Over the past few years, Ranger has introduced a series of small flats skiffs that are based on a tried-and-true design. The latest addition is the lightest and shallowest drafting model yet, the Banshee 168. The entire concept of this boat revolves around its ability to float in skinny water – 4 1¼2 inches to be specific. Its sleek, low profile helps it move with quiet, controlled ease, even in windy conditions.
While at first glance it may appear to be a trimmed-down version of the Ghost, it’s actually much more than that. Like the Ghost and the Phantom, the Banshee features a design that eliminates hull slap, yet remains extremely responsive and maneuverable. As with most of Ranger’s boats, this 16-footer comes with a patented pultruded fiberglass transom bolstered by a full fiberglass stringer system to provide durability and absorb stress. The Banshee also incorporates Ranger’s upright flotation technology to keep the boat stable despite its giant 83-inch beam and ultra-shallow draft. To deliver a skiff that offers the ride and handling of a one-piece boat, Ranger built the Banshee stronger than necessary.
Because this boat floats in such skinny water, hole shot is extremely quick and shallow, even with a small outboard. Equipped with built-in trim tabs, the tiller-driven Banshee easily handles engines up to 40 hp. Its light weight of 550 pounds, combined with a small engine, allows you to run this boat all day on its 6-gallon gas tank.
Despite its small size, the Banshee offers an impressive amount of storage space, including lockers in the port and starboard aft decking and an anchor locker and large storage area in the casting deck, all of which are gelcoated for durability. The boat also has room for a total of four 9-foot fly rods along the port and starboard gunwales.
The Banshee has a traditional rolled-edge finish throughout the inside of the boat. This treatment not only allows for ease of maintenance, but also reduces expense. Other standard features include navigation lights, custom-fitted fold-down seats and a heavy-duty rub rail. A poling platform is optional.