Ranger Tugs

Florida Dealer Delivers the 100th Ranger Tug 29

100th Ranger 29 on Trailer

100th Ranger 29 on Trailer


Wefings Marine, the Apalachicola, Florida-based Ranger Tugs dealer, recently delivered the 100th Ranger Tug 29 to her new owners.  The 100th boat was sold by Marc Grove, who owns the dealership.  Grove also sold the first R29 in 2009.  Wefings Marine has also committed to buying the first of the new R31 series.

Grove said,

“We love having the Ranger Tugs as part of our line-up. The boats are the perfect size for gunkholing around the Intracoastal waterways but their layout and features allow owners to take them offshore or to more inland waters if they prefer. The “trailerable trawler” is an increasingly popular class of boat as people downsize and look for comfortable and economical alternatives to larger and less efficient boats.”

Wefings Marine will have boats available at the Miami, Jacksonville and Baypoint Boat Shows this year.

Copyright © 2012 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

Ranger Tugs Announces New Ranger 31′

New Ranger Tugs 31' Layout

New Ranger Tugs 31' Layout

New Ranger Tugs 31' Rendering

New Ranger Tugs 31' Rendering

Fluid Motion, LLC, designers and builders of the Ranger Tugs line of trailerable “pocket trawlers” this week announced a new flagship to the fleet — the Ranger 31′.  The new R31 will make its debut at the Seattle Boat Show from January 26 to February 5; followed by an expected East Coast debut at the Miami Boat Show, February 16-20.

I’ll include the text of the company’s press release below because it’s fact-heavy and promotion-moderate, but a few thoughts of my own first.  The R31 extends the fleet logically and will allow current and future Ranger Tugs owners to stay with the brand as their size requirements grow.  This is something of a Holy Grail for boat brands; a model lineup that allows the brand to keep its customers as their needs change.  The R31 includes a flybridge, which is new for the brand and will undoubtedly appeal to buyers in sunnier climes, while retaining the all-weather flexibility of the pilothouse helm station.

Here’s the press copy from Ranger Tugs:

“Kent, WA—Fluid Motion, LLC, the designers and builders of the popular line of Ranger Tugs have introduced the newest model in the fleet—the Ranger 31. The new R31 will debut this month at the Seattle Boat Show in the Stadium Exhibition Center, January 26-Feburary 5. Hull #2 is expected to make the East Coast debut at the Miami International Boat Show, February 16-20 at Sea Isle Marina on Biscayne Bay.

The R31 shares many of the features and qualities of her smaller sisterships but some notable additions to this larger model make her ideal for extended cruising while still being a trailerable trawler. The R31 is the first Ranger Tug to feature a flybridge equipped with electronic controls at both the upper and lower helm. The flybridge also retracts to allow for trailering the 31’. The builders at Ranger Tugs also equipped the foredeck with seating and a table that can be raised or lowered depending on whether the boat is under way or at anchor or dock for entertaining. In addition to the extra seating now available on the flybridge and foredeck the 31’ allows for a larger cockpit area with wraparound seating and extra seating that folds out of the gunwale. When not entertaining, seats are folded leaving the cockpit unencumbered.

The interior layout of the R31 features two staterooms—one large island berth forward with en suite head and a midship berth and day head. Those who are familiar with Ranger Tugs models will recognize the galley layout and lower helm station that maximize interior space. A starboard side door provides easy access from the lower helm to the side decks so crew can get to the bow for line handling.

“We’ve been working on the R31 for the last year,” shares Jeff Messmer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ranger Tugs. “While we do have owners that are eager to upgrade to a larger model, the R31 allows us to introduce Ranger Tugs to a set of boaters who prefer a mid-size cruising trawler. We’ve done well with our trailerable trawlers and we continue to increase sales of the R21, R25SC, R27 and R29. The R31 will help us grow even more.”

Like all Ranger Tugs, the new R31 comes essentially turnkey with standard features and equipment intended to make her owner’s experience hassle-free and allow for ease of handling and comfort under way. Standard equipment includes bow and stern thrusters, an optional aft steering station and a Volvo D4 300hp engine that achieves a 16 knot cruise speed.

