For the past four decades, Ranger has been well known for its bass boats, but recently it has begun attracting attention in the world of flats boats. First Ranger introduced the 16-foot Ghost, and this year it unveils the new Phantom 168 a 16-foot, 9-inch skinny-water boat that boasts an ultra-shallow draft, no hull slap and an incredibly smooth ride.
The Phantom’s oversized deck and cockpit exceed those of many other 16-footers, and its wide gunwales give anglers a true 360-degree fishing area. The
83-inch beam creates a broad casting platform, while the hull design keeps the boat stable, even with an angler on the gunnel. The unique forward-canted poling platform evenly distributes weight for optimum stability, creating a level profile from front to rear to comfortabley allow a solo angler to work the bow. The overall balance of the design reinforces the boat’s shallow-water capabilities and further reduces hull slap, while providing easier poling. Ranger’s fiberglass stringer system augments the Phantom’s overall solidity and durability. Without any wood in the construction, the boat is lightweight and will never have problems with dry rot.
Storage includes oversized gelcoated boxes under both the forward and rear decks, a forward anchor locker, rod storage long enough for 10-foot fly rods under both gunnels, and fully aerated and plumbed live bait and release wells. The deck is skid-resistant, and all its hardware, including cleats and the push-pole holder, is recessed to reduce casting obstructions.
While the Phantom comes standard with almost every necessity, from a fully featured aluminum trailer to basic gauges and recessed trim tabs, Ranger also offers factory-installed customized accessories, that range from paint and electronics packages, that are completely covered by its RPM warranty program.