What we think: My granddaddy would’ve said that this boat’ll climb on plane “faster ‘n you can say “jackrabbit.'” Indeed, it took just three seconds for me to sense the Z520 settling into its stride and another five before we were streaking up to 71 mph. Once this hull pops up onto its pad, it rides over chop as smoothly as a hovercraft and carves turns like a surgeon. That means you get to the best honey hole on the lake in comfort and safety.
Ranger also found ways to fill this hull with just about everything a bass master could desire. We especially liked the cushioned carpet, copious rod storage and runnin’ rod rack — a ledge tucked alongside the passenger where he can fasten a rod during a quick trip between drops.
Fishing this boat could be classified as luxurious. The bow angler leans against the bike seat and operates the Minn Kota Max Pro 80 trolling motor using its recessed foot pedal. At the same time, that person can tilt the engine, control the livewell and watch the depth finder — before, during and after the cast.
Back behind the wheel, we took control of all onboard systems with the full digital ignition and keypad. This closed-circuit system means there are no fuses; the keypad has rheostats in case of electrical shorts. We had the ability to switch fuel tanks, and empty or recirculate the livewells by flicking a switch near the throttle. Add in the five console gauges — two are multifunction — and you’ve got a vessel that’s as much fun to drive as it is to fish.
Who should buy it: Serious and wannabe-serious bass addicts and hard-core tournament anglers. Properly rigged, it satisfies the need for speed and a taste for flash and high-tech electronics.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 20’9″ * Beam: 7’11” * Dry Weight: 1,825 lb. * Weight Capacity: 1,650 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 48 gal. * Max HP: 250 * MSRP (w/ Yamaha 250 VMax and trailer): $52,360 * NMMA Certified: Yes
Test Drive * Test Engine: 250 Yamaha VMax * Test Prop: 15.125 x 25 VMax * Test Load: People (320 lb.); Fuel (48 gal.) * Top Speed: 71.5 MPH @ 5,700 RPM * Time to Plane: 3.0 sec. * Time to 30 MPH: 8.6 sec. * Minimum Planing Speed: 19 MPH @ 2,400 RPM