Ranger Tugs

By: Andy Adams

A special boat that defies being categorized

At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives and children most likely to want to stop and have a better look. Well, they should, because the Ranger Tugs R-23 deserves a second look…a long look in fact.

Yes, it’s really a “personality” boat that looks great out on the water, and it will turn heads and start conversations at the gas docks, the locks, or just about anywhere boaters congregate, but the Ranger Tugs R-23 is far more than just cute.

Specifically, it’s a 23 footer (27’8” including the swim platform),on an 8’6” beam that has three separate sleeping areas; a head; a galley where you really can make a meal; side decks you can walk around; ground tackle for mooring out; several roof and deck hatches for light and ventilation; at the stern, a good sized cockpit for fishing or relaxing; a transom door leading to a swim platform; and finally, our test boat actually had two engines: AYamaha F200 as the main engine and a Yamaha F9.9 as a trolling motor that can get you home if the main were to fail.

Plus…the whole thing is trailerable. With a regular pickup truck and the optional factory aluminum trailer, you can take this pretty well anywhere. Keep it at LefroyHarbour Resorts on Lake Simcoe, drive it to the Rideau in a day and cruise that, cruise the Thousand Islands, go to Montreal…go just about anywhere.

Ranger Tugs has a selection of models up to 31’, and the R-23 happens to be one of the smallest, but all are trailerable, fuel efficient, and capable of cruising for days or even longer. Many have been bought by people who wanted to do the Great Loop – down the Mississippi from the Great Lakes, through the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, up the Intracoastal Waterway, up the New York Canal, back into the Great Lakes at Lake Ontario, to Trenton and up the Trent Severn Waterway, back out to Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes again.

This boat can do that.

The Cockpit CanvasThe cockpit has a canvas shade and there is amazing space given the length of the R23.

Exterior Features
Starting at the bow, the R-23has a sturdy and high bow rail surrounding a reasonably large forward deck that includes an anchor locker, a Lewmar electric windless, and an anchor in a chute. A classic stainless-steel cutwater adorns the bow, but also protects the fiberglass from the anchor as you are hauling it in. Handholds on the cabin roof help you to get safely back to the cockpit. The flat side decks have a raised edge to give secure footing. The cabin roof is useful for many things, including mounting the radar, antennae, and the optional solar panel. People often carry canoes and kayaks up there as well. There is even a little mock smokestack – a nod to real tugboats.

Most people will step on board at the swim platform or into the cockpit. There is a reasonable amount of space to stand there while swimming or fishing, and you enter the cockpit through a starboard side gate in the transom. The swim platform also has a boarding ladder under a cover and the test boat had the optional stern rails to protect people from falling close to the outboard engines.

The cockpit is a prime living area on board and it has rails around the perimeter and padded inwales so you can lean on the sides. A comfortable transom bench seat folds out or hides away depending on what you want. The non-slip finished floor is fiberglass in three sections, each opening for access to storage and the centre section can manage really large items like folding bikes. A canvas sunshade makes the area more comfortable and wards off rain.

It also includes stereo speakers, footlights, and the test boat had the LED underwater lighting on the tabs. A great idea.

The GalleyThe galley is very functional and well-equipped for real meal preparation. I’d also add a BBQ on the cockpit rail if it were my boat.

Interior Features
The cabin is accessed through a centre door and on the port side in the cabin is the dinette. Here’s where Ranger’s designers start to really step out with ‘Swiss Army Knife’ features. The aft bulkhead is glass on the port side and it can swing up to open. Then, the aft dinette seat back can hinge forward and with the bulkhead open, you have another aft-facing cockpit seat! This even has a comfortable footrest.

Just inside the cabin door, under the dinette seat, are the battery switches and the electrical panel. Very handy and out of the way unless needed. This is also the entrance to a single berth under the dinette seats. My kids would love this and I can get in too, if I want to.

For sleeping accommodations, the dinette table drops and you can make that into a berth as well. The boat comes with curtains for the side glass to give you privacy at night and there were several cabin lights. I counted eight cabin roof hatches or glass panels, so it’s bright and open, and you can get in lots of fresh air, too.

When it’s time to cast off, the forward dinette seat back hinges to make a forward-facing companion seat. Everything aboard the Ranger R-23 has at least two functions, sometimes more!

The head CompartmentThe head compartment is a usable size and can be curtained off for privacy.

On the starboard side of the cabin is the galley. There is a rack with fiddles for bottles, a cutlery drawer, lockers below the counter, and a stainless-steel sink with a cutting board cover. A Kenyon alcohol / electric single burner stove is included and there was a Mauve microwave as well. The Nova Kool refridge is under the helm seat.

Continuing on accommodations, the head is on the starboard side under the helm and has a magnetic latch. It’s a Jabscopumpout MSD and there’s an opening port hole. You can close it off for privacy. A curtain pulls out and can make up a shower stall while the sink is on the port side built into cabinetry with storage.

Throughout the interior, Ranger has included plenty of attractive teak trim for a warm, nautical feel. Light coloured materials and lots of lighting make it a really cozy interior. Also, the bow area includes a spacious double berth with two overhead screened deck hatches and storage under the cushions. The centre section can raise up to make a big interior dining table!

