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CHAMPION Likes & Dislikes

Likes: Best ride I've ever experienced. The boat drives itself. Has a deep V, fishes up high off the water in the front. Burns very little gas and it's a damn good looking boat. I love my Champ.
Dislikes: These are not "dislikes" because I really don't dislike anything about my boat. But if I could change anything the boat would be a few inches wider and run about 5 mph faster. WOT is 64 mph.
Beezaboy - TX     2005 Champion 203 DCX w/225 Merc Optimax                                     
Likes: Smooth, dry ride, can make 90 degree turns at over 50 mph, tracks really well on the trolling motor, releases from stumps, hull won't form suction on soft bottom, doesn't spear waves.
Dislikes: Access to re-circulation pump.
Mr.Coon - LA       1999 Champion 187 Elite w/175 Merc EFI                                             
Likes: Great ride and handling. Much better than the 20' Skeeter I got rid of.
Dislikes: Strong gas smell from rod lockers and not much storage in rear.
Granny - MO        2003 Champion 188 Elite w/200 Merc                                                    
Likes: Great ride and handling. Good storage, dry ride. Easy to fish from front or back decks.
Dislikes: Can't get out enough.
County cop - IL      2000 Champion 203 Elite w/Evinrude                                                      
Likes: Belonging to the fraternity of Champion owners who understand how much better the Champion hull rides than other boats. It gets very rough on some Kansas lakes and even with big waves and an 18 footer, I can maintain a good pace of 45 and better with a very smooth ride. She is very comfortable to fish out of with a huge rear deck. She also has a lot of dry storage. The '85 Merc runs like new and starts first crank every time.
Dislikes: I do have and like the fish and ski model (a must for my wife) but the front cushions do make the front casting deck just a little small. This really is only a problem when I have three men fishing.
Jbergkc - KS         1985 Champion 184 SuperV Fish & Ski w/175 Merc                               
Likes: Great ride.
Dislikes: This has to be the worst boat I have ever owned. Bought new in Nov.2008. 
I have had it in the water two times and in the shop most of the time. From new, the battery charger quit, power trim gauge and speedometer didn't work, livewells suck dry when running, livewells over filled, carpet glue all over inside of boat, plastic trim cracked around all gauges, shift arm for motor broke, trailer is rusting after launching the boat two times, defects in gelcoat had to be fixed. If this is Champion Elite I would hate to see their lower end models.
Going back to Charger when I can afford to.
Hardy 1 - MO            2007 Champion 200 Elite w/225 Yamaha                             
I love everything about this boat. It has plenty of storage for tackle, rods, etc. Good sized ice chest and huge livewells. This boat blasts out of the hole and is on plane in seconds and really "scoots" across the water. The quality of this boat is great, from the finish and trailer. Rides great in rough water as well! No dislikes! Buy a ChampioN, you won't be disappointed!
Usmdrummer - MS     2008 Champion 183CX w/150 Merc Optimax                                 
Love everything about this boat! Fishes bigger than its size! As easy as any boat to drive!
By far the best 18 ft'er on the market!
OhioChamp183 - OH    2007 Champion 183CX w/150 Yamaha VMax                   
Likes: Ride! Huge front rod and tackle storage and ample under seat storage. Gel coat/carpet/etc. has held up extremely well for an 11 year old boat.
Dislikes: None really. The rear storage is a little lacking. But it has huge livewells so I'll take the trade off.
Skillet Lick - TN    1997 Champion 186 Elite w/175 Mariner EFI                            
My only dislike is the strong gas smell in the two side storage lockers, does anyone else have that problem?
Ryan - WI              2000 Champion 171SC/DC Tournament w/135 Evinrude                     
Likes: Simply everything. 3rd Champ about to be on my 4th. The 198 is such an awesome ride and it is so roomy! You can't bet it!
Dislikes: None, fits me perfect.
UofABass - AR     2005 Champion 198 w/225 Yamaha                                                           
Handling and ride are awesome, storage is superio, planes in nano-seconds, very comfortable seating and all components are top shelf.
Trailer could use some improvement, shows rust way too early.
Bassin Butch - IL   2007 Champion 183CX DC w/150 Merc Optimax                                
1st Champion, love the ride, front deck for days, cavernous rod lockers, not to mention the comments I get regulary "beautiful boat". Could use more rear storage though.
Hallumd - TN       1997 Champion 201DC / 225 Merc                                                          
I love this Champion. It is everything a pre-Genmar boat is supposed to be. I got lucky since I knew nothing about Champs when I bought it. It's a 25th Anniversary Edition in mint condition and is the last year before the sellout. It jumps out of the hole and can reach 60 mph even a mile high here in the Black Hills. Turns on a dime, especially good in rough water. The rod lockers are enormous and the rear-end is setup so you can do anything while standing on the ground.
The livewell is bigger than a 20 ft Ranger's. There's even an aluminum strip around the carpet borders to help keep it down. That's quality. The instrument panel is carbon fiber, not plastic.
Absolutely no complaints. There are photos on the Owner's List. Sharp lookin boat. Lowrance network I added doesn't hurt.
Royjulius - SD        2000 ChampioN 187 Elite w/175 Merc EFI                                          
Likes: 1st Champ I've owned. Really like the boat and the ride and performance. 72 GPS - 2 guys, full livewells, 3/4 tank of gas and tournament gear. The front storage is great.
Dislikes: The rear storage is small!
DCHAMP - TX       2000 Champ 203 DCX Elite w/225 Yamaha VMax                     
Likes: Ride, Ride, RIDE!!  Typical Champion performance. Takes on the ruff stuff without flinching. Goes right where I point it to go without question. Typical '86 Champion tippiness when fishing but I'm used to that. 
