Ranger launched the 2360 Bay, its downsized version of the 2510, in early 2019. You’ll need to look sharply to distinguish it from the 2510 at first glance because the lines, console, hardtop and leaning post are borrowed from the wildly successful larger flagship.
Our test boat featured Mercury’s new 250-horsepower DTS V-8 outboard for power. (It’s also available with Yamaha and Evinrude powerplants.) With the Merc, we hit 52 mph with two men on board and 25 gallons of fuel. Acceleration is snappy, and the boat rode flat, requiring little trim to bring it atop the water, skimming the waves. Trim tabs are not needed for the hole shot, but they are helpful to level the load or lift the bow side facing quartering seas for a smoother ride.
The hardtop on the 2360 Bay is a beautiful addition. While some anglers don’t care to have it interfering with casts, few 2510s leave the factory without it. Ranger expects it to be just as in demand on the 2360. It should be. The two-part hardtop has a molded-in electronics cabinet and four speaker pods for 6.5-inch stereo speakers. It is rigid and good-looking, and even better-looking if you opt up for the colored ceiling—match it to your hull, or go with a darker shade to knock down glare. The pipe work can be ordered as anodized, but the boat is far more beautiful—and resalable—with powder-coated pipe work that only adds $1,462 to the cost. And, for fishermen, it sports six rocket launchers and two kingfish rod holders.
Learn more about the Mercury outboard that powered this boat.
There are plenty of bay boats in the range of 23 to 25 feet; it’s that beefy console that most of them lack. Ranger’s comfortably protects two anglers behind it with just the right height for easy forward visibility and maximum weather protection.
Pathfinder’s 2300 (comparably equipped with a trailer, less the trolling motor and power poles) starts at $93,341, and opts for a trimmed-down console and a narrower beam at 8 feet, 4 inches, and about a foot and a half of its length comes from a bustled transom, which adds performance to the stepped hull but not deck space. There is nothing you can take away from Pathfinder’s reputation as a quality builder. Its fit and finish are unapproachable, and the boat is a hard-edged fisher without the niceties of aft jump seats—stowable aft seat cushions and a backrest are optional.
There is plenty of deck space on the 2360—its beam is the same 8 feet, 6 inches as the 2510. And the 2360 is just as practical and fishable. Its length overall is shortened mostly by the reduced aft deck that ends just behind the same jump seats you find in the big sister. Three Plano tackle boxes slide from the cabinet to the starboard of the jump seat, and the raw-water outlet is in the cabinet to port. What’s missing from the 2360’s deck are an aft storage compartment and crustacean livewell.
Yet there is still plenty of livewell capacity. In the leaning post (also borrowed from the 2510) is a 30-gallon livewell complete with dual inlets, a high-speed pickup on the hull, and two 1,100 gallon per hour pumps to fill and refresh it. There is also a recirculation pump that further boosts oxygen and baitwell capacity. One of the first to build in livewells for bass fishing, Ranger has more experience than anyone in that discipline, and it shows here and in the insulated cooler/livewell forward that can be used for crustaceans, additional pogies or greenies, or whatever live bait you’re fishing.
Access to plumbing, livewells, the battery charger and hydraulics is perhaps easier on the 2360. A hatch in the cockpit sole between the livewell and aft seat gives access to the baitwell, and fresh- and raw-water plumbing. Access to the dual bilge pumps is beneath the jump seat. On the front of the leaning post, a large hatch gives comfortable access to the livewell recirculation pump and inlets for the dual 1,100 gph fill pumps. Batteries are in the front of the leaning post for easy management, and a wiring diagram makes maintenance easy.
The console is generous, with room for dual 12-inch chart-plotter displays and instruments. We’d opt out of instruments and either go with the engine-proprietary LCD or network the engine’s NMEA 2000 communications system to the displays so engine data is reported in a window on them. This opens the dash panel near the throttle to installation of a stereo controller, which keeps the wannabe DJs from reaching over the skipper’s head to play tunes. You could also put the VHF there, eliminating the need for an external speaker, but you’ll have to mount the mic higher on the console, or it will interfere with the throttle and chart-plotter display.
Ranger has been building saltwater fishing boats since 1982, and that is on top of 50 years of building the world’s most successful performance bass-boat brand. The 2360 not only springs from that experience, but it also proves Ranger knows how to expand upon it in each new model it builds.
- Forward cooler is also plumbed for a livewell.
- Bow deck is lowered for security and to make the step more comfortable.
- Stow eight rods in the locker and 22 on deck in rod holders and rocket launchers.
- Compass is optional.
- Power-Pole hydraulic pump and control head is reachable but hidden from view, making initial programming difficult.
- Ranger Trail trailer is rugged, and the bow step is handy, but it will jackknife into your tailgate.
Price: $94,638 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury FourStroke 250 hp DTS V-8
Drive/Prop: Mercury Rev 4 23″ 4-blade
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 25 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Ranger Boats – Flippin, Arkansas; 870-453-2222; rangerboats.com