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Watercraft Preview: Ranger Boats 40 Years - New Models

Ranger Boats Celebrates 40 years of boat building excellence with Anniversary Models

Date: 11/11/07
Watercraft: Freshwater
Manufacturer Ranger-Genmar
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Ranger Boats, perhaps the most respected name in bass boats celebrates its 40th anniversary with the introduction of a new website and new models. Among the new models for 2008 are additions to the Comanche, Reata and VX Series, as well as a retro-styled all-around fishing platform inspired by Ranger’s past. For big families and big water, there’s also an even more versatile deck-style design that’s likely created a completely new class of recreational boats. In addition to the new models, Ranger also announces commemorative 40th Anniversary badging and color packages for the famed Z21 Comanche and 620VS.


In addition to the new models, Ranger also announces commemorative 40th Anniversary badging and color packages for the Z21 Comanche and 620VS


“Ranger Boats owes where it is now to the way the company was started, through the sweat and diligence of our founders, Forrest and Nina Wood,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “They were adamant about building the best boat that an angler could ever hope for and he took the steps necessary to make sure that Rangers were always out in front of the needs of anglers. That attitude and those principles are still with us today and this 40th Anniversary model year is a celebration of those founding principles, those ideals that have brought us so much success over these 40 years. We share in the success with our loyal customers and look forward to this year-long celebration with all of the Ranger Family.”


Prior to producing the first Ranger boat in 1968, Forrest Wood worked as a fishing guide on Arkansas’ fabled White River as well as a general contractor. In response to the need for better fishing boats for himself and clients, as well as a need for winter employment for the guides he employed during fishing season, Wood started Ranger in his hometown of Flippin. From humble beginnings through a devastating factory fire in 1971, Ranger under the guidance of Wood quickly gained the distinction as the best fishing platforms on the market and the choice of top professional anglers worldwide.


Ranger merged the Z and VX together to create the new Z250, designed to be a world class tournament bass boat

Z520 Comanche Tournament Bass Boat: Over its 40-year history, Ranger Boats is well known for building some of the most popular bass tournament boats on the water and for some anglers, it doesn’t get any better than a Z boat; others swear by a VX. So instead of letting the argument linger, Ranger merged the two together to come up with a high performance design destined to turn heads on and off the water. Touting an ultra-responsive, high performance hull design, the all-new Z520 Comanche is designed to be quick on its feet and firmly focused on fishing. Even more new features are fused with what many consider to be the ideal tournament-engineered interior layout.


Measuring 20 feet, 9 inches with a 95-inch beam, the Z520 Comanche is rated for a beefy 250 horsepower, to get drivers to their favorite spot and back to weigh in when time is of the essence. The vessel also has two 24-gallon fuel tanks for making long runs. When fishing, the Z520 Comanche provides the same kind of stability that Ranger owners demand, plus the front deck houses three separate rod lockers, holding rods 6 ˝-feet in the starboard rod locker, 7 ˝-foot rod in the center rod locker and 8-foot rods in the port rod locker. The boat is available in both a single- and dual-console configuration and comes standard with either Lowrance or Humminbird electronics at the bow and console, a 24-volt Minn Kota trolling motor and on-board charger. Carpeted throughout, the spacious, padded front deck has an available recessed foot pedal. Bike seat and pro pole as well as an all-new, all-weather fold down seat are included for use in the forward and aft fishing positions. With an integrated cooler, boarding ladder, integrated tackle management system and a new locking latch system for the storage compartments, the Z520 Comanche is available in a wide range of color options for the hull and interior. Equipped with a double-axle, custom-matched trailer featuring Road Armor and LED lights, the Ranger Z520 Comanche is easier to maneuver and enjoys the smooth trailering benefits of custom alignment and individually balanced wheels. Up front, the center swing jack retracts flush to the frame and creates a more balanced load, making it even more secure on the trailer.


Capacities and Specifications

Overall Hull Length: 20 feet, 9 inches

Beam: 95 inches

Maximum HP: 250

Transom Height: 23 inches

Inside Depth: 21 inches

Fuel Capacity: (2) 24 gallons

Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 1,650 lbs.

