For 50 years of boatbuilding, with many of the designers, assembly workers and engineers holding their posts for decades, fostering the brand through its evolution from stick-steered, low-horsepower boats to sleek, finely crafted, race-ready performance machines, Ranger Boats continues to raise fishermen’s expectations in a brand that has not yet hit its zenith.
And so, this year of Ranger’s Jubilee, the Z520L Comanche, has new features on board to celebrate that commitment. First, in style, Ranger has sculpted its iconic metal-flake stripes into the hull in a way that enhances its beauty and accentuates these style elements in a bold new look. The builder also widened the console to accommodate the growing size of navigation and sonar displays. Our test boat framed a 16-inch display and left room for engine gauges and Ranger’s watertight touch-pad digital switching system in convenient reach. Newly designed bucket seats offer more comfort and support than ever.
For fishermen, the padded foredeck is wider and its gunwales are tapered closer to the rub rails, affording the toe kick to remind a focused angler of the edge but without robbing him of room to chase a fish or tuck a lure up under some buckbrush. Tool holders are placed to each side of the step to the deck, in easy reach but tucked below the 72 mph wind stream this rig can generate.
The running surface of the Z520L may never be tampered with, having been proven by the top fishermen in professional circuits. It’s known to step on plane in a few seconds and then to rise up on its pad — that narrow, flat-planing surface carved from the last 4 feet of keel. At 70 mph, it nearly floats there, gliding over ripples and wakes in a ride enhanced by solid composite construction and a foam-filled core.
Dual livewells have redundant fill and aeration pumps. A built-in battery charger’s 110-volt plug is easy to access at the transom, as is a bilge ball-cock valve for convenience and safety.
If Ranger Boats proved anything in the Z520L Comanche, it’s that the company knows how to help serious fishermen have fun.
* Wide new console accommodates Lowrance HDS Carbon 16-inch display.
* New seats are wider, deeper and more comfortable for a more secure ride at speed.
* Pultruded transom panel is custom-made and fit in the factory to enhance stability.
Price: $72,195 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Evinrude G2 250 HSP
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Raker 26″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 430 lb.
Ranger Boats – Flippin, Arkansas; 870-453-2222; rangerboats.com