Ranger Boats has been the leader in the bass-fishing market for 40 years since they first came on the scene with what was then a radical departure from other freshwater fishing boats: a highly technical, fast boat designed specifically for competitive bass anglers. A little over 20 years ago they started building saltwater-specific craft in the form of bay boats and skiffs. Then, they were considered outsiders, but today the company offers some of the best technical fishing skiffs on salt water.
Nearly a decade of research and development led to the 173 Ghost, a favorite among top flats anglers around the country.
Running and Fishing
With an LOA of 17 feet 3 inches, the all-new Ghost is ideally suited for quietly slipping into fertile flats and shallow coastal backwaters, whether for stripers and blues in the Northeast, redfish and trout in South Carolina, Georgia or the Gulf Coast or for bonefish, tarpon and snook in the Florida Keys. A broad, 7-foot 2-inch beam and open, roomy cockpit give the boat an even bigger feel.
Rated for a maximum 115-hp four-stroke outboard, the skiff is quick to plane, even in shallow water. With a 115 Yamaha four-stroke, the 173 tops out at 42 mph at 5,800 rpm, consuming 4.66 mpg. At cruise, the Ghost runs 38 mph at 5,400 rpm using 5.46 mpg. The standard 30-gallon fuel cell provides a cruising range of 163 miles.
The boat poles well, and its no-slap hull design means it tracks stealthily, even in a chop. It also offers the dry, stable ride of a larger skiff, making long crossings of open water and bays a reality.
Under each gunwale, anglers will find room for four fly rods up to 10 feet in length. PVC tubes extend the length of the rack into the bow for added protection. A large, insulated storage area in the bow has plenty of room for safety gear and tackle, and a center livewell provides ample room for live bait. Two insulated storage compartments on either side can be plumbed as release wells. Other standard features include hydraulic steering and trim tabs, a battery switch, 12-volt DC power receptacle, a stow-away boarding ladder, automatic bilge pump and custom-fitted marine upholstery.
Design and Construction
Each Ranger skiff is built with the same exactingprecision and high-quality materials, including no-wood construction. The transom, made from pultruded fiberglass, provides unparalleled strength and rigidity, as does the fiberglass stringer system. Ranger offers a warranty on the hull and stringers for the original buyer’s length of ownership.
Each Ranger boat is rigged to exacting NMMEA standards, featuring corrosion-resistant wiring and breakers; digital console switching; and heavy-duty, 6-gauge, trolling-motor wiring with a 50-amp breaker.
Finish work is impeccable, and fully gel-coated hatches and lids offer easy cleanup. Hardware is also top-notch, including a stainless-steel steering wheel with assist knob as well as stainless-steel handrails, through-hull fittings, hinges and latches on hatches.
The entire package includes a custom trailer with aluminum wheels and matching spare, stainless-steel fenders, torsion axles, LED lighting and RangerTrail COOL Hub oil-bath wheel hubs.
Serious saltwater anglers would be hard-pressed to find a better shallow-water fishing platform. The Ranger 173 Ghost deserves a serious look, regardless of your target species.
MAX HP……115-hp four stroke
Ranger Boats / Flippin, Arkansas / 800-373-BOAT / www.rangerboats.com