Ranger Boats may have begun its quest for fiberglass performance bass boats over 50 years ago, but it has successfully morphed, carrying its engineering excellence to the hull styles of every fishable boat. The VX1888 WT is not the company’s first foray into aluminum by far, but it’s noteworthy for its fishability, ride comfort and building style — it brings fiberglass to aluminum in a robust and stylish hybrid.
On the hull, Ranger’s welds are smoother than a row of nickels — the welder’s standard for an even melding of metal. Inside, the deck sports four swivel bucket seats and a fishing-seat socket on both the fore and aft fishing decks. Fiberglass parts include sleekly designed dual consoles for captain and passenger, borrowed from Ranger’s popular Reata line. Also check out the tool holder at the bow, which houses a large sonar chart plotter. Lift the small hatch at the bow to reveal a fiberglass compartment that holds the trolling motor’s foot pedal. Aft, there’s a fiberglass tackle holder that’s both functional and good-looking. And, as with all of Ranger’s fiberglass boats, the hollows beneath the deck are filled with foam to add rigidity, emergency buoyancy, and a softer, quieter ride.
Rod storage on deck includes holders under the gunwales, and a large carpeted center compartment under the bow deck features rod-tip tubes and butt hangers to keep your gear safe in rough water and as easy to draw out as a saber.
Livewells take advantage of Ranger’s many years of experience in keeping the catch or the bait alive. They fill with fresh lake water, and recirculate and aerate as well. For Great Lakes anglers, the gunwales are wide enough to accept downriggers.
Like each Ranger we’ve tested, the VX1888 WT is rigged perfectly, this one with Mercury’s new V-8 power. Our hole shot was rewarding, acceleration smooth, and top speed more than adequate to race the competition to the choicest fishing grounds.
Ranger has learned a lot in its decades-long quest to build premium fishing boats in both fiberglass and aluminum. The VX1888 WT brings the best of both.
- Jump seats in the aft deck come in handy.
- Access to starting battery and charger is easy.
- Trolling motor batteries sit forward on the centerline for smooth handling.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury V-8 225 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Rev 4 14 5/8″ x 19″
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 28 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Ranger Boats – Flippin, Arkansas; 870-453-2222; rangerboats.com