Solar Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

The test boat had the solar panel on the cabin roof to keep the batteries.

Performance
With so much accommodation and so much utility packed into such a compact space, you wouldn’t expect much in the way of performance, but again, Ranger surprises you.

This is really a deep vee planning hull, and with the Yamaha F200 four-stroke engine, we accelerated to planning speeds in eight to ten seconds, cruised quietly and effortlessly at 18 to 20 mph doing 3,900 rpm, and we understand the boat can achieve 2.4 mpg at cruising speeds.

The R-23 can easily tow tubes or skiers and if you’re in a rush, top speed is 38.7 mph! Even at that speed, the boat was easy to manage and the ride was very pleasant. You can carve into a fast turn easily and around the docks; it’s easy to handle but the test boat also had a bow thruster to make docking even more simple.

In fact, the test boat was loaded with all the options including a Garmin autopilot system with a remote. You can set the R23 to cruise a course at modest speeds and you can use the remote to steer if needed while you move around the interior.

The test boat also had the optional Yamaha F9.9 trolling motor. This is a sweet little engine that can fish for hours on little fuel and the remote system steers it, too. It’s there in case of an emergency or a breakdown to add a measure of comfort when cruising. The cockpit is well set up for fishing and there are deck areas to mount equipment like downriggers if you want.

 

At the Helm
Other equipment on the test boat included the Garmin GPS Map XSV and 7612 HD Broadband Radar. You can travel just about anywhere with this. The stereo included Blue Tooth and satellite, plus there was a Standard Horizon VHF radio. The helm seat allows standing or seated operation, there’s a footrest, and the huge curved windshield gives great outward vision. You even get big windshield wipers, a handsome wooden steering wheel, and the Yamaha digital engine instruments.

With reverse cycle heat and air conditioning, a generator, and even the option of a heater for cold weather cruising, the Ranger R-23 is ready to go anywhere and do just about anything. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but check out the Ranger website and the Tug Nuts area where understandably fanatical owners plan cruising rendezvous events. Ourheavily optioned test boat was supplied by the LefroyHarbour Resorts in Ontario, whoalso run events and activities for their owners.

 

Specifications

ENGINES: Yamaha F200, 200 hp 4-stroke outboard, in-line 4 cylinder, EFI dual overhead cam design, 2,785 cc / 170 ci. Yamaha F9.9, 9.9 hp, 2 cylinder 4-stroke outboard, 212 cc / 12.9 ci.

ENGINE RPM MPH
Idle
1,000 4.2
1,500 6.0
2,000 7.4
2,500 8.4
3,000 9.5
3,500 10.4
4,000 12.7
4,500 22.0
5,000 30.4
5,500 34.4
MAX 6,050 38.7

Length: 22' 8" / 6.9 m
Length Overall (w/swim step): 27’ 8'' / 8.4 m
Beam: 8’ 6”/ 2.6 m
Weight, Dry: 5,000 lbs. / 2,268 kg
Fuel Capacity: 75 gal / 283.9 L
Water Capacity: 22 gal / 83.3 L
Holding Tank Capacity: 11 gal / 41.6 L
Bridge Clearance (mast down): 8' 6" / 2.6 m
Price (as tested): $140,000 USD
Base Price: $109,937 USD

Test boat and pricing supplied by: Lefroy Harbour Resorts Inc. www.rangertugs.com

 

Related Articles

Friday, 02 August 2013 14:41

Here is a motto to make your cruisin’ lifestyle better; know your boat, know your mechanic and know your butcher! Plan your course and chart your meals. In my younger days, while I was in training...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 12:58

As exotic and exciting as a bareboat yacht charter sounds (and is) it can still be accessible to the yachting novice because the preparations and details are all clearly spelled out and frequently,...

Friday, 03 January 2014 11:51

The brand new Cruisers Yachts 328 Bow Rider is one of a new breed of boats that is redefining our expectations. The emphasis is on living space, entertaining friends and family on board and on going...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 16:13

We were really looking forward to visiting True North Yachts for the opportunity of driving the all new 2013 Sabre Yachts 38 Salon Express because it is equipped with Volvo Penta IPS 400 pod drives....

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:02

Regal is a front runner in the new style of sport coupe cruisers. Instead of the old-style of express cruisers that were essentially open cockpit boats with cabin space below and only canvas above,...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:52

Hans M. Fogh was born March 8, 1938 and on March 14, 2014, Canada lost a great sailor, while the world of competitive sailing lost a great friend.Many people know that Hans Fogh was an Olympic medal...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

 

 

Boston Whaler 230 VantageBy Andy Adams

The famous Boston Whaler slogan, “the unsinkable legend” has always expressed a safety promise that from their very beginning, set a Boston Whaler apart from other boats, and it’s clear to me that the designers take this heritage seriously.

The Boston Whaler 230 Vantage maintains the virtues that have made Whalers such an enduring success and now the designers have skillfully captured those virtues in a handsome and somewhat more traditional dual console design.