Ranger Tugs are built at a dedicated facility in Kent, WA, where the company now also offers a new Factory Delivery program and a Destination Training Cruise for new owners. The first R31 will debut in Seattle Jan. 26-Feb. 5 and will be offered at a base price of $279,937. Ranger Tugs is now taking orders for the first R31s and the first boats will begin to ship to dealers this spring.

For more information, visit www.rangertugs.com or call 253-839-5213.”


Ranger Tugs 31 (R31) Specifications

LOA molded                                          31’

LOA rigged (with swim & pulpit)            35’2”

Beam                                                     10’0”

Draft                                                       28”

Fuel Capacity                                        180 U.S. gallons

Water capacity                                       80 U.S. gallons

Holding tank capacity                            40 U.S. gallons

Weight (Dry)                                          10,500              .

Engine                                                   Volvo D4 300hp

Copyright © 2012 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

Five Pocket Trawlers for Consideration

Call them pocket-trawlers or mini/pocket-tugs, the North Pacific Yachts 28’ Pilothouse, Nordic Tugs 26, Ranger Tugs 25SC, Minor Offshore 25, and Rosborough RF-246 have hardiness and efficiency in common.

The terms “pocket trawler” and “pocket tug” don’t really have precise definitions, yet both connote a small, salty vessel that’s probably a jack-of-all-trades and won’t break the bank. In that sense, the labels work, and in this article we take a look at five popular pocket trawlers to consider if you’re looking for a capable small cruiser under 30 feet.

Editor’s Note — This is a preview of a longer piece I wrote for Yachtworld.com.  I write a monthly boat review for Yachtworld/Boats.com.  The sites have a large, and growing collection of features, mostly written by dedicated marine journalists (like me!).  The full article at Yachtworld has more detail about the boats, specs, prices and photos.

Nordic Tugs 26

The rejuvenation of Nordic Tugs 26production three years ago was cause for celebration among the Nordic Tugs faithful. First introduced more than 30 years ago and withdrawn in 1997, its 2011 incarnation features a smart Cummins QSD 115-hp diesel and has a range of about 150 NM on its 75 gallons of fuel, cruising at 8 knots. Top speed is about 14 knots.

North Pacific Yachts 28 Pilothouse

The North Pacific Yachts 28is the smallest boat in the company’s lineup, and it carries on the philosophy of providing maximum value for the dollar. Built from a new hull design by Karl Stambaugh at an experienced yard in China and well-equipped right off the delivery ship, a new 28 will run you about $177,500. The only thing you need to add to that base configuration is electronics. The boat comes standard with a single 150-hp Cummins QSD diesel, bow thruster, windlass with anchor, chain, and rope rode, raw water washdown, teak and holly floor and hand-rubbed teak paneling and cabinetry. All the sliding windows have screens, and curtains are even provided.

Ranger Tugs 25SC

In 2010, Ranger Tugs modified the design of its popular 25SCto increase the size of the cockpit (“Sport Cockpit”), but taking some room out of the deckhouse. It was a good idea because it makes the cockpit truly useful now and ensures good access to the standard Yanmar 150 -hp diesel. The R25 has always been one of the most popular of the Ranger Tugs line. Its classic “tiny tug” lines draw visitors at the dock, and the company insists on a high level of standard equipment.

Minor Offshore 25

Finland has a generations-old tradition of producing hardy, all-weather and all-season cruising boats. Two of these brands are now available in the United States; the Nord Star line and Minor Offshore boats. (See our recent reviews of the Nord Star 26 and the Nord Star 31.) For this roundup we chose the new Minor Offshore 25.

The Minor Offshore brand is imported to the U.S. by Skarne Marine, in Milford, CT. The look of these boats isn’t so much tugboat as it is military or government patrol boat. In fact, many are sold for just those purposes. But they work as a great all-weather cruising boat for a couple or a small family, too. The 25 has a fully enclosed pilothouse, wide sidedecks, a decently sized cockpit, and a huge swim platform.

