Captain's ReportForm, Function, and SpeedBy Capt. Bob SmithBull Shoals Lake and Boat Dock turned out to be a great place to test Ranger’s bass boats! Although we had rain the first day and some pretty strong winds the next two days, we enjoyed the visit and hospitality of the crew from Ranger and BSL Docks. I have to admit, Dan Benton from Ranger and I thoroughly enjoyed running the boats and were thrilled with the 178VS as it was spryer than either of us anticipated!Up FrontThis tournament-ready boat sports plenty of room to work. Up front is a seat post position for a casting chair or seat. The 178VS had the standard trolling motor foot pedal to accompany the Maxxum 55 Minn Kota trolling motor. The trolling motor is pre-wired with 6 gauge wiring harnesses with a 50 amp breaker. In the bow are remote switches for navigation lights and motor trim. Rod lockers on these hard working boats are 7’ on both sides for the 178. Aft of the bow is a large storage locker with assist rods and gasketing to keep the gear dry. All the gear lockers are lockable. The 178VS offers an optional deck extension for the center of the forward deck that attaches with three thumb-wheel screws. Helm FeaturesRanger SRS (Soft Ride Seats) are comfortable in all weather conditions. The center seat features a flip-down backrest that transforms into wide step to the aft deck. This is a handy feature as it keeps dirt off the upholstery. Although we tested the single console version, a dual console version is also available. One of the outstanding features is the good amount of leg room on both the companion and the helm stations. Ranger has made a point to provide more leg room and vertical height below the consoles and they have definitely done this.Running rod racks, ramps and straps are on the port side, supplementing the two rod straps on the bow. Hand holds abound and retractable grab handles are just under the lip of the seats. The helm station features brushed aluminum accents surrounding the standard gauges for fuel, trim, tach and speed. Addition standard electronics include a Lowrance X-135 depth finder and since our boat was Mercury-powered, SmartCraft instrumentation for further engine performance information.At the SternStepping up onto the aft deck, the 178 has an integrated cooler over on port and matching dry storage box over on starboard. Between the two boxes is a wide divided livewell. The livewell boasts recirculating aeration, filter screens, automatic timer functions, and heat-shielded lids for longer bait and fish life. Aft of the livewell is a lid covering the equipment, including the oil reservoir and battery charger. The engine setback does a great job of preventing water from overrunning the stern and getting the deck awash.Specifications and Performance The 178VS measures 17’8” length overall with a beam width of 90”. She weighs in at 1,485 lbs dry without engine and dual console while she weighs 1,460lbs dry with single console version without engine. The 178VS carries a total of 25 gallons of fuel in a single tank and is rated for up to 150-hp outboard on her stern. We tested the 178VS with a 150-hp Mercury Optimax with a Revolution IV 21P prop. Testing the 178 was a smile inducing event with a hole shot of a blazing 1.9 seconds and a 30 mph time of 4.5 seconds. She cruised best at 2500 rpm burning 3 gph for a full tank range of 165 miles. Pushing the throttles all the way we found she was able to run 5500 rpm and 55mph for a range of 86 miles at top speed. The 178VS loves to scoot! She ran smooth and dry and cut some tight turns with ease and in full control. Handling around the docks was easy and getting her up on her standard trailer was simple.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Ranger Boats 178VS (2006-) is 55.0 mph (88.5 kph), burning 14.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 54.13 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Ranger Boats 178VS (2006-) is 28.8 mph (46.3 kph), and the boat gets 6.78 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.88 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 152 miles (244.62 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury Optimax Outboard.
- Time to plane for the Ranger Boats 178VS (2006-) is 1.9 sec. seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Ranger Boats 178VS (2006-) is 4.5 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|