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...
Ontario’s best-kept secret, the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic site holds the key to ...
Located on the sunny south shore of the harbour, the Marina is on pilings over the water, offering ...
The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is ...

Brackley Beach PEI National ParkOver the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario) gathered in Charlottetown to discuss the idea of bringing these diverse colonies together and forming a country. These discussions laid the foundation for what ultimately led to the Confederation of Canada in July, 1867.

Today, PEI continues to influence the rest of Canada as a vacation playground, known for its laid-back attitude, carefree pace, remarkable food scene and tremendous recreation opportunities. That’s especially true if you choose to explore the island the old-fashioned way – by boat.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...
With but four weeks to go, Sarah is in Japan, staying safe while acclimatizing to the heat at ...
MJM is a different kind of boat builder, second generation family owned and operated, we design and ...
Stuart Hendrie, a pro photographer sent along this photo of the pirate ship in Jordan Ontario. Many ...
William Jones and Evan DePaul claimed Canada’s Olympic spot in the 49er by being the top Canadian ...
In my lifetime I have been a member of 5 yacht clubs. There were big differences. The one that I ...
Our photo of the week comes from Europe where Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen are warming up their ...
Last issue we reported that Theodore Tugboat is moving up to Ontario but HelmBoy of Bedford NS sent ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...
Spring has finally sprung! At least it has weather wise here in Montreal, so it is with great ...
For most of us, the thrill of being aboard is associated with the motion of the water, wind in our ...
An important, but often overlooked maintenance item on any type of boat is it’s steering system. ...
Insurance may not be exciting but it is important. Check at launch. We all know we need to spend ...
Before you launch: Inspect all around the hose clamps for rust and replace as necessary. Double ...

2002 Doral 330Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ofCOVID19. People hauled boats to the end of their driveways with “For Sale” signs. Sailboats and cabin cruisers appeared in Kijiji and Craigs List and it sounds like most were sold to new boaters. But, are they happy owners now?

Last fall we interviewed Rob Hopkins, General Manager at Bayshore Yacht Sales. Bayshore operates at six Georgian Bay marinas and are partnered with Maple Leaf Marinas LP. Rob was quick to agree that web sites like Kijiji can work for boat buyers, especially at the lower price levels for private sellers and buyers looking for a deal.

Read More

 

  

Boat FirePhoto Courtesy of Leslie Harper

Boats aren’t inherently combustible. They aren’t firetraps, and they aren’t any more or less dangerous with respect to fire breaking out than an RV, trailer, car or airplane.

But there are certain ingredients that make fires a potential hazard. And because of this, boaters should be aware of that potential, and take steps to minimize the chances of fire breaking out.

 

 

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
A Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet is ideal for streaming music, but it's often stowed safely away ...
Binoculars are a valuable tool on board any boat but they're often stowed, rather than within ...
Most SUVs drive about equal but the Subaru Ascent is just that little bit different or quirky ...
Exchanging business clothes for bare feet, Ann and her husband, Steve Manley, founder of PORTS ...
From streaming a repair video to downloading weather data, there are countless reasons to have ...
With 10 diameters from 11" to 30", there's a Schmitt & Ongaro Marine stainless steel Destroyer ...
The Grengine UltraLite and an ultra-portable folding 80-Watt solar panel. Combine the versatility ...
Have unwanted residue from removing stickers, decals, tapes, labels or adhesives? Release ...
When people think of boats, they imagine clean, white and glistening. Cleaning fiberglass hulls ...
Many boat soaps rely on chemicals so harsh, they end up stripping wax from your boat and are toxic ...

News

  • Prev
Volvo Penta’s DPI Aquamatic sterndrive is now on the market as a triple installation. This new ...
Last issue we proposed a contest for you and the folks at Big Bumper have stepped up with a prize. ...
A true Canadian Sailing Legend passed away on July 18th 2021
Reminder from the National Environmental Committee: Before you sail, know the rules about whales! ...
Parks Canada has advised the public to expect higher than normal water levels and flows during ...
The Collingwood, ON–based Limestone Boat Company plans initially to offer Vision outboards to its ...
The Weather to Boat app is now available to download for FREE in the app stores. Dynamic, Powerful, ...
If your flares have a manufacture date of 2017 or earlier they have or will expire this year. You ...
At the end of May in lovely Ravenna, Italy, the launch ceremony of the new RSY 38m EXP took place ...
You can celebrate the Bluenose for ten cents on a dime or for as much as $1,000+ with the Canadian ...

Cast OffOn Saturday, my boat finally splashed. You could tell it was happy and I was too.  This has been painful. Nonetheless, I have not yet left the dock nor had a social moment aboard.  My excitement has been limited to standing and admiring the scene while thanking the boat gods for vaccines and declining case numbers.

You are likely experiencing something similar as marinas and boat clubs gingerly step forward amid caution and distancing signs.  There is a collective sigh of relief heard across the land because the timing of the delayed launch appears to coincide with a national heat wave. It would have been infuriating to sizzle on the hard with the escape boat stuck in its cradle. I’m grateful for getting this far.

Read More