Rosborough RF-246

Rosborough is a family company, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that builds a feature-packed cruiser for the rough North Atlantic waters that the company’s government and military customers operate in. Interestingly, Roseborough’s RF-246 sedan-style cruiser (also available in a Custom Wheelhouse configuration) can be powered by either outboards or a sterndrive. The hull features a full-length 9” keel for directional stability. The beam is 8’ 6” and the overall length is 25’.

To see all the specs, more details about the boats, as well as some photos, see my original piece on Yachtworld here.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

Ranger Tugs, Cutwater Buyers Can Get Garmin Factory-Installed

Ranger Tugs 25SC Helm Featuring Garmin Electronics

Ranger Tugs 25SC Helm Featuring Garmin Electronics

Fluid Motion, the company that builds Ranger Tugs and the new Cutwater fast pilothouse boats said this week it has a deal with Garmin to provide that company’s marine electronics as factory-installed packages on both lines of boats.  Of course, if you don’t want Garmin gear, you can certainly order your boat without but I think there are some good reasons to consider going with the factory deal.

Garmin has been the up-and-comer in marine electronics over the past several years.  Interestingly, they’ve owned the general aviation  market for navigation and flight displays for many years and when they decided to get into marine electronics they brought some innovative stuff to the market, including the touchscreen.  In fact, here at OceanLines, we did a series on the hypothetical outfitting of a new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition with a full suite of electronics and the package Garmin submitted was, arguable, the most compelling of all the manufacturers.

The packages that Ranger Tugs and Cutwater will be offering may or may not be as cheap as you can buy and install on your own (okay, they probably won’t be…), but you’ll be getting a package fully tested in your boat and, hopefully, well integrated into the specific systems on your boat.

At next week’s Seattle Boat Show, for example, you will be able to see the brand new Cutwater 26 and 28 outfitted with Garmin’s GPSMAP 5212, along with the GMR 18HD radar, GSD 22 digital sonar, GXM 51 XM satellite weather/audio antenna and VHF 200 radio.  That’s a nice 12-inch touchscreen display, with a great radar, sounder and live weather overlay capability.  And that radio can be augmented with up to 3 wireless, full-function handsets, so you could put an extra one in the cockpit.

And on the subject of system integration, all boats in both lines, except for the Ranger Tugs 21EC, can accept the Garmin GHP 10 autopilot, which features what the company calls “Shadow Drive” technology that automatically disengages the autopilot if the helm is turned, a nice feature I wish I’d had on my Robertson AP.

On the Ranger Tugs line, there are also options for the GPSMAP5215, a 15-inch touchscreen, the GPSMAP 740 and the AIS 600.  If you do any extensive cruising in your Ranger Tug, an AIS unit is an important piece of safety gear.  Yes, I know, commercial craft are often filtering Class B AIS transponder traffic, but you can still see them and if you’re doing what you should be as far as watchstanding, that’s better than neither of you seeing each other.  Read the final word on this at Ben Ellison’s PANBO.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Electronics, Powerboats, Technology

Cutwater is New Brand of Fast Cruisers from Ranger Tugs Builder

Rendering of New Cutwater 28 Fast Cruiser

Rendering of New Cutwater 28 Fast Cruiser

Cutwater Boats is the new brand from Fluid Motion, LLC, the designers and builders of the popular Ranger Tugs. The first two models out of the yard in Monroe, Washington, will be the Cutwater 26 and Cutwater 28, express-style, diesel-powered fast cruisers capable of up to 25 knots.  The company said Mark Mansfield has been chosen to serve as national sales manager for Cutwater Boats.  Here’s a description from the press release issued by the company on Friday:

Cutwater Boats are ideal for couple’s cruising with a full beam v-berth master stateroom and en suite head. The living area of saloon, galley and helm are all in the pilothouse space with 360-degree visibility through quality Diamond/Sea-Glaze windows. The saloon and cockpit are on the same level allowing for ease of movement from one space to the next which are separated by a weathertight hinged door. The forward windows are raked so water easily streams off and for better visibility when running at speed. Cutwater Boats also come standard with bow and stern thrusters for ease of operation and maneuverability.

