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Old 07-22-2021, 01:34 PM   #1
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My take on a Ranger Tug

While I was considering a Sea Piper I checked out some Ranger Tugs as some people suggested.

The R-29 was nice, but just too big for me to consider as a trailer boat. Then we looked at an R-25. I was impressed with that one.

I was shocked how much they could cram into a 25. There was no wasted space and it had a ton of equipment, I was really surprised. This particular one had a feature which caught me by surprise - it was advertised as coming with a kicker motor. In reality it had about a 25 hp Yamaha, mounted on a jack plate and ready to go. Big gas tank on the transom, controls right at the console next to the diesel controls. It appears if your diesel sputtered you could just reach over to the outboard controls and in very little time and effort, continue with the outboard. Seemed like a hell of a setup.

So, we drove away thinking about this boat. Not all we wanted, but it was trailerable, diesel, seemed safe to go offshore, especially with the “kicker”. Had nearly all the equipment we’d want - generator, air, radar, big inverter, solar - it goes on. But the much bigger motor, smaller tankage and being more crowded gave us pause.

We drove about 200 miles, weighing all it had - and a little it didn’t - available right then, against waiting maybe a year to get a new seapiper that matched our needs closer. We were still struggling with that decision when I got a call that the contract on the almost new Sea Piper fell through - were we interested? Available right then. Well, you can guess which way it went, but I still am not sure what we’d have done if I hadn’t gotten that call.
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:52 PM   #2
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Hopefully you made the "best" choice for you!!! Best of luck with your new boat.
Personally, a Ranger Tug is not a boat that I would want....... but that is a personal choice and in no way says bad things about the boat or anyone's personal choice in that regard. These boats are popular and have a large following!!!
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:10 PM   #3
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Maybe do a review after you've owned it for 6 months or so here. Congrats..
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:14 AM   #4
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Awesome man, congrats. Post some pics when you get her.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:58 AM   #5
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What year is it? New ones are outboard only I believe. I agree they make good use of the available space. Not sure how I feel about the "kicker" motor idea. On a boat like that I don't see it would get much use (emergency only?) or maybe it's better for fishing or something, but a lot of extra weight and gear and space on an already small boat.
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:46 AM   #6
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For the new ones, it looks like the 23, 25, 27 are outboard powered, the 29 and 31 have a single diesel, the 43 has twins. Sadly, the diesels are all Volvo and the 43 has pods.
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
For the new ones, it looks like the 23, 25, 27 are outboard powered, the 29 and 31 have a single diesel, the 43 has twins. Sadly, the diesels are all Volvo and the 43 has pods.
What are the downsides of pods and why are they often used on the biggest and most expensive luxury models?
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:03 AM   #8
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What year is it? New ones are outboard only I believe. I agree they make good use of the available space. Not sure how I feel about the "kicker" motor idea. On a boat like that I don't see it would get much use (emergency only?) or maybe it's better for fishing or something, but a lot of extra weight and gear and space on an already small boat.
Here’s the listing. It would make a good boat for someone.

https://www.boats.com/power-boats/20...-r-25-7894511/

2009, 150 hp Cummins

As far as the kicker - being a sailboater I am used to having a backup method if something fails. And it has. I liked the idea of the kicker. Obviously the Sea Piper lacks that. I do have a backup plan though. First, it’s unlikely I’ll cross big water with it. Bahamas being the biggest goal. Second, my insurance includes Boat US towing, which they tell me includes unlimited towing. Not quite as good as hoisting a sail or hitting a start button, but hopefully it’s a bailout.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:05 AM   #9
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What are the downsides of pods and why are they often used on the biggest and most expensive luxury models?

They're a little more efficient and very maneuverable, but they're also very expensive. If you hit something with one, you'll either do serious prop damage (props face forward) or shear the whole pod off ($$$$$). And at least for the Volvo pods, they're very sensitive to alignment, so only a Volvo tech can do certain work on them. And in some places, the nearest Volvo tech that can do it is hours away, meaning you may wait weeks and pay serious $$$ when you need service on them.

The high end stuff often goes pods because of the fancy joystick maneuvering (which is more capable with pods than most other setups). And slightly more efficient drive means a faster boat, which is often a selling point in the high end market.

Personally, I have no interest in anything with pods. I'd much rather sacrifice a little bit of efficiency for a standard shaft / rudder setup. And skip the dripless seals too in my mind.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:36 AM   #10
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Been on a couple Ranger Tugs at boat shows.
Scratching my head over a 'kicker' motor on a Ranger Tug. For the price, and as long as it's been in production, it better not have engine problems. Fishing ? Really on a Ranger tug?? Not my choice for going off shore either.
They are nice boats and pack a lot into them. More of a plastic fantastic boat like a Searay. 27 and 29 seemed to be the sweet spot as far as room and being able to trailer it. I think if I was going for a cruiser I'd get an outboard for the extra room inside. Not sure how they compare.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:38 AM   #11
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I agree with you on the kicker, I don't get it either
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:58 AM   #12
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Almost all boats where I live have kickers. No tow service, few boats, and complex mountainous waterways where radio contact is spotty means you have to be able to at least get to a safe anchorage on your own if the main engine dies.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:30 AM   #13
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Many I think are missing the point of choosing products.

One should in my opinion, at least re boats and probably many other products (like houses) pay much more attention to the thing as a whole. A boat. As a boat how does it measure up? But now-days people tend to buy things by how many cool features it has. Austinsailor has approached his buy thinking based on features. Little or no talk about the quality of elements of the boat including hull design. Everybody has their needs but I think one should select a product based on it’s intrinsic value. Like what’s it made of, how is it’s design and what’s most important?

