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Dumbbass707

Nitro? Ranger? So confused now

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I know this topic has been covered before, but I wanted to present my specific "dilemma." I plan on pulling the trigger on a brand new bass boat in the next month or so.

 

I live in Northern California and will be fishing Lake Sonoma, Berryessa, and Clear Lake. I have few dealerships in my area and they sell Ranger and Nitro. I want to stick with a local dealer, just incase I need to have maintenance done or have any issues, so I'm not having to drive clear across the state to get it fixed.  I've looked at, and researched, both the Ranger Z185 and the Nitro Z18. I know that Ranger is considered the "Cadillac" of bass boats, but your paying for that name and quality.

 

However, I didn't see a huge difference between Ranger and Nitro.  They will both be rigged very similar, same motor, same electronics, etc. The Z185 is about $5k more than the NItro. I'm not a hardcore tournament bass angler, but will definitely be using the boat often and year around.

 

I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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this is one of those times when you trust your gut. can't go wrong either way.but what is best for you? they both are nice boats.no matter what anyone says it's all up to what sits better with you.

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You don't get credit for buying a boat from a local dealer with the service.  Buy the boat where you get the best deal and prep. For example Anglers Marine in Anahiem may be able to save you $$$, factor in the 400 mile trip.

Before Mooris bought Ranger the resale would be a factor, now? 

Tom

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I would go with the Nitro all day long and 5k less for the same thing ? Easy decision in my book.. It actually gives you plenty of room to upgrade electronics to what you want.

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5 hours ago, Dumbbass707 said:

I know this topic has been covered before, but I wanted to present my specific "dilemma." I plan on pulling the trigger on a brand new bass boat in the next month or so.

 

I live in Northern California and will be fishing Lake Sonoma, Berryessa, and Clear Lake. I have few dealerships in my area and they sell Ranger and Nitro. I want to stick with a local dealer, just incase I need to have maintenance done or have any issues, so I'm not having to drive clear across the state to get it fixed.  I've looked at, and researched, both the Ranger Z185 and the Nitro Z18. I know that Ranger is considered the "Cadillac" of bass boats, but your paying for that name and quality.

 

However, I didn't see a huge difference between Ranger and Nitro.  They will both be rigged very similar, same motor, same electronics, etc. The Z185 is about $5k more than the NItro. I'm not a hardcore tournament bass angler, but will definitely be using the boat often and year around.

 

I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions.

So many factors are involved here.

Hulls..Rangers are hand laid hulls. Nitro hulls are made with chopped glass shot out of a chopper gun. Not exactly the strongest hulls.

Warranty...Ranger wins this battle as well for the moment.

Motors....Big chunk of the cost of a rig is the motor. I've owned every brand, some are great and others I wouldnt take it if it was free. Merc is the most common and are pretty good motors. 

Resale....Huge when you want to get rid of it. Trust me, you will either upgrade or get out of boating.

Trailers...Channel is very strong. Tube is crap. 

 

Now, if those two were my only choices. Ranger all the way. Nitro's are nice but they are not made very well. They are really low end cheap boats but are affordable. 

Vexus is coming out this weekend with their alum line and glass boats in the fall. These will be the next generation of boats which we havnt had any major changes in decades. 

Im currently in the market for a new/newer boat. I have a ranger now and Im hapy with it as its a 2001. Built well but the newer ones.....starting to hear some negatives from owners. 

Vexus is on my radar as well as Bass Cat which is the best overall at this point. 

My recommendation, buy a good used boat and you'll get more boat for a lot less money. Plus, some are loaded up with good electronics and poles. Plenty of babied bass boats out there.

Another thing someone wrote on another board...there has been no major improvements in bass boats since the late 90's. Very true statement. Vexus may change that????

 

Ok, now you guys can attack me for Praising one brand and putting down another LOL. 

5 hours ago, PolarKraft195Pro said:

insert guy eating popcorn here^^^^^

Yup

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First I suggest you sit in each one. Then go open every compartment, visualize how your tackle will fit or be organized.

Lets face it, your only engine choice will be between a Mercury Optimax or 4 stroke on a Nitro. Depending on your dealer you could get a Ranger with most any brand engine you want. Go look at things like how the rods for the passenger will lay. I am not bashing one or the other brand, but on last years Nitro Z18 the rod strap was put in a place that the passenger's rod would have to be running through the seat in order to have it function. Fact- not being mean!  It is the little details that I pay attention to.  I have a guide I use in TN and runs an older Z8. That boat fished and ran well.  Anyway sit in each boat, think about how you would use the boat and pick the one that best suits you. $5000 is a good bit of money, but if financed it is a few dollars per payment. A wrong decision will seem to cost you more.

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I priced the ranger Z175 and Nitro Z7 last year.

I have fished out of both.

the ranger is heavier and seemed more stable in rough water. It also did not get blown around as much when fishing in the wind. This was a big deal to me.

the Nitro was a little faster.

The ranger has true dry storage.

