Ranger Z521 Comanche

The Z521 Comanche runs like a thoroughbred greyhound. I didn’t battle the wheel to stop chine-walking — the Z just stayed crisply on course.

December 22, 2009

The Z521 Comanche is the achievement of an engineering team that has fostered Ranger through decades of innovation and increasing demands for performance. Many of the Comanche engineers have remained involved on the series for 25 years or more.

Fishing conveniences such as a cooler in the casting-deck steps (with a dry shelf for sandwiches) and a rod-cradling slot built into the helm console show the Z521’s creators have looked at not just what anglers want now, but also what they will want eventually. Take the helm console, for example. It gives more protection from wind and spray without obstructing the forward view. More importantly, it can accommodate the ever-increasing screen sizes of chart plotters such as the Lowrance HDS system that they’ve placed on board.

It would be impossible to surprise any angler by saying the livewells, rod lockers and tackle storage areas are uniquely designed to make gear management easy even in rough weather. To say the boat has everything one wants to fish competitively, with all eyes on a winning opportunity and little time spent managing tackle, covers only half of what Ranger has accomplished in the Z521.


The Z521 Comanche runs like a thoroughbred greyhound.

In my test I pressed on the gas and stepped right up to 65 mph. Here’s where other bass boats get squirrelly. But as I passed 65 mph, I could feel her step up on pad. I increased pressure on the throttle and the GPS climbed to 66, 67, 68, 69. I didn’t battle the wheel to stop chine-walking — the Z just stayed crisply on course. At a top speed of nearly 71 mph, she crossed quartering wakes handily, slicing through the crests of the waves rather than bashing over them. That tells you more about quality than anything else.

Extra Points
• Manual transom jack plate offers ideal engine position for top performance.
• Custom trailer with swing-away tongue provides easy storage.
• Remote oil fill allows tank refilling without spilling in the bilge.
• Ranger Cup package option includes Lowrance HDS electronics and a Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor.


Test Drive * Test Engine: Mercury 250 Pro XS * Test Prop: Tempest 27 * Test Load: People (400 LB.) Fuel (50 GAL.) * Top Speed: 70.6 MPH @ 6,000 RPM * Time to 30 MPH: 9.5 sec Vital Stats * Length Overall: 21’3″ * Beam: 7’11” * Dry Weight: 1,925 LB. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/1,700 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 52 GAL. * Max HP: 250 * MSRP: $59,500 (as tested) $57,500 (base) * NMMA Certified: Yes


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