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kjackson

Ranger Aluminum?

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I'm getting close to dropping the dime on a boat. Yeah, I'd like the perfect used boat, but they are not that easy to find. I'm thinking really hard about the Ranger aluminum line. The deep vee version is about to come out, and it would be a good fit for what I want to do, but it is a walk-through, which I don't like.

The next option is the bass line, and of those, I'm thinking that the RT188 might be a good fit. I will be trolling quite a bit as I learn the lakes, and I'll also be doing the usual casting thing. Downriggers would be part of my approach, and I'm not sure how I would rig those on the boat and not have them be a PITA to use.

Does anyone have one of the new aluminums or have fished out of one? I have an acquaintance who bought the 178 and sings its praises, but he is strictly a casting bass fisherman, and he lives in Ohio, so it's not like I'm going to run up and test drive his boat.

I stopped at Rogers Marine when my wife was in Hobby Lobby, and I almost walked out with the 178C in camo. There are a number of good things to say about that boat...it looks good. I don't know the dealer, but I was impressed by the boat.

Comments?

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I was in the manufacturing side for a few years. The best advice I can give you is to look at Lowe, Ranger, Lund, Tracker and match up preferred layout, motor and price. The differences for the most part aren't that great.

It's a very competitive market run by big corporations with about the same eye for quality.

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Tracker is out based on a ton of reviews and negative comments elsewhere. I do like the idea of the Ranger hulls being foam injected. It helps, I've been told, to quiet the ride. There are a few used Lunds in the region that I should look at as one of them might suit my needs. There also are a couple of Ranger Cherokees floating on the web, but I don't know enough about them to jump.

I was hoping for a glowing report, but...

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I love aluminum boats and will probably never own another glass rig as long as I live, but the layout and construction of most aluminum "bass boats" never suit me. There's always something with each and every model that annoys me, and it's usually not something that can be reasonably modified.

My solution is to choose and purchase a hull and then build it (or have it built) to suit my personal needs.

In the end you'll have the perfect rig for YOU at a fraction of the cost.

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My buddy just bought the 18 ft Aluminum Ranger. We had it out on taneycomo for a fishing/duck hunting trip a couple weeks ago. As far as the layout of the boat, there were very few differences from the Tracker version. This boat was built far better though, much sturdier compartments..seats etc... The trailer was far superior to that of the Tracker also, very well built. Not sure I liked the 90lb trolling motor on the front. The first time I cranked it up I almost ended up in the drink and learned fast to run that thing on the lowest setting. He got the crappie version, which has 3 seat mounts on the front so you can sit two fisherman at a time in the front. The rod storage is along the side of the boat versus the center like the bass version. His motor option was the 115 merc instead of the 90...my advice save some money and gas and go with the 90. The difference in top speed is only a few miles an hour and I'd rather save on the gas/weight. Hope that helps some. Good luck!

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I have had a tracker pro team 185 for ten years and it has been a great boat. Has a 90 Merc and that pushes it plenty fast. Cost a lot less than some of the high end boats and works just as well. I fish for trout, cat fish, white bass, bass, crappie, jug fishing, drift fishing and just about any way you can fish. We troll and snag out of it. for my money it has been a good buy.

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I have a 1997 Ranger Cherokee 207 (17ft) that has been a good boat at a fraction of the cost of a new boat and trailer. I paid $7,800 for it four years ago when it had only a few hours of use. The deep V works very well on wind driven lakes. An Evinrude 115 will push it at 40MPH plus with ease. The only mechanical problems I have had is the fuel gage and the rectifier.

The only problem with the layout is that the rod boxes are short. They work ok for up to 6 ft. rods, but are small or others. The boxes are on both sides and are open in the front for the rod tip to extend under the front deck. I keep my longer rods on the deck. The casing decks are roomy. Some units have dual consoles. Mine has a single console. There are two live wells/boxes, two rod boxes, storage under the front deck, two small dry stroage boxes in the back and a cooler below the floor on the lower deck. Also storage under the console seats and in a center console. Most have the Ranger Trail trailers.

The factory gel coat finish on the aluminum is great. My boat still looks like new has has very few noticable chips or nicks. The finish has held up very well. The side paint features are emblems and show signs of flaking around the edges.

The 2 stroke uses lots of gas, but has given me few problems.

Joe

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I love aluminum boats and will probably never own another glass rig as long as I live, but the layout and construction of most aluminum "bass boats" never suit me. There's always something with each and every model that annoys me, and it's usually not something that can be reasonably modified.

My solution is to choose and purchase a hull and then build it (or have it built) to suit my personal needs.

In the end you'll have the perfect rig for YOU at a fraction of the cost.

Yeah, I'm beginning to go permanently to the Aluminum camp as well. Easy to weld on cool stuff, and lightweight means less horsepower required too!

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I'm fond of aluminum. I worked for several years at Lowe in Lebanon and Oregon. I've seen a lot of different models built form the hull up and have observed some glass boats built from the color in. With the exception of dedicated bass fishing, I think an aluminum model can better fit multi-species.

I would be careful about reviews, a person really needs to be careful about some of them. The biggest problem is you can't separate exaggeration, ignorance or inexperience at times. I have a problem with blind negative reviews.

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