The ranger definitely has a better trailer. 

neither are bad boats. It all depends on what features are important to you.

with the exact same layout there was not much difference in price. A lot of the options on the Nitro came standard on the Ranger.

I went with the Ranger.

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Kevin Van Dam fishes a Nitro........

 

 

 

**sits back and waits for comments**

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I’m getting more popcorn....

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Well, I have owned both and have a personal perspective that may be unique to me but here are my thoughts.

 

NITRO - I was on the old NITRO State Team through Bass Pro Shops and ran the flagship at the time (the 929).  Loved the boat and eventually it became my guide boat when I went that route.  That boat never failed me in the years that I ran it.  It did lose its "showroom" look very quickly and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I am anal about cosmetics.  Tracker does not stock parts.  Get 3 years out and you are on your own trying to find them (boat parts).  Overall quality was fair.  I had some things that bothered me like the quality of the carpet, the trailer build (tube) and the fact that every other month I had to re-tighten the shoebox hull back together.  Newer NITRO's may be better and I know that quality has improved. 

 

When it came time to look for a new boat I had many friends that were in Rangers and it was not because they were smitten with the "status" of the manufacturer.  They bought them because they held up, fished well and had customer service that was way above the norm.  Not a Kool-Aid drinker in the bunch.  A lot of my friends run big water and Ranger was the boat of choice.  I decided to look for a used model since I didn't want to take the depreciation hit of a new rig.  With used boats comes used problems.  My boat was an FLW Pro's boat that had been sold to another individual and that person sadly passed and I bought it from the estate.  Ranger has amazed me with their customer service and parts availability.  They sent me, at no cost, 2 new fully dressed axles for my trailer when they had a bad run of axles.  Go to any fishing site and you will see a lot of Rangers 10-20-30 years old still being fished and the great thing is that Ranger still carries parts for a lot of these models and they will actually manufacture a part for you in some cases.   My friend that helps me with a lot of the mechanical repairs on my boat has had the opportunity to crawl in the guts of a lot of manufacturers models and he tells me that there is where a lot of the difference shows itself.  Wiring, connections,  bundling, material quality etc., is evident.  

 

Bottom line, if I could afford either in a new model I would go Ranger only because they have earned my business both in product quality and service after the sale.  That's not a knock on NITRO either.  As for the Johnny Morris purchase, it is a non issue.  The same folks in the same factory are building the same boats.  It's funny because if the Johnny Morris purchase is a negative it's because everyone is afraid that the quality will go the same way as a NITRO. :lol:  

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10 hours ago, Cory Doras said:

So many factors are involved here.

Hulls..Rangers are hand laid hulls. Nitro hulls are made with chopped glass shot out of a chopper gun. Not exactly the strongest hulls.

Warranty...Ranger wins this battle as well for the moment.

Motors....Big chunk of the cost of a rig is the motor. I've owned every brand, some are great and others I wouldnt take it if it was free. Merc is the most common and are pretty good motors. 

Resale....Huge when you want to get rid of it. Trust me, you will either upgrade or get out of boating.

Trailers...Channel is very strong. Tube is crap. 

 

Now, if those two were my only choices. Ranger all the way. Nitro's are nice but they are not made very well. They are really low end cheap boats but are affordable. 

Vexus is coming out this weekend with their alum line and glass boats in the fall. These will be the next generation of boats which we havnt had any major changes in decades. 

Im currently in the market for a new/newer boat. I have a ranger now and Im hapy with it as its a 2001. Built well but the newer ones.....starting to hear some negatives from owners. 

Vexus is on my radar as well as Bass Cat which is the best overall at this point. 

My recommendation, buy a good used boat and you'll get more boat for a lot less money. Plus, some are loaded up with good electronics and poles. Plenty of babied bass boats out there.

Another thing someone wrote on another board...there has been no major improvements in bass boats since the late 90's. Very true statement. Vexus may change that????

 

Ok, now you guys can attack me for Praising one brand and putting down another LOL. 

Yup

Let's talk about the composite layup of the two boats.  Both boats use mat and woven roving.  Mat by itself is an egg shell whether it's hand laid, or blown into the mold with a chopper gun.  What gives the composite strength is the woven roving and in both Ranger and Nitro that material is hand laid.

 

Mat is primarily a filler material, nothing more to fill in the gaps between the layers of roving. which provides the strength.  I worked with fiberglass for over twenty years.  The problem with a chopper gun is getting the correct ratio of resin to the fabric.  Excess resin results in extra weight, which does not equate to extra strength.

 

Roving also is used for building thickness quickly.

 

 

 

"Built Tough to Reliably Compete and Win

Hand-laid fiberglass hulls are built with engineered, woven fiberglass fabric for strength and chopped fiberglass strand for puncture resistance, and then a custom-molded liner is bonded to the hull to provide longitudinal and transverse supports to the running surface. Extra-thick, molded knee supports reinforce the transom to hold outboards and shallow-water anchors."

https://www.nitro.com/quality.html

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You can’t tell the cost of something until the accounting period is over.  