From the innovative hull shape to reliable standard equipment and a practical interior layout, Cutwater Boats are a multi-purpose design for inland and coastal cruising. A functional cockpit includes aft seating with storage underneath and boarding access via a molded-on swim platform. The standard Yanmar diesel engine is housed under the cockpit sole and under deck compartments also store an optional Mase diesel generator plus provide ample storage.

Rendering of New Cutwater 26 Fast Cruiser

Rendering of New Cutwater 26 Fast Cruiser

The boats use a unique stepped-hull with a keel for speed and stability. According to Cutwater, “The Keel Stepped Hull is a blend of a semi-displacement hull shape with reverse chines and a keel which provides superb handling performance. A high pressure bump in the hull allows the engine to be mounted low in the hull contributing to a low center of gravity and when combined with the prop pocket keeps the Cutwater’s draft at just 28 inches. The low engine mount also creates a shallow six degree shaft angle allowing for more net thrust with less horsepower which translates into greater fuel efficiency. This combination of design details contributes to stability, speed and fuel economy.”

Layout of the new Cutwater 28 Fast Cruiser

Layout of the new Cutwater 28 Fast Cruiser

Layout of the new Cutwater 26 Fast Cruiser

Layout of the new Cutwater 26 Fast Cruiser

You can see that the principle difference between the two boats is the length of the aft cockpit.  The company said both boats will make their debut at the Seattle Boats Afloat Show in January and the Miami Boat Show in February. Among the standard features are standard bow and stern thrusters.  When you consider the fact that they’re both trailerable, there will bring a lot of flexibility to cruising couples by greatly expanding the range of operation possible from a chosen splash point.  I’m looking forward to seeing these two in-person, hopefully at the Miami Show.

Here are the specs for the first two boats:

Cutwater 26 (CW26)

LOA molded                                              25’ – 7”
LOA rigged (with swim & pulpit)                30’ – 1”
Bridge clearance (with folded mast)           9’ – 1”
Beam                                                            8’ 6”
Draft                                                                28”
Fuel Capacity                                80 U.S. gallons
Water capacity                              40 U.S. gallons
Holding tank capacity                    30 U.S. gallons
Weight (Dry)                                            5,900lbs.
Engine                                 Yanmar 4BY2 180 HP
Base Price                                              $139,937

Cutwater 28 (CW28)

LOA molded                                             28’ – 0”
LOA rigged (with swim & pulpit)              32’ – 4”
Bridge clearance (with folded mast)         9’ – 1”
Beam                                                            8’-6”
Draft                                                               28”
Fuel capacity                              100 U.S. gallons
Water capacity                             40 U.S. gallons
Holding tank capacity                   30 U.S. gallons
Weight (Dry)                                           6,400lbs.
Engine                                Yanmar 6BY2 260 HP
Base Price                                              $169,937

Copyright 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

2011 Ranger Tugs Rendezvous Set for Sept. 9-11

Ranger Tugs Gather at a Recent Rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington

Ranger Tugs Gather at a Recent Rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington

Following a successful 2010 owners’ rendezvous in Bremerton, Washington, this past September, Ranger Tugs has announced that the 2011 edition will take place September 9-11, 2011, again in Bremerton, at the Port of Bremerton Marina. Some 42 Ranger Tugs attended the fleet gathering this year, up a third over the previous year.  Ranger Tugs are among the most popular smaller cruising boats and we’ve written extensively about them here on OceanLines.

David and Maureen Baker, owners of the Ranger 29 Karma, served as the event’s volunteer organizers this year, and helped convince owners and enthusiasts from as far away as Virginia to attend.  Several Ranger Tugs owners trailered their boats to the area and launched locally for the cruise to Bremerton. In addition to the typical social events, organizers hosted MER Equipment, an area Yanmar dealer and service center, for a demonstration of some basic maintenance techniques on the Yanmar diesels that power Ranger Tugs.

Organizers hope to continue to grow the Northwest-based event, and more information about it is available on the owners’ website, TugNuts. As of this writing, there have been approximately 1,000 Ranger Tugs delivered.

