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Best handling bass boat.....


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  • Super User

I am in the market to buy a new/newer boat.Right now I have a '00 Ranger 522 DVX with a 225 Merc Optimax....I bought the Ranger after selling a '99 Gambler 2100 DC with the same Merc outboard as the Ranger.

The Ranger is supposedly the "class" of the field but I can say first hand that the Gambler was a faster,better handling boat.

Anybody have suggestions about a good handling boat that I should try out?

Opinions anybody?

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

Ranger.

The new hull designs are light years ahead of your model.  Go for a test drive and see for yourself.  I think you'll be impressed.   ;D

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Go get yourself another Gambler, you deserve it and wont be satisfied until you get one. I have a 2100 with a 225 merc. I did fish in a new ranger last fall and they are very nice, as far as speed and handling nothing comes close to a gambler.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think a lot of the ride depends on the skill level of the driver. For some people, they might be able to handle a low end boat like a Nitro and not be able to get a high performance boat like a Triton over 60mph.

High performance boats (Allison, Gambler, Triton, Bullet, etc) are built for speed and as a result they require more practice to properly drive. This is not the case with Skeeter, Ranger, Nitro and other brands. These boats have very little (if any) chine walk and they are simple to drive.

JT Bagwell

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

My '03 Ranger 520 Commanche is by far the easiest boat I've ever driven.  However, I learned real quick that it'll turn sharper than you imagine on full plane.  About threw myself overboard a couple of times it cut so sharp!  :D   Some boats "skip" or "slide" when they turn on plane - not mine.  It "digs" and turns!!  It took me awhile to get used to that.

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Alot of it is the driver. Prop selection will also make a world of difference in the handling. A boat is easier to control at mid-range rpm's, running creeks and rough water, with a 4 or 5 blade prop. My 21x Triton will not bite at mid range rpm's with a 3 blade 27.  It will blow out every time you hit the gas.  So, I swap props depending on conditions. It rides good in rough water and is very fast with the 250xs motor.

I also have a 94 model Astro F-20 (the fast hull) that has the same hull design as a Bullet or Blazer (Gambler is similar) and it runs the same mid or high range. Great for river's and creeks. It will turn on a dime. But, Will beat you to death on a big lake in rough water. Hull weight is only 1200 lbs. or less. A Champion also handles well, but, the livewells suck. Skeeter is also a good boat depending on the setup.

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It all depends on what you want out of your boat.  A Ranger, Champion, and Skeeter are some of the best riding boats I've ever been in. Great looking and very dependable. Only drawback is the speed. Speed isn't everything and nothing for some. My boat handles great and has great speed, but you'll have to install a 2" reciever ball in your driver seat if the water gets rough! ;D

I've been in plenty of Nitros and sorry,  I haven't a good thing to say about them.  Not so good ride and you'll be traveling about half the speed of smell. :D

2-cents!

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when you guys say rough water what do you mean. Here at champlain we have 5-6 footers all the time its aboutas rough as it gets unless your fishing hurricane season. You say lower end boats are easier to handle , isnt that good??? boat does 70mph handles great whats the differance how much it cost. You consider skeeter a low end boat you guys must have alot of money to call a 30,000$-35,000$ boat low end. Most bassboats are made equally just like vehicles it all depends upon preferance.

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I never said Skeeter was a low end boat, what I said was Nitro was a low end boat (and they are).

I also said Skeeters (along with the other brands I mentioned) are very easy to drive (and they are).

I also don't think an 882 with a 150 on the back is going to run 70 (at least not a true GPS speed). Low to mid 60's is probably more accurate.

JT Bagwell

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Ranger's, Skeeters and Champions are by no means low end boat. They all cost more than mine if your looking at same length with the same hp. One of the features a love about my boat is unlimited hp. Its hard to find a boat that is only 20' long and can handle a 300hp.

Just because I think Nitro are "low end" doesn't mean anything. Personal preferrence.

Nitro's are a dime a dozen around here.

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who said anything about an 882 nitro going 70mph. I was saying any boat that goes 70 and handles great. Not my boat. yes it goes 65 with gps reading. got everything i need in it good enough for me. Im not a pro like you with your best weight out of 8 tourneys for a day in bfl tourney at 5.6pounds you must be good. Some day if I keep practicing i just might be able to break that 5.6 record. Just having some fun with ya you did some research on finding out what type of boat i had so i did some research on you.

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A. I didn't have to do much research to find out what boat you drive. You listed in the "What do you drive?" post.

B. You are correct about my BFL weights. It also clearly states that I was fishing as a Co-Angler because it was back when I was too busy making money to pre-fish. Additionally I must have done better than average since I finished that year ranked either 9th or 11th overall (can't remember because it was awhile ago). It sure wasn't something I ever tried to hide.

C. Who are you?  Name doesn't ring a bell.

JT Bagwell

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dont get all bent out of shape. Nobody does well all the time. I was kidding around. My names John Rielly and you wouldnt of heard of me anyway i do local tourneys for now. Too busy with family and work to devote my entire life to fishing. I have a buddy that does bfl ken davison I pick on him even though he does well. he won the northeast championchip at lake champlain a couple years ago. Its all in fun never wanted to affend anyone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I drove a 2005 champion 188 elite over the weekend. A buddy of mine just got it. WHAT A BOAT!! 18'8" long 92.5" beam 200 hp Mercury Optimax. Fast and handeled the rough water great. This was probably the nicest I have ever ridden in, rides better than any Ranger even the new Z, Triton, Skeeter, or any of the other Champion models I have driven. I WANT ONE NOW!!! Great boat, check one out. It is laid out very well, feels like you are in a 20' boat!! Of course he got all the options cost him over $32,000.00

Tight Lines,

Fatdaddy151

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  • Super User

Well fellas,I bought a Gambler.

21 foot

Evinrude 225

red hull,black stripe,red carpet

THANKS for all the input....

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  • Super User

If I can figure out how to post a pic I will,any tips on that?

I have the pics in a Kodak Easy Share file in my computer if that matters,just cant get them to show up on here.

I tried doing it with my username picture also but got nothing.

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OMG! someone is smoking crack if they think triton is a high performance boat and compare it with bullet, gambler and allisons!

and to put tritons in a class  above rangers, champs, skeeter, ect???  whats up with that?  

triton is a chopper gun boat too.

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If I can figure out how to post a pic I will,any tips on that?

I have the pics in a Kodak Easy Share file in my computer if that matters,just cant get them to show up on here.

I tried doing it with my username picture also but got nothing.

You will have to host them somewhere on the WWW to be able to post them here or any BB.

Plenty of free places out there to host pictures at.

Go to www.freepichosting.com and set up an account and host your pictures there. They will lead you right thru it all.

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OMG! someone is smoking crack if they think triton is a high performance boat and compare it with bullet, gambler and allisons!

and to build up a triton and put down rangers and such? i think triton is the bottom of the barrel for all the boats you mentioned !

I will have to concur that someone has been reading the wrong brochures about boats if they want to put them in the same class as a Gambler.

Sorry, not even close.

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