Launched: Ranger Tugs R-23 - Soundings Online

Launched: Ranger Tugs R-23

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Ranger Tugs this year put the finishing touches on its first outboard-powered model, the R-23. “The outboard power gives us a chance to offer a lower price and still continue to offer a trailerable, fuel-efficient boat,” says Sam Bisset, Ranger director of communications.

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With a standard Yamaha F200, the R-23 bridges the gap between the diesel-powered R-21 EC and R-25 SC. The new boat rides a hard-chine deep-vee hull with a nearly plumb bow and narrow forefoot. (Performance tests had not been completed at press time, so mileage figures were unavailable.)

SPECIFICATIONS LOA: 27 feet, 8 inches BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches WEIGHT: 5,000 pounds DRAFT: 2 feet, 6 inches (outboard down) HULL TYPE: deep-vee TRANSOM DEADRISE: 24 degrees POWER: Yamaha F200 SPEED: 40 mph top, 25 mph cruise TANKAGE: 80 gallons fuel, 22 gallons water, 11 gallons waste PRICE: $94,937 CONTACT: Ranger Tugs, Kent, Washington, (253) 839-5213. rangertugs.com

The skipper drives from a single-seat starboard helm station. “The curved pilothouse windshield design gives the driver excellent visibility,” says Bisset.

The pilothouse is designed to maximize natural light and ventilation, Bisset says, with a skylight in the hardtop, sliding side windows and four overhead hatches. The pilothouse flows into the cockpit when the door, to starboard, and glass bulkhead, to port, are opened.

The cabin houses a twin V-berth with a table, along with a head, shower, sink and mirror. The booth-style dinette in the pilothouse converts to a double berth. There’s also a smaller berth in the pilothouse.

The R-23 is equipped with the conveniences of a much larger boat, says Ranger Tugs vice president Jeff Messmer. The galley is equipped with a refrigerator/freezer, a single-burner cooktop and a microwave oven.

The boat functions equally well for fishing or day boating. Rod holders are standard, and downrigger pads and outlets are optional. When it’s time to kick back, fold down the double seat and mount a table in the cockpit. A starboard transom door gives access to the boarding/swim platform.

The R-23 comes with a standard Garmin 7610 touchscreen GPS/sounder. Radar and heating/air conditioning are optional. Fluid Motion, owner of Ranger Tugs (and Cutwater Boats), planned to show the boat at the Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 11-15) and the New England Boat Show (Feb. 13-21).

The R-23 also will be offered with a 170-hp Volvo Penta diesel sterndrive ($109,937). Straight-shaft diesels power all other models in the fleet, which ranges from 21 to 31 feet.

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue.