They Cast: The Ranger 2200 Bay Ranger is fast, runs shallow, and fishes hard. ** **
We Cast: This is a hot one whether you're jumping out of the hole, zinging over the shallows, or flipping jigs in stealth mode. This boat uses brains, not just brawn, to stand out from the crowd. Want to see what I mean? Pop the aft hatch on the starboard side of the boat. Yes, that's a wiring schematic for the entire 2200 Bay Ranger, right there on the underside. This feature doesn't eat up space, add much cost, or take much time for the manufacturer to install-yet it significantly increases the value of the boat to hands-on guys like you and me. With that schematic always at hand, you'll save hours troubleshooting shorts, replacing wires, or adding electronics. More evidence of superior genes: Stowage boxes are fully finished, with vacuum-bagged hatches that dog down over gaskets and lock shut. Switches are sealed and watertight. There are multiple livewells in the fore and aft deck, a lift-out tray with cast net stowage, two gunwale rodholders, pre-wiring for a trolling motor, four vertical rodracks on either side of the console, and rod stowage boxes forward. Three trolling motor batteries fit in the console, and the anchor locker has a built-in rack to keep the hook from banging around. Brains, brains, and more brains. But you like brawn, too, don't you? Our test boat was rigged with 250 horses, enough juice to bust this boat onto plane in the blink of an eye.
Who Will Fish It: Bay anglers who like both smarts and strength in a boat.
Another Choice: Skeeter's ZX 22 Bay is another contender that boasts intelligent design and raw power in the same package.
The Numbers: About $47,000 with a trailer.
Contact: 800/373-2628, www.rangerboats.com