Approx. Boat Weight: 1,825 lbs. (single console); 1,850 (double console)

Trailer Capacities/Specifications

Trailer GVWR: SF5000

Length on Trailer with Motor Down: 26 feet, 5 inches

Width on Trailer: 99 1/2 inches

Length on Trailer with Motor Down & Swing-Away Tongue Open: 24 feet, 5 inches


Sometimes bigger is better, the 2050 Reata is designed for open water


2050 Reata - Bigger and more room for everyone: Since its release, the Ranger Reata series’ deep-V design has been a mainstay for families that enjoy spending its time on the water. With a smooth, comfortable as well as striking good looks and features that deliver peace of mind, the Reata series opens up even more opportunities for fishing and fun on the water. New for 2008, the Ranger 2050 Reata is the newest addition to the successful Reata line, giving passengers more room for more friends and more excitement. Whether the boat is fishing the hottest spots on the lake in the morning, cooling off in the mid-day heat with tube ride or taking after-dinner cruises, the 2050 Reata is rigged for optimum comfort and versatility.


Measuring 20 feet, 5 inches in length, the 2050 Reata is rated for a maximum 225 horsepower, providing enough power and stability for use in any open-water situation. With 45 gallons of fuel capacity, the 2050 Reata can make easy work of long runs. The vessel’s 96 ˝-inch beam provides for an extremely stable fishing platform and smooth, dry ride, even in less-than-ideal conditions. Seating configuration includes four pedestal seats in the cockpit – two that can be moved to the front and/or rear deck fishing positions – as well as third-row jump seats near the transom. A walk-thru windshield comes standard on the 2050 Reata as does a Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance or Humminbird electronics and a Sirius Satellite-capable CD stereo. Additional features include 7-foot rod storage in the center and port-side rod boxes. With a transom-mounted livewell, baitwell in the front within easy reach of the forward fishing position and a built-in cooler, the 2050 Reata keeps everything in arm’s reach of the family that plans to spend as much time as they can on the water. An available ski-tow package includes a ski-tow bar that mounts on the rear deck as well as a custom bimini top. Snap-in carpet and low-profile bubble windshields can also be included.


Capacities and Specifications

Overall Hull Length: 20 feet, 5 inches

Beam: 96 1/2 inches

Maximum HP: 225

Transom Height: 25 1/2 inches

Inside Depth: 24 inches

Fuel Capacity: 45 gallons

Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 1,820 lbs.

Approx. Boat Weight: 2,175 lbs.

Trailer Capacities/Specifications

Trailer GVWR: SF6000

Length on Trailer with Motor Down: 27 feet

Width on Trailer: 101 inches

Length on Trailer with Motor Down & Swing-Away Tongue Open: 25 feet


The 177TR is a remake of a Ranger Classic, just check out the snub nose design


Ranger 177TR, A Modern Incarnation of a Classic: Early on, Ranger introduced the iconic TR series, the fishing boat that quickly became the standard for fiberglass fishing platforms. In honor of the 40th Anniversary Ranger is reissuing a new version of a classic Ranger design – the 177TR – built with today’s technology and features. It’s the way the company would have built them in the early 70s if they could have. The 2008 Ranger 177TR links the modern angler to the heritage of fishing, delivering nostalgia and performance at a value.


Measuring 17 feet, 7 inches and rated for a maximum 115 horsepower, the 177TR has every modern fishing convenience. Coming standard with Lowrance or Humminbird electronics, 12-volt Minn Kota trolling motor with on-board charger and available recessed foot pedal as well as space for multiple 7-foot rods in the center and port rod lockers, this single-console fishing platform is great for the first-time boat buyers or long-time Ranger owners seeking to relive the early days of Ranger Boats with an incredibly versatile rig. With 23 gallons of fuel capacity, the 177TR can take along plenty of fuel for a fun day of fishing.


“I think the most famous picture of Forrest Wood is the one where he’s fishing out of an original TR with the words ‘Ranger Man’ written down the side,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “That image really set the tone for Ranger Boats: it showed that we were building the best fishing boats, designed by serious anglers and for serious anglers. That was part of the inspiration to revive the TR design with the 177TR. We wanted to pay homage to our success of the past while giving people a boat that is for serious fishing.”


With easy access to batteries and breakers, a large starboard-side storage locker on the front deck and two storage lockers under the back deck, the 177TR has plenty of room for fishing and hauling all the tackle a serious angler needs to catch the fish of their dreams. With an innovative cockpit design outfitted with custom marine upholstery and carpet throughout, this boat is as comfortable as it is stunning. Featuring the snub-nose design of the original TR series with a total performance hull that delivers a smooth, dry ride, the 177TR comes in one 40th Anniversary color package that harkens back to the originals. Also included on the vessel is a custom 40th Anniversary badging. So even if you missed your chance to own one of the original Ranger boats or sold your first Ranger long ago, here’s a second chance to own a piece of the past – but with all the modern fishing features that Ranger owners demand.