While some East Coast owners will travel to the factory-sponsored event in Washington, northeast dealer Wilde Yacht Sales in Essex, Connecticut, plans a regional rendezvous in Essex.  We will publish more information on that event separately here on OceanLines.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Destinations, Powerboats

Ranger Tugs Offers New 25 Sport Cockpit

Ranger Tugs New R-25 Sport Cockpit

Ranger Tugs New R-25 Sport Cockpit

Ranger Tugs recently introduced a variation of the popular Ranger Tugs 25 — a Sport Cockpit version with an extra 16 inches of cockpit room. In the video below, you’ll see that they stole the 16 inches from the galley counter inside the house, but that it doesn’t seem to have taken away any capability.

Starboard View of New Ranger Tugs R-25 Sport Cockpit

Starboard View of New Ranger Tugs R-25 Sport Cockpit

Check out this video featuring Ranger Tugs’ Jeff Messmer, vice president of sales and marketing. It’s got some good shots of the boat and its major features.

One last item about the R-25SC — its base price is lower than the standard R-25. Not sure how they managed that, but it’s a good thing anyway, right? If you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of Ranger Tugs trawlers, check in with the owners’ group website, “Tugnuts.” It’s an active group that shares lots of information and suggestions.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Passagemaking News, Powerboats

New Ranger Tugs Available for Sea Trial

Ranger Tugs R-25 Trailerable Pocket Trawler

Ranger Tugs R-25 Trailerable Pocket Trawler

Two prominent Ranger Tugs dealers in the Northeastern U.S. have 2010 models of Ranger Tugs available for sea trials this weekend. Wilde Yachts in Essex, CT, is having an open house this weekend (March 13 and 14) and has the R-21 and R-29 available, as well as the Nordic Tugs 32 and NT-37. Essex is offering 3 years of free dockage and winter storage on some of the models, as well as special incentives and financing. There will be a Ranger Tugs factory rep on-hand, as well. The open house runs from 9-4 each day.

Chesapeake Ranger Tugs in Annapolis has all three Ranger Tugs models available for sea trial — the R-21, R-25 and R-29. Chesapeake is the newest Ranger Tugs dealer in the region and is owned by Chuck Wistar, who is also the owner of the successful Selene Annapolis dealership. Chesapeake Ranger’s formal open house is set for May 15-16, but the boats are in the water now and ready to go.

If you haven’t checked out the Ranger Tugs line yet and you’re looking for a “pocket trawler,” you need to do so. These are truly trailerable trawlers and feature modern, high-tech diesels that sip their fuel and features that make them perfect for overnight cruising in coastal waters. We’ve written about them here on OceanLines.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats

Ranger Tugs Adds Chesapeake Bay Dealership

Ranger Tugs 21EC Running

Ranger Tugs 21EC Running

 Chesapeake Ranger Tugs is the new Ranger Tugs dealer for the Chesapeake Bay region in the United States.  Located in Annapolis, Chesapeake Ranger Tugs is staffed by the same team that runs the successful Selene Annapolis dealership. Mark Mansfield, Sales Director for Ranger Tugs, says, “We are excited to have Chesapeake Ranger Tugs on board. We think it’s a perfect cruising ground for these small trawlers and look forward to growing their presence in the area through Chesapeake Ranger Tugs.”

Built in the U.S. at the company’s factories in Kent and Monroe, WA, Ranger models include the Ranger 21, the Ranger 25, and the new Ranger 29. All models are trailerable making them ideal for exploring the many regions of the Chesapeake Bay—and beyond. The R-21 and R-25 are both within standard beam limits for permit-less trailering, and the R-29’s 10-foot beam usually only requires a simple additional permit in most states.