 

Assume both boats were identical in every aspect....( they are not!)

 Boat A cost 5K more

At the end of 5 years, boat A has a resale value 10K higher, clearly A is a less expensive boat.

 

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13 hours ago, Cory Doras said:

Hulls..Rangers are hand laid hulls.

Nope.  Also chop gun hull.

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Last year, I bought a Triton 179 TrX and two of my buddies bought Nitro Z18s. One got a single-axle trailer and the other got a double-axle trailer. For about the same money, my boat came with a Mercury 115 Pro XS four-stroke, while theirs both came with a Mercury 150 four-stroke.

 

Both of my buddies say that the weakest part of the Nitro package is the low quality of the trailer. The buddy with the double-axle trailer is afraid to step on the flimsy fenders. 

 

Another weakness that I’ve noticed on the Nitros is the lower quality of the components used on the boat. For example, the rod straps are those silicone things that ALWAYS fail. If you look at the rigging in the Ranger and the Nitro, the Ranger is light years better than the Nitro. I love the Ranger battery selector switch that lets you jump your motor with one of the trolling motor batteries; I wish that my Triton had come with that.

 

However, none of that affects the fishability of Nitro boats, which is excellent. Nitro is a value brand and definitely provides terrific value for the money. If I had a bigger garage and my local Connecticut waters weren’t almost all speed-restricted to 45 miles per hour or much, much less, I might have gone with the Nitro, too.

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11 hours ago, nosdog2 said:

Kevin Van Dam fishes a Nitro........

 

 

 

**sits back and waits for comments**

KVD is PAID to fish out of a Nitro!

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6 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

 

KVD is PAID to fish out of a Nitro!

True.  But, if fishing out of a Nitro was a handicap, he'd use the "better" boat.  Do you suppose that if he was paid to use a Popeil Pocket Fisherman he use it?

 

See the source image

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45 minutes ago, Fishing Rhino said:

True.  But, if fishing out of a Nitro was a handicap, he'd use the "better" boat.  Do you suppose that if he was paid to use a Popeil Pocket Fisherman he use it?

 

See the source image

neither will handicap your fishing. more than likely he gets a brand new fully decked out boat every year.

that is not the boat you see on the BPS showroom.

If you spend the money to deck out a nitro to match the ranger, the price difference shrinks.

he also does not have to worry about resale or trade in value.

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I appreciate all the responses so far. I am starting to lean more towards the Ranger, based on what I've heard about the build quality. Also the Ranger dealership is less than 30 minutes away from me. I'm willing to pay a little bit more for peace of mind.

 

I would like to hear some (if any) negative things about Ranger boats.

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2 minutes ago, Dumbbass707 said:

I would like to hear some (if any) negative things about Ranger boats.

They're heavy and slow.

(Said the Bullet owner)

 

;)

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Honestly, they are very heavy and unless you are going with a very recent model year they are slower.  The new boats, once set up right are much faster.  Complaint on the older boats is also a wet ride.  I have been in rougher and smoother riding boats, Ranger falls in the middle.  Rangers shine when the trolling motor is in the water.  They are an excellent fishing platform.  

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43 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

Honestly, they are very heavy and unless you are going with a very recent model year they are slower.  The new boats, once set up right are much faster.  Complaint on the older boats is also a wet ride.  I have been in rougher and smoother riding boats, Ranger falls in the middle.  Rangers shine when the trolling motor is in the water.  They are an excellent fishing platform.  

I agree, the older rangers had a wet , fairly rough ride. The new boats have a much smoother and drier ride. From my own experience smoother and drier than a comparable Nitro. Honestly you may lose a couple mph, but  like you mentioned, where a ranger shines is when the trolling motor is down. That extra weight gives a stable platform, especially in the wind.

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Here is two rather informative boat reviews on the two boats.  Looks like the Nitro was all tweaked out using an 8 inch jack plate,  I believe the Ranger could benefit by adding one. But the speeds are what they were. The Ranger was about 8 mph slower. I bet with some prop changes and a jack plate you could make them much closer to each other.

 

 

 

My Nitro z18 airing it out 😀😀 Running a 23p Tempest 2 1/4 under the pad 8 inch slidemaster plate Top Speed 60 loaded 62 light by myself

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8 hours ago, J Francho said:

Nope.  Also chop gun hull.

They were hand laid but now that BPS owns them, Im not surprised. There are videos on youtube of the factory but I believe they were shot awhile back. 

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4 hours ago, Dumbbass707 said:

I appreciate all the responses so far. I am starting to lean more towards the Ranger, based on what I've heard about the build quality. Also the Ranger dealership is less than 30 minutes away from me. I'm willing to pay a little bit more for peace of mind.

 

I would like to hear some (if any) negative things about Ranger boats.

As someone wrote on another thread about Rangers, "Tanks"! 

They are not the fastest boat on the lake but who cares. I'd rather have a well built functional boat any day over a rocket.

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