The Stratos 386XF has been a hallmark of the multipurpose fish-and-fun genre for decades. So it was with great care that the company set about redesigning it to reflect the latest in boat comfort, construction, style and technology.
Only the proven running surface was retained. It was one of the few capable of carrying four-strokes in the early days, and refinement from there made it more efficient with both improved running and at-rest stability.
Clearly Stratos succeeded in keeping what was great, as our test drive with a hot-off-the-line Yamaha 150 proved. The boat accelerated smoothly, ran beautifully and, thanks to the combination of hull and engine efficiency, boasted a family-friendly 5 mpg fuel burn at wakeboard-perfect 18 mph. To get the platform to the fishing hole ahead of the competitors, it popped up to 46 mph — with minimum horsepower and the comfort of hydraulic steering.
It’s the deck where Stratos engineers focused their powerful lens, and the refinements there stood up to our scrutiny as well. Angular, Cadillac CTS-style surfaces with crisp lines were all new. The cockpit was deeper too, offering more security to safety-conscious families.
The center rod locker can also stow skis. Step up on the hatch for easy egress to the forward casting platform. Four cockpit pedestal-seat mounts make the rig ideally convertible for walleye trolling, and an aft casting deck makes it bass-buddy ready. Fold the casting deck upward to reveal two more luxury jump seats. A reboarding ladder on the starboard transom makes it safer and more convenient for reboarding from swimming and towed water sports.
The livewell is aerated and features recirculating and refreshing modes with a pump-out too. Our boat was equipped with a Minn Kota Terrova 80 i-Pilot trolling motor — that allows the angler to set the course and let it maintain position while he focuses on accurate casting and line control.
*The Minn Kota Terrova’s i-Pilot is controlled by a wireless remote and can record trails to retrace them or use Spot-Lock to do what the name says.
*Gelcoated, insulated cooler drains to the bilge and conserves deck space.
*Snap-in carpet offers an easy cleaning option for hanging out at the beach or sandbar.
*Our boat was equipped with a rocking factory-installed stereo system.
*Stainless-steel handrail is a factory-installed option that adds safety and good looks.
*Air-ride suspension driver and passenger seats ease the trip on tournament days when getting there ASAP is mandatory.
*Road Armor-finish custom fit trailer is corrosion and road-chip resistant for long life.
*Definitely opt for the custom cover and spend your time boating, not cleaning out the elements.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F150
Prop: 14½” x 21″ Pro Series
Gear Ratio: 2.0:1
Fuel Load: 31 gal.
Crew Weight: 350 lb.
$39,995 (as tested)
Stratos Boats Flippin, Arkansas; 877-978-7286; stratosboats.com