We’ve written about Ranger Tugs here on OceanLines before. We think they’re great pocket trawlers. Their diesel engines sip fuel at a rate of pints per hour and design details like the keel and sharp forward entry give them seaworthiness traits typical of larger boats.  Ranger Tugs appears to be stepping up its activity level in the marketplace. This is the second major dealership announcement on the East Coast of the U.S. in just a couple of months.  We recently reported on the addition of Wilde Yachts of Essex, CT, as a Ranger Tugs dealer.  I asked Ranger Tugs VP Sales and Marketing Jeff Messmer about this.  Messmer said, “This is a niche that fits in well with the dealers that we have recently partnered with.   The introduction and subsequent success of the Ranger R25 (September 2006) and R29 (January 2009) has helped us to get the attention of some dealers that might otherwise have passed on the opportunity to sell Ranger Tugs.”

The boats are extremely popular on the West Coast — particularly the Pacific Northwest where they are built.  It seems likely we’ll be seeing more of them on the East Coast. An example of this might be Elaine and Ed Henn of Annapolis, MD, who bought a Ranger 25 in their transition from sail to power. They describe their Ranger as “a great boat for extended Bay cruising thanks to the cozy cabin and shallow draft. We also spent six months aboard in 2008-09 cruising all the way down the ICW to Florida for the winter.”

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Passagemaking News, People & Profiles

Wilde Yachts and Brewers Team for 3 Years Free Dockage, Storage

Ranger Tugs 29' starboard running

Purchasers of a new in-stock Nordic Tug or Ranger Tug from Wilde Yachts in Essex, CT, will receive three years of free dockage and winter storage at a Brewers Marina near them. And if there’s no Brewers nearby, the deal applies to the local marina of the buyer’s choice. According to Wilde, the new promotion runs until March 15, 2010.

Only the Ranger 21 and Nordic 26, the two babies in the fleet, are excluded from the deal. Given what slip rates are in the northeast U.S., the deal is easily worth five figures. While we all know there’s no free lunch in life, this really is a good deal, especially if you can beat up Ben Wilde on the price of the boat itself (smile).  But seriously, a fair price on the boat and free dockage and storage is an example of how the dealers who survived the recession did so.  They got creative and found ways to solve customers’ problems for them.

Wilde Yachts recently took on the Ranger Tugs line of boats, which we’ve written about here on OceanLines. They’re great “pocket trawlers” with a big following, particularly in the Pacific northwest. I’m betting that with Wilde as the new dealer in southern New England, we’ll see a lot more of these cruising in the northeast. Ranger Tugs has also made some improvements to the 29, which we’ll be covering in an upcoming article.  In the meantime, you can see the Ranger Tugs and Nordic Tugs from Wilde at the Hartford Boat Show January 28, 31, at the Connecticut Convention Center.

Copyright © 2009 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Maintenance & DIY, Passagemaking News, Powerboats

Ranger Tugs 29: Truly Trailerable Trawler

Ranger Tugs 29' starboard running

Ranger Tugs 29' starboard running

This category of cruising boats goes by several names these days:  pocket trawlers, trailerable tugs, SUVs.  Whatever you want to call them, they represent one of the hottest segments of the new boat market and one that has managed to keep selling, albeit at a much slower rate, during the current economic typhoon.  That may be due in part to their tremendous versatility, embodied perfectly by the Ranger Tugs 29.  The R-29 is the flagship of the family-owned and run Ranger Tugs, at least for now, and it offers a great deal of flexibility for a couple or family that wants to be able to move from cruising area to cruising area without breaking the bank (or the boat).  Both the R-25 and R-29 were designed by company President John Livingston and his father, the renowned designer Dave Livingston, based on more than 50 years of experience in the business.

Ranger Tugs 29' launching

Ranger Tugs 29' launching

Although the R-29 has a beam of 10 feet, some 18 inches over the limit for permit-less trailering, its moderate air draft and weight, combined with simple, internet-based wide-load trailer permitting, means it can be moved virtually anywhere you want to cruise.  “It can be as simple as logging onto www.wideloadpermits.com ” according to Ranger Tugs Director of Marketing and Sales Jeff Messmer.  The boat has an air draft (height) on a trailer of 13 feet 2 inches, which is safely less than the normal highway limit of 13′- 7″.  Messmer suggests customers considering a “trailerable” trawler carefully inspect air draft specs to ensure that major dismantling of superstructure isn’t necessary.  He says that the low height of the 29 allows them to ship all over the country using a simple tow-behind delivery company.  A typical delivery from the Seattle area to Florida will cost less than $5,000, says  Messmer.  The same advantage accrues to customers who want to take the boat themselves.  EZ Loader has a trailer for the R-29 already and Float-On is expected to have one shortly.  The EZ Loader model is a slightly modified TIEZ102B 29-31, rated at  15,500 lbs.