The Ranger is very focused on compactness, integration of the parts, spaces and function re cruising needs. Ranger has done well.
But Ranger has missed the boat as the whole is presented as a list of the parts, not the basic boat. When you think of the GB boats you think of the boat as a hull and less about details like do they come w a washer/dryer, two heads, ect ect. It would seem to me owning a GB is like owning a fine car v/s a cheap car. I own two Toyotas thinking they are fine cars in most ways. Quality of design, materials, how things are put together and many other intrinsic elements are so much more important that “features”.

I’m not saying Rangers are cheap boats. They are actually expensive .. I think. But I hear little talk about what really matters to me. It matters to me, I recognize it and I see little evidence it has been recognized by others. Ranger’s get home feature is a big plus IMO but I consider it a feature. It dosn’t elevate Rangers to the hall of fine boats.
But in all matters all boats shall be judged mostly by as a whole, stripped of all add-ons.
A friend of mine went for a ride in a Ranger thinking of buying one. He was turned off by the quick motion, hyperactive non comfort feature of the Ranger product. He was comparing it to bigger and much heavier boats. Totally unfair and totally not objective. He would need to compare to like sized and weight boats to be objective. So it wasn’t a value of Ranger boats so much as it was a statement of preference to mass as in weight, beam ect.

So if I was to criticize Ranger of not being a serious boat I should be comparing it to boats of the same general size and price. But the Piper is a 35’ boat and a FD boat putting it in a far different world than a planing 25’ Ranger.
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:36 PM   #14
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Austinsailor,
"We drove about 200 miles, weighing all it had - and a little it didn’t - available right then, against waiting maybe a year to get a new seapiper that matched our needs closer. We were still struggling with that decision when I got a call that the contract on the almost new Sea Piper fell through - were we interested? Available right then. Well, you can guess which way it went, but I still am not sure what we’d have done if I hadn’t gotten that call."
Based on the other responses and your last response, I must have totally misinterpreted your decision, especially the "Well, you can guess which way it went". I thought you went with the Sea Piper as that seemed to me where you were initially headed, but the largest negative was having to wait!! and that the phone call informed you of the availability of a Sea Piper????

If I had been "smart" enough to figure out you decided on the Ranger (?), I would not have given my personal thoughts on Ranger (for me owning one).
Sorry about that, good luck and much enjoyment with your new boat!!
You did purchase the Ranger??
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:58 PM   #15
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Sorry, guess that’s why I’m not a writer for a living!

No, I agreed to buy the Sea Piper. It is slightly used, but also available right now. Deal is done.

Won’t have a trailer for a few months, seems in today’s world everything is behind, out of stock or something. But we will be heading for the Chesapeake soon to do a bit of cruising there - in the Sea Piper.

As to why you’d need a backup on the motor - are you guys kidding when you say it’s such a good boat it would never need one?? There are so many things that could leave you stranded - fuel issues, prop tangled or broken, clogged water intake - it could make a book in it’s self. If there were no chance of things going wrong I guess life rafts and Epirb’s would also have no place.
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Old 07-25-2021, 03:46 PM   #16
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Austinsailor wrote;
“As to why you’d need a backup on the motor - are you guys kidding when you say it’s such a good boat it would never need one?? There are so many things that could leave you stranded - fuel issues, prop tangled or broken, clogged water intake - it could make a book in it’s self. If there were no chance of things going wrong I guess life rafts and Epirb’s would also have no place.”

Twin engines are expensive even expensive if equal to the power of a single.
I don’t feel safe w my single engine but I’m among those that have been dead in the water. I think I barely missed being w/o power just off the rocks at Cape Caution w an on-shore breeze. I’ve always been an optimist but now much less.

The OB get home is a very good way to go IMO. That is if you run the OB fairly often. There ust’a be a mount that consisted of two sliding tubes .. one sliding inside the other. The OB engine never changes attitude. Always in position to do it’s thing. Didn’t haft’a tilt at all .. just slide down. One should/could rig up a hose air intake that would mostly insure water stayed out of the engine cowling. Maybe that sliding mount is still available? Haven’t seen one in years tho.

Offering the OB mount says good things about Ranger.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:59 PM   #17
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I have no idea if this was a Ranger installed deal or if the seller came up with it. It did look like it was well done, though.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:06 AM   #18
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Sorry, guess that’s why I’m not a writer for a living!

No, I agreed to buy the Sea Piper. It is slightly used, but also available right now. Deal is done.

Won’t have a trailer for a few months, seems in today’s world everything is behind, out of stock or something. But we will be heading for the Chesapeake soon to do a bit of cruising there - in the Sea Piper.

As to why you’d need a backup on the motor - are you guys kidding when you say it’s such a good boat it would never need one?? There are so many things that could leave you stranded - fuel issues, prop tangled or broken, clogged water intake - it could make a book in it’s self. If there were no chance of things going wrong I guess life rafts and Epirb’s would also have no place.
So I guess there should be no single engine boats?
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:00 PM   #19
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We have a 2016 R-27 with the 220 HP Volvo IB.
I don't like the look of the new 27's.
The cabin looks more like a speed boat and the OB hanging off the stern just does not look right to me.
But that's just me!
You do gain more storage where the diesel was located.
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Old 07-30-2021, 02:10 PM   #20
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Congrats on the Sea Piper. Very cool boat!
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