Capacities and Specifications

Overall Hull Length: 17 feet, 7 inches

Beam: 83 1/2 inches

Maximum HP: 115

Transom Height: 21 inches

Inside Depth: 19 inches

Fuel Capacity: 23 gallons

Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 1,250 lbs.

Approx. Boat Weight: 1,375 lbs.

Trailer Capacities/Specifications

Trailer GVWR: SM2995

Length on Trailer with Motor Down: 22 feet, 2 inches

Width on Trailer: 95 inches

Length on Trailer with Motor Down & Swing-Away Tongue Open: 20 feet, 2 inches


“Some people are calling this boat an SUV – Sport Utility Vessel,” said Ranger Boat President Randy Hopper. “We’ve been able to pack so many features into this boat – features that everyone will like, whether it’s the fishing features that dad wants or the fun features the kids want or the comfort features that mom wants. This boat can do everything – and do it well.”

Ranger 2250SS A Sport Utility Vessel: The size, features and adaptability of the sport utility vehicle have made it become the norm for those towing boats, taking long vacations or just driving to the store. Now, the same attitude has been infused into a trailerable, fiberglass fishing boat, making it the ideal platform for a multitude of on-the-water functions: from cruising and water sports to serious fishing and long hauls. New for 2008, Ranger Boats introduces the Ranger 2250SS: an entirely new concept in boats, fulfilling the needs of serious big-water anglers, big families and those who like to have fun on the water – all with one boat. Realizing that not everyone has the same goals for their time on the water, this vessel offers more space, more storage and more features than any other. In short, the Ranger 2250SS conforms to the interests and activities of those on board, instead of limiting activity options.


Measuring an expansive 22 feet, 6 inches, the 2250SS is rated for a maximum 250 horsepower and features a whopping 65 gallons of fuel capacity. The blend of power, size and fuel capacity make it perfectly suited for long weekends on big reservoirs, making long runs for inshore fishing or fishing open water. With a massive 101-inch beam, the 2250SS is an extremely stable fishing platform that delivers a smooth, dry ride, with room for several anglers on the front and back decks as well as along the gunnels. There’s room for two optional fishing seats on both the forward and aft decks; the rear deck has room for the included ski tow, as well. Steering is done from a walk-around console, allowing passengers plenty of room to move comfortably. Whether sitting on the forward or aft lounge-style seating areas, no one is ever far from the multitude of storage options that are honeycombed through the vessel. With storage for 7 ˝-foot fishing rods and skis on both the starboard and port sides, easy access to batteries and breakers under the seats and a large, built-in cooler forward of the console, comfort details are carried all the way down to the six stainless steel drink holders throughout the boat, the easy-to-use boarding ladder and Sirius Satellite-capable CD stereo system. For longer outings, the Ranger 2250SS offers an available head and privacy curtain as well as bimini top. Saltwater options on the Ranger 2250SS include stand-up rod racks, trim tabs and an aluminum trailer.


Capacities and Specifications

Overall Hull Length: 22 feet, 6 inches

Beam: 101 inches

Maximum HP: 250

Transom Height: 24 1/2 inches

Inside Depth: 25 inches

Fuel Capacity: 65 gallons

Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 2,200 lbs.

Approx. Boat Weight: 2,750 lbs. (single console) 1,900 lbs. (dual console)Trailer Capacities/Specifications

Trailer GVWR: SF6000

Length on Trailer with Motor Down: 27 feet

Width on Trailer: 101 inches

Length on Trailer with Motor Down & Swing-Away Tongue Open: 25 feet


Conclusion: With a year-long 40th Anniversary celebration beginning with the release of the 2008 models, Ranger Boats is also announcing the launch of Phase II of its intensive capital expansion program. The improvements done to the factory, headquartered in the heart of the Arkansas Ozarks, will continue to help Ranger remain efficient in its manufacturing processes while allowing the space to develop new technologies to enrich customers’ experiences. Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper said that the need for expansion has been brought about by the growth of Ranger’s market share, the increase in size of the average boat produced by Ranger and the company’s ongoing quest to continually improve product quality and customer satisfaction. From hulls to trailers, Ranger Boats continues to drive to set the curve for product innovations that benefit both performance and overall customer satisfaction. With expanded facilities, Ranger’s goal is to continue to provide the highest quality and most technologically advanced trailerable, fiberglass fishing boats available.










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