Made the List Because: Squirrelly speed is scary, but when we put the hammer down on the Z521 Comanche, it went all the way to wide open, stepping up on pad at about 60 mph and feeling like it was floating on air. It hit ear-flapping speeds without so much as a glance to right or left. There was no chine walking. The hull and power combination was ideal and required darned little steering input to keep it running true. At wide-open throttle, we crossed wakes at 45 degrees without fear — the Comanche remained on course and on its lines. Such controllable speed isn’t a given on bass boats — trust us, we’ve driven plenty that weren’t so kind. But also kind was the way the Comanche pampered anglers, keeping their focus on the tournament winnings, not on the details of running a boat or managing gear. The helm is expanded to accommodate Lowrance’s new HDS big-screen GPS and sonar. Rod tips are protected in special slots on deck and in cushy cradles below. Even your submarine sandwich will remain crisp and cool, because Ranger put a shelf in the cooler to keep it cool while holding it out of the ice.
Lasting Test Impression: Speed and stability. We said it above, but we can’t help saying it again. Top speed: 70.6 mph on a steamy, thrust-robbing day that could have cost 3 mph.