Captain's ReportReady for the FLW Ranger 183 GhostBy Capt. Bob SmithTable Rock Lake in northern Arkansas is a great lake for fishing and watersports. You can catch everything from trout to bass and crappie within a few miles of the dam. I came to Arkansas to test six models from Ranger’s lineup and the 183 Ghost was one of them. We had some pretty rough winds and chop to test in, nevertheless the 183 performed well.The 183 is the 169’s big sister. Ranger builds some of the most fishable boats in the freshwater market, and now they have taken that building knowledge and applied it to the saltwater market. Bow FeaturesThe bow of the 183 features a full wraparound deck that carries the width of the boat, making this a larger casting space. The navigation lights are flush-mounted so they are less likely to be a fouling point when working the fish up to the net or gaff. Up here are three lockable lockers. The first is a generous anchor locker that is deep enough for plenty of anchor rode and chocks for a Danforth. The next locker is a dry storage locker for your gear such as life jackets and tackle, and just aft of the dry locker is the battery locker for the optional trolling motor. By moving the batteries forward, allows for less draft and greater stability.CockpitIn the center cockpit and under the gunwales is rod storage for rods up to 10’ long. In addition to these rod holders there are three vertical rod holders are on each side of the console. Above the starboard gunwales are three flush mounted push pole holders for locking the pole securely in place while moving from one fishing hole to the next. The fuel tank is mounted in the center of the cockpit floor, below the center console. The console is simple featuring a stainless steel wheel with hydraulic steering and a speed knob for better maneuverability in tight spaces. The trim tabs are controlled with switches on top of the console, and analog gauges are above the wheel with switches to the right for the shifter binnacle. In front of the console is a baitwell with a seat cushion cover to add seating. The driver has a seat cushion on the aft deck with an optional seat back.On the stern, the 183 has a raised poling platform over the engine. This platform has a heavy duty aluminum frame and sturdy deck over the engine. Below are twin dry storage boxes to port and starboard, with a large aerated livewell for your catch in the center. Every box on the 183 has stainless steel gas-assist arms and great rubber seals to keep the gear dry.SpecificationsThe 183 Ghost measures 18’3” length overall with a beam of 85 ½”. She draws about 9 1/2” making her a great boat to slip into the flats. She carries 35 gallons of fuel and weighs about 1,050 lbs dry without the engine. PerformanceWe tested in 10-15mph winds with a moderate chop. Keep in mind the test conditions were far from optimal and you should get better results in calmer waters where this boat is typically operated. Our test boat was equipped with an Evinrude 150-hp Saltwater Series outboard on her stern and a Cyclone 14 1/8 x 21 4-blade propeller. The 183 was out of the hole and breaking plane in 2.6 seconds and up to 30 mph in 5.7 seconds. At 3000 rpm and 26.1 mph, you can expect to run about 222 miles on a full tank of fuel. Pushed to the limits, the 183 Ghost produced 46.5 mph at 5000 rpm for a range of 89 miles. The ride was as smooth as expected and I did not notice any hull slap. I did get some spray, but most importantly the gear stayed dry. The ride was smooth and the seat cushion was comfortable, but I recommend the optional backrest if you plan on long runs to your fishing spots. So, if you are ready for the challenges of the FLW redfish tour or just enjoy leisurely slipping around in the sawgrass chasing the elusive fish, the 183 Ghost is ready to silently slip in there and give you the chance!
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Ranger Boats 183 Ghost (2006-) is 46.5 mph (74.8 kph), burning 16.4 gallons per hour (gph) or 62.07 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Ranger Boats 183 Ghost (2006-) is 26.1 mph (42 kph), and the boat gets 7.05 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 222 miles (357.27 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Evinrude.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|