Shared Post - The Wired2Fish Feature-Rich Aluminum Boat
Wired2Fish has for some time been known as the premiere fishing site on the internet, and for good reason. Terry Brown and the rest of the staff have been industry insiders for many, many years and know all there is to know about every aspect of the business, from catching fish to the boats used to do so. Terry recently set out to modify a brand-new Ranger RT188 aluminum boat with all the bells and whistles that make a bass angler drool. Let's take a look at what T-H Marine parts Terry used to make his dream rig a reality. This post originally appeared on Wired2Fish.
By Terry Brown - Wired2Fish
Part of buying a boat to me is seeing it for what it could be as well as what it is. Stock boats are already set up with some great amenities like engines, trolling motors, and electronics but I always like to add a little flair and feature richness to my boats. Buying a Ranger RT 188 means the factory has already thought it out, it is equipped well at the base model ready for the water and the fit and finish of the boat is at a premier level. The goal is getting more people into a Ranger due to price point, resale value, brand recognition and honestly, just being part of the Ranger Family. Features like a fiberglass protruded transom(there is no wood in this boat), fiberglass console, foam filled floatation and in-house built trailer and wiring gives the buyer confidence in this boat. If you have always wanted to own a Ranger the RT188 can fit the bill.
Forrest Wood built the Ranger reputation on doing things right the first time but also providing a boat that fishes well with the proper features right out of the factory. With Ranger you get to choose your color, you get to choose your options and you get the peace of mind to know that the boat was built right and will hold its value. The Ranger brand has said that for over 45 years.
Recently Ranger dove back into the aluminum market. Again it was about getting more first time boat buyers in a Ranger but ultimately it is also about getting into a boat, sometimes the first one, that would fish comfortably, handle rough water and have the storage and roominess that anglers were used to in their fiberglass line-up. The formula is pretty simple, build a boat that will fish like a big boat with a price point that most can afford without giving up the creature comforts they expect from Ranger. The RT188 comes in 4 different paint schemes and available options also now includes livewell recirculation, T-H Hydraulic Mini-jacker Jack Plate and Oxygenator, and Sportsman II Power Pole installation at the factory. Anglers can also upgrade their trailer at time of purchase to aluminum if they desire.
I like the best features in “my” boats and like to add the functionality, if possible, for it to fish like many of the other fiberglass boats I have owned. Ranger Boats builds a boat that can be customized with those additional options and features easily but the base boat is a great boat for first time buyers, as well as, the savvy weekend angler.
The console and passenger area are large and provide plenty of leg room. I removed the center seat in my boat for easier access to the rear deck but the standard package comes equipped with a fold down center seat for three across seating. An optional step is available to the front deck on the 2015 model. Seats and wiring harnesses are all built in the Ranger Aluminum plant. Switches are toggle style, handy for the driver and gauges include tachometer, speedometer, fuel and trim. The race style steering wheel compliments the console’s contemporary yet futuristic look. There is plenty of space for larger in dash electronics but I chose to mount the Garmin 1040xs units adjacent to the steering wheel on a T-H Marine Shock Lock™ mount at the console and over the trolling motor tray on the bow. I like to keep wiring neat and out of the way and used the Rod Glove E-Cable Gloves on both locations. Standard electronics unit for this boat in the console is the Lowrance Elite 3X.
The rod ramp and tool area on the passenger side is perfect for up to 6 rods without clutter and I either store my net adjacent to it or on the floor under the console. The tool areas in the 2015 model has been enhanced with placement in front of the recessed foot pedal and to the left of the console(s). You can see the entire layout of the 2015 here.
I also installed a Hydrowave and Talon Shallow Water anchor Fab at the bow too. Standard trolling motor for this boat is a Minn Kota Edge 45 and I upgraded to a Minn Kota Fortrex 80. The front switch panel includes trim and navigational toggle switches.
I chose the Mercury 115 Pro XS with a 21 pitch prop for my boat. I also added a T-H Marine ATLAS™ Hydraulic Jack Plate and two Minn Kota Talons with brackets. I used the T-H Transom Support Brackets on the Jack Plate for added strength. The 2015 models can be equipped with a T-H Marine Mini- Jacker Hydraulic plate and a Sportsman II Power Pole from the factory as options. I also added Rod Buckles and Transom Saver to my boat. Covers, spare tire, and aluminum spoke wheels are also options.
The Ranger RT188 fits the bill for the first time boat buyer or seasoned tournament angler and comes equipped with everything you need for a great day of fishing. The neat part of this boat is its adaptability to adding bells and whistles, as I have done, to make it a tournament ready rig as well. This boat gives you the option. The boat as it is set up here, fully loaded runs in the high 40’s to low 50’s mph and has a steady comfortable ride even in rough water. It is a dry ride and loads very easily on the Ranger built trailer with Road Armor. The swingaway tongue allows it to be stored in a garage, 21’8″, with a width including the trailer at 95 inches. The standard package RT188 with a 115 Mercury ProXS MAP pricing is $22195 for this boat.
Stop by your Ranger dealer or take a look at them and other models by going to the Ranger Aluminum Boats website. You will be glad you did.