Stratos 186 VLO

The Stratos 186 VLO is one of the latest offerings from the Flippin, Ark.-based boat builder. They are packaged with features and options, plus accessories, requested by serious fishermen.

The 186 VLO is made without wood. The stringers are fiberglass, and the transom is composite. They combine with multiple-hull lay-ups of the latest resins and gel coats to make the boat light, yet plenty tough for running choppy rivers and lakes. The hull is certified for level flotation in the event the unthinkable happens.

At 18-foot-9, with an 89-inch beam, this is a big boat with lots of room and storage: five lockable storage compartments, plus a 7-foot-6 center rod locker. The storage compartments are where they are needed: two larger ones in the bow, a second pair of mid-size compartments beside the twin livewell hatches on the stern casting deck, and a fifth under the center seat.

Standard rigging allows a choice of outboards, with an instrument panel that holds tachometer, speedometer, fuel and trim gauges. The instrument panel and motor controls are flush mounted on a modular console on the starboard side that also holds the no-feedback steering. A 12-volt Minn Kota Edgemotor with a 45-inch shaft and recessed remote steering is standard.

The electronics runs through a master panel with circuit breakers. The standard setup includes a Minn Kota 6X1 onboard battery charger and 6-gauge wiring for the trolling motor. An aerated livewell with timer and a Lowrance Hook 3X and an 800 GPH bilge pump complete the electronics.

Things are good above the decks, too. A bicycle seat and fold-down pedestal position the fisherman in the center of the bow with easy control of the trolling motor. A rod strap on the bow casting deck makes for good rod security when a quick relocation is necessary. The Stratos 186 VLO is a nice package for the beginning to intermediate fisherman. It has all the necessary features on a stable fishing platform that performs well with a mid-size outboard.


Length: 18-foot-9

Beam: 89 inches

Inside depth: 17 inches

Maximum recommended HP: 135

Engine shaft length: 20 inches

Center rod box length: 7-foot-6

Fuel capacity: 21 gallons

Approximate weight: 1,450 pounds

Total weight (persons/motor/gear):  1,320 pounds

Single-axle trailer: 22-foot-1 long, 98 inches wide.

Lifetime hull warranty to first owner or 10 years from original purchase if resold.

About Jerry Dilsaver 73 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., is a freelance writer, as well as a former national king mackerel champion fisherman. Readers are encouraged to send their favorite recipes and a photo of the completed dish to possibly be used in a future issue of the magazine. E-mail the recipes and photos to Jerry Dilsaver at