Full of features and performance for the serious tournament competitor, this boat also comes with a price tag that weekend anglers can afford.
At first glance, the new Ranger Z118 gave me the impression that it was the same rig the bass pros use on the national tournament trail. My test experience supported that impression, as I discovered the new Ranger Z100 Series offers many of the features and the style of the high-end Ranger Z Comanche Series boats the touring pros rely on to make a living. Yet, this model has a much lower base sticker price.
With the craze for bigger bass boats and higher-horsepower engines waning, tournament anglers wanting to scale down and save a few bucks on gas will find the Z118 to their liking. The boat measures 18 feet, 8 inches and has a spacious forward deck that provides two anglers plenty of room for flipping or pitching. The Z118 is powered by a 150 hp Yamaha F150 that enabled it to top out at 56 mph, which is quick enough to make buddy tournament weigh-ins on time.
Two key features I always look for in a bass boat are ample storage areas and a strong trolling motor. The Z118 is equipped with a Minn Kota Maxxum 70 trolling motor, which I know from personal experience delivers plenty of thrust and long-lasting power on even the windiest days.
Storage on board is plentiful and designed for easy organization, with port-side and center rod lockers capable of handling 8-foot rods (a unique feature in this class boat), a starboard front-deck compartment and two rear compartments. The center locker can also be transformed into a tackle organizer for storing eight Plano 3700 utility boxes, keeping lures and tackle within easy reach.
Drinks stay cold in the insulated cooler, while snacks remain dry on an elevated shelf.
A Lowrance Mark- 5X Pro depth finder finds sweet spots on deep structure.
Charging batteries is simply a matter of plugging in the boat’s onboard Dual-Pro charger.
A divided, recirculating aerated livewell with timer keeps your catch alive even during eight-hour tournaments.
» Test Engine: Yamaha 150 TLR
» Test Prop: 21 Pro
» Test Load: People (350 LB.); Fuel (38 GAL.)
» Top Speed: 56 MPH @ 6,100 RPM
» Time to Plane: 3.5 sec.
» Length Overall: 18'8"
» Beam: 7'10"
» Dry Weight: 1,550 LB. (w/ motor)
» Seating/Weight Capacity: 1,265 LB.
» Fuel Capacity: 38 GAL.
» Max HP: 150
» MSRP(2011): $34,495 (as tested)
» NMMA Certified