Dislikes: Rear storage is lacking. Getting to the livewell drain holes at the back of the livewell is quite a challenge.
All in all the Champion '86 hulls were one of the finest they built. No jackplate needed to get this boat to run right. I have no idea why I'd want to ever get a newer one. 98.9% satisfied.
Cart7 - MO          1986 Champion 184DC w/150 Yamaha ProV                                            
This will be my last Champion, the ride is very rough. It is very unsafe in rough water, the fit and finish is not that the old Champs were. Since Genmar took over Champion the quality has went down.
D.W. - TX              04 Champion 198 Elite w/225 Merc                                                       
Likes: Rough water in this size is a breeze. Full trim and a stock factory setting, never a cavitation problem, chinewalking, etc., even in a turn.  
Dislikes: New owners kinda suck. Been waiting on a e-mail response for 2 weeks??
Mich in FLA          86 Champion 16'8" w/115 Merc                                                            
Likes: For a 17 ft boat, the ride of course.  The front deck, you can fish two on this deck easily. Rod storage......stores my 7 1/2 ft.rod.  Speed, pretty fast for a little boat.  All this and did I mention it was ONLY a 17 footer.
Dislikes:  Gelcoat....I am the third owner but have noticed that Champion gelcoats crack fairly early in their age.  My boat is ten years old and has a few spider webs and cracks at the TM.
Jerkbait2 - AZ           95 Champion 171DC w/130 Evinrude                                                  
Likes: Awesome ride! My father rode in a 2003 20 foot Nitro in VA and he told me my Champ rides better than that Nitro. Easily fishes two guys from the front deck. Not bad for an 18 1/2 footer!
Dislikes: It's a good thing the other manufacturers can't compete with Champion, this way the "dislikes" column gets used.
Champ91 - PA           91 Champion 184DC Elite w/96 Evinrude Intruder                            
The only dislike I have about the boat is that I have Strong gas smells in my front two side lockers.  Does anyone else have that problem?
Jigman - CA              03 Champion 188 Elite/ 200 Merc Optimax                                         
Many people talk about the ride of a Champion but you have to ride in one in rougher water to feel the soft ride.  Have fished in tournaments as a non boater on many different makes, I feel that this is the best riding boat in this class I have ridden in.  Boat storage is great and the Yamaha has been trouble free and starts on the first or second turn every time.  Small items like the lift straps for the storage/rod boxes are significantly better than the lift rings on Rangers and others.
Joedfish - GA            01 Champion CX193 w/200 Yamaha                                                 
Like the ride....fished most lakes in Texas over the past 15 years in it.  No cracks, still runs low 60's.  No payments for ten years.
Dislikes....thing last forever...nothing wrong, and I want a new boat, but why???
Maybe a little tippy with "fat boy walking in rear", but I tell em "I will will move two feet closer to the shore if you will stay in middle of boat"....prob solved.
Heybaylor - TX          87 Champion 17.6 DC Bass w/150 XR2 Merc                              
Simply a wonderful boat.  Purchased it used in early Sept. of this year. Understand the meaning of that "ChampioN Ride".  Handles rough water with no problems. In my area of the country, I know rough water.  Many times a used boat comes with a bunch of "excessive baggage". Not this boat.  I am so lucky.  It was "babied" and well cared for by previous owners.  Am sorry to hear that ChampioN Boats is having difficulties and might possibly "go under". What a shame. Great product.  My only dislike is that I did not buy a ChampioN years sooner.
Im4bass - NE
(didn't leave e-mail address).   92 Champion 190DC w/175 Merc EFI                  10/24
This is my 3rd fiberglass boat, my 1st Champion & so far I love it.
I love the smooth dry ride & performance, also all the storage area. This boat runs out at 67 mph & handles really well at that speed.  I would certainly consider another Champion my next purchase.
Ray - LA                  02 Champion 187 VT DC Tournament                                                 
Overall, I really like the boat.  It is a small boat and it does have its limits.  For such a little boat, it handles rough water good and it goes plenty fast.  Other than the fact that I would like a bigger boat, I only have one complaint.  I don't like how the front deck is laid out.  In front of the driver's console there is a large storage compartment.  I wish Champion had made this another rod locker.  There is no reason they could not have done this and it would have added a lot more storage to the boat.  There is a lot of space that's wasted by that compartment not being a rod locker.
JB - MA                   98 Champion Mean 16 w/115 Evinrude                                               
Dislikes: Very bad stress cracking problem.  Little support from the factory.  Had $2500. repair bill in '99 for stress cracks on the bottom.  Champion paid half (boat was 6 weeks out of warranty). Cracks appeared this year.  Champion would not help.  Luckily (for me) the Fiberglass Shop stood behind their work and repaired the boat for free.  Also had over $6000. worth of stress cracks repaired above the water line.  Other dislikes: No rear storage..no recirculation for livewells (optional ProAir)...narrow bow deck...tippy while fishing...slow.

Likes: Ride,Ride,Ride - better ride than many 20' boats that I've been in....big livewells...huge rod boxes...stable at full throttle, no chinewalk.
All in all, I'll never own another Champion (this was my second).  I was VERY disappointed in their customer support.  Other companies (Ranger for example) go out of their way to ensure customer satisfaction, Champion didn't.
Terry - MI                94 Champion 194 DC w/150 Mariner EFI                                           
At 6'4", plenty of leg room at console. I have no complaints with Champs 181, only one fuss, how about a little smaller livewell and a little larger behind the seats storage.  That's it.
Phriedchikn - SC      98 Champion 181 SC  w/ Merc XR6                                                     10/12