Durable luxury and irreproachable comfort stand as benchmarks of performance in a good pontoon boat. It’s a new performance paradigm for Ranger, but one it tackled well three model years ago and improved even further in this year’s pontoon lineup — which includes this triple-tube Reata 223FC. Even more, the 223FC combines exciting features to make the boat a seriously fun fisher too.
Durable good looks come first from powder-coated tubes that eliminate the near-immediate tarnishing of raw-aluminum tubes. Washable and waxable, with care they will hold their glossy looks for years. Topside, rails are anodized after welding, and color-matched side panels are securely fastened so that they don’t drum and rattle. Cleats, magnetic gate stops, a boarding ladder and all visible, functional hardware is of attractive, highly polished stainless steel.
Luxury comes from the thickly padded seats with comfortably bolstered back rests and bottoms. Vinyl is supple and the textures include a metallic-look weave, quilted beige mid panels and a supple, smooth vinyl for the pillow tops. Bases are padded and upholstered to the kick panels and when the seat designs meet the woven-look vinyl flooring — durable and washable — it all comes together in a style fit for a corporate jet.
To fish, the boat is equipped with an aft tackle center that includes a large livewell. Utility tackle storage is accessible under the workstation top hatch and a pair of rod holders keep sticks handy for two companions in the aft bucket fishing seats.
For added style, there are LED courtesy lights and LED docking lights. The deck is shaded nicely by the standard Bimini top, color-matched to complement the boat’s tubes, side panels and seating.
The 223FC comes ready and wired for an electric trolling motor and at the helm is an optional Lowrance sonar chart plotter. The luxury bucket seat is ideally positioned for comfortable driving, as is the tilt wheel and throttle lever.
In pontoons, performance is luxury, but this one also provides watersports speeds with its 150 Merc. Imagine what it will do with a 200 hp outboard!
- Easy-lift Bimini raises and lowers for storage and bridge clearance with fingertip pressure.
- Gates are carefully designed to prevent pinching.
- Magnetic catches hold the doors open for easy boarding.
- Interior LED courtesy lights add a warm glow.
- Hydraulic steering for easy control is standard.
- Dual fishing chairs aft make angling comfortable.
- Exterior LED lights under the deck illuminate the tubes and water below.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 150 hp FourStroke
Drive/Props: Enertia 15.6″ x 13″
Gear Ratio: 1.92:1
Fuel Load: 24 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Ranger Boats – Flippin, Arkansas; 870-453-2222; rangerboats.com