Ranger Tugs 29' Interior Layout

Ranger Tugs 29' Interior Layout

There are other unique qualities to the Ranger Tugs 29.  For example, the main deck, including the salon is on one level.  You step over the threshold and into the salon and it’s one level all the way forward to the helm.  Messmer says that many of his customers do not want to be stepping up and down all the time and so the main deck house was designed with a single level.  The R-29 features 6’5″ of head room in the salon, with 6’3″ in the forward berth. Messmer says that Ranger tugs customers don’t like crawling into a vee-berth so by widening the hull beam to 10 feet Ranger Tugs was able to install an angled island berth.  The quarter berth space aft can accommodate a couple, as well.

Ranger Tugs feels the R-29 will appeal to many boaters moving down in size.  They compare the interior of their boat to the Nordic Tugs 32 and point out that the R-29 has about six items on its option list, as opposed to several pages for the Nordic Tugs 32 — the Ranger company philosophy is to simply include as standard the items most people end up ordering anyway.  On the R-29, these include the mast, transom shower, propane stove and oven, microwave, windlass, bow and stern thrusters, wine cooler and inverter.  The only major options left to choose are those involving heat and air conditioning — typically different choices between east and west-coast boaters, and electronics.  Northwest boats typically order diesel heating and east coasters typically order the factory’s two-zone air conditioning with a 4 kW Mase generator.  The a/c option includes a 16K BTU unit for the salon and a 10K BTU unit for the fwd stateroom.  Factory installed optional electronics are from Garmin; the dash is large enough to handle the big new Garmin 5215 15″ display.  It’s about $15K for the full Garmin package with autopilot.  We wrote extensively about Garmin’s latest offerings in our series about outfitting the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition here.

Ranger Tugs has spent a great deal of time and money optimizing the design for construction and maintenance.  The industrial design accomplishments at the company’s Kent and Monroe, Washington, plants have helped keep the price of the Ranger Tugs well below some of the competition.  The R-29 is built in three major components, with work on each accomplished at technician’s eye level.  The solid fiberglass hull, the deck and house, and an all-fiberglass stringer system are assembled and bonded, with the stringers injected with foam around the engine room for sound-deadening purposes.

Ranger Tugs 29' interior looking forward

Ranger Tugs 29' interior looking forward

The 29 has a hard chine bottom with a single keel, and all of the major tanks are down the center of the boat to reduce the possibility of listing when fuel and water loads are uneven.  The engine is a Yanmar 6BY2-260, producing 260 HP.  This is a six cylinder, common rail diesel with a NMEA 2000 – compatible CANBus, wo all the information you want can be displayed on virtually any NMEA-2000 compatible unit.  Ranger Tugs outfits the helm with a single-lever control for the engine and transmission.

Overall length on the boat is 33′ with the 4′ swimstep included.  With a beam of 10′ and a weight of about 9,250 pounds, the boat only draws 28 inches of water.  The fuel tanks (main and aux) will hold 120 and 30 gallons, respectively, and there is a 70 gallon water tank and a 40 gallon holding tank.

As if all this isn’t compelling enough to take a hard look at the Ranger Tugs 29, consider the price for this extraordinarily well-equipped boat:  $199K.  That’s easily $50K – $100K less than you would expect, based on prices of roughly similar boats in the market.

We’ve got all the detailed information on the Ranger Tugs 29 here in a couple of brochures:

The basic Ranger Tugs 29 specifications brochure (pdf)

The detailed equipment list for the Ranger Tugs 29 (pdf)

The Yanmar 6BY2-260 brochure (pdf)

Check out the Image Gallery here.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats