion for great materials to carry over. \n\n\n\nThe tandem axle gives you more support and pays your boat back for giving you a good ride by giving it a good ride. And the frame isn\u2019t just painted with Krylon, it\u2019s treated with a Gator Hyde finish. Which is rugged on top of being freshwater and saltwater corrosion resistant.\n\n\n\nNo more squeaky trailer drum brakes or rusty steel wheels. We live in the 21st century so it isn\u2019t unexpected to see custom aluminum wheels complete with disk brakes.\n\n\n\nThe trailer comes standard with a swing-away tongue. So if you do have room in your garage, or just leave your truck outside, you can actually shut the door. While I am talking about the trailer, let\u2019s talk about towing. This baby pulled like a dream. I didn\u2019t even notice it was attached to my truck (2500 Ram Cummins).\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019ve never had a boat with an adjustable jack plate you have been missing out. The Phoenix 819 comes standard with one so you don\u2019t have to put your trolling motor in when cruising in shallow water. And once you are properly trimmed at-speed, adjusting the motor depth will give you more efficiency and speed.\n\n\n\nIt\u2019s nice to have a Hot Foot pedal.\u00a0\u00a0Now you can have both hands on the wheel when you are in those dicey situations as well as keeping control over your speed.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIs It Too Good To Be True?\n\n\n\nNot everything is too good to be true, but I ran into a couple of minor issues. Some of which are more of personal preference.\n\n\n\nI did have an issue with the livewell pumps. This just seemed like a one-off issue but one day they just stopped working. After several trips to the dealer, they replaced the breaker and solved the issue. From that point forward I never had a problem.\n\n\n\nThe captive drain plug is great but it isn\u2019t the easiest plug to get to. You have to reach under the boat to get it but it kind of has to be that way because of the hull design. I would much rather have a better ride than a super easy-to-access drain plug.\n\n\n\nThe Minn Kota Fortrex 80 isn\u2019t a bad trolling motor but I replaced it with the Ultrex 80 with the longer shaft. Sense Ultrex has a longer shaft (more than a foot longer) that allowed more control in rough water than the Fortrex as The head pretty much stayed in the water in fairly rough water. \n\n\n\nNot talking bad about the Fortrex, I just got better use out of the Ultrex. So I definitely recommend you upgrade to the Ultrex. We will have to talk about The ultimate feature of the Ultrex... the Spotlock! But that a story for a different time.\n\n\n\nAfter about 2 months I decided to upgrade to the Minn Kota battery charger. The boat came stock with a 2 bank charger but having a 3 bank charger makes more sense when you have 3 batteries.\n\n\n\nWhat Are My Final Thoughts?\n\n\n\nI was most impressed by the overall fit and finish of the boat. The layout, storage compartments, and rod lockers are exactly where they need to be. It\u2019s almost like someone knew what they were doing when they designed this boat.\n\n\n\nThis boat gave me a great experience and I highly recommend it.\u00a0\u00a0Not only because the boat is so well-rounded but the Phoenix brand is something I can truly get behind.\u00a0\u00a0Having a fellow angler head up the design process and company direction really lets me know that my needs will be met.