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Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-)
(w/ 1 x 225-hp Yamaha HPDI)

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Interview with Randy Hopper Part 1

Christopher Hughes interviews Randy Hopper, President of Ranger Boats about new models and the future.

Brief Summary

The 208VX sports a new cockpit layout built on the proven 520VX hull with its sharp deadrise at the bow and good pad performance. The 208VX has a very modern looking dash, gel coated insulated storage boxes and a tackle organizing system for your best lures. The SRS (Soft Ride Seating) takes the shock out of crossing waves as high as a two foot chop. Twin tanks give you 52 gallons total fuel. Boat, motor, and trailer package with Yamaha 225 HPDI is listing around $43,995.

Key Features

  • Max rated at 225-hp, rigged for multiple brands
  • Port 8’ rod box
  • Starboard 7’ rod box
  • Twin 26 gallon fuel tanks
  • Competition steering wheel
  • Minn Kota Maxxum 80 trolling motor (24V) standard
  • Recirc. Aerated Livewell with divider, filter screens and timer
  • Lowrance X-135 or Humminbird 767 at console and bow standard
  • On-board Dual Pro Charger, 15 x 3
  • Tandem Axle trailer with aluminum wheels and matching spare
  • Hydraulic surge disc brakes
  • LED lighting on trailer
  • Ranger Trail COOL hubs
  • Road Armor Trailer finish
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 20' 9''
    Beam 92 1/2''
    Dry Weight 1,750 lbs.
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft N/A
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom N/A
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 52 gal.
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    N/A

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power 1 x 225-hp Yamaha HPDI
    Opt. Power Not Available

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    600 3.3 2.8 1.2 2.8 2.5 133 115 74
    1000 5.3 4.6 1.9 2.8 2.4 130 113 74
    1500 7.0 6.1 3.2 2.2 1.9 102 89 79
    2000 8.0 7.0 5.2 1.6 1.4 73 63 87
    2500 10.4 9.1 6.7 1.6 1.4 73 63 87
    3000 32.0 27.9 7.4 4.4 3.8 204 177 88
    3500 38.2 33.2 9.5 4.0 3.5 188 164 92
    4000 44.3 38.5 11.5 3.9 3.4 181 157 97
    4500 53.5 46.5 13.9 3.9 3.4 181 157 97
    5000 61.0 53.0 18.3 3.3 2.9 156 136 97
    5500 68.5 59.6 20.5 3.3 2.9 156 136 97
    5600 68.8 59.8 20.5 3.4 2.9 157 137 97
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    600 115 214 5.30 4.54 1.21 74
    1000 113 209 8.50 7.19 1.18 74
    1500 89 164 11.30 12.11 0.93 79
    2000 63 117 12.90 19.68 0.66 87
    2500 63 117 16.70 25.36 0.66 87
    3000 177 328 51.50 28.01 1.85 88
    3500 164 303 61.50 35.96 1.71 92
    4000 157 291 71.30 43.53 1.64 97
    4500 157 291 86.10 52.62 1.64 97
    5000 136 251 98.20 69.27 1.42 97
    5500 136 251 110.20 77.60 1.42 97
    5600 137 253 110.70 77.60 1.43 97

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 2.8 sec.
    0 to 30 6.1 sec.
    Ratio 1.75 : 1
    Props VMAX 25P
    Load 2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 20 lbs. of gear
    Climate 74 deg.; 60% humid.; wind: 5 MPH; seas; calm

    Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-) Line Drawing

    ranger208vx-floor.jpg

    Captain's Report

    Ranger 208VX

    By Capt. Rob Smith

    Ranger stays tuned to the market and hears many in the fishing community talking about the downturn in the economy and how they really would like to upgrade their rigs. Many weekend warriors lusted for a 520VX but it was out of reach or out of the question with family obligations. Ranger now has an answer that should help you make that move. It’s not the 520VX Lite, it is the all-new 208VX which is built on the same hull and sports many of the same fishing features, ride and comfort of the 520VX. What it doesn’t carry over is the hefty payments.In the Details

    The 208VX has a sharp deadrise at the bow to slice through chop and improve handling and tracking. She has good on-pad performance like her big sister the 520. Topside, she has her own new layout focused on fishing in competition. Boxes are gel coated to make clean up much easier. Compartments are designed to organize your tackle and keep it at your fingertips without having to rummage through tons of stuff just when the fish start hitting. With every void in the hull filled with flotation foam, the boxes are also well insulated. The broad bow deck has a recessed foot well for the Minn Kota 24 Volt trolling motor and a panel in the bow where you can add another LCD panel. Running rod straps are on both sides.

    Moving back to the cockpit, I was very impressed with the comfort in both the buddy seat and the driver’s seat. Not only does the Soft Ride Seating deliver on comfort, but Ranger has leg room I rarely see in a bass rig. The buddy seat has spots to brace your feet in choppy conditions as well as a grab handle on a reel. A running rod rack is along the port side of the buddy seat. The driver’s leg room was more than my six foot frame could reach! The dash is up a little higher and looks more like a racing helm than a cruiser’s dashboard. Five inch gauges are separated by the Humminbird 767 or Lowrance X-135 display in the center. 3” gauges are below and slightly obscured with the sport wheel at times.

    Just behind the seats and within easy reach of either person in the cockpit is a large cooler compartment where you can keep drinks and sandwiches ready or stuff the catch in ice until you clean them for dinner. Just aft that is the divided livewell where you can keep the catch lively until you weigh them in and release them to challenge someone else another day. Large dry boxes are to port and starboard for more gear, life jackets and throw cushions. I like how Ranger has gasketed the equipment locker hatch and added a raised lip to prevent water from cascading down onto the charger and batteries inside. The hatch also opens toward the bow which is easy to work with on the water but may be more of a challenge in the parking lot.

    Ranger builds all their trailers and custom matches each to the boat. Color schemes for the boat and trailer can be customized and matched to just about anything you desire. For the 208VX, the trailer is a tandem axle trailer with aluminum wheels and matching spare. Brakes are hydraulic surge disc brakes and lighting is LED which should last a lifetime. Fiberglass fenders are color matched and have a step. The hubs have Ranger’s COOL Hub system to maintain lubrication. This trailer also has the space saving swing away tongue that opens up about 2 feet more space when folded back. The trailer itself has Ranger’s Road Armor finish that is nearly impervious to damage from road debris and rocks bouncing off it.Critical Measurements

    The 208VX measures 20’9” length overall with a beam of 92 ½ inches. On the matched trailer with swing-away tongue, she stretches to 23’2” with a spread of 97”. She tips the scales at 1750 lbs. with dual console and 25 lbs. less with a single console. She can handle up to 1500 lbs. total in people and gear and has a fuel capacity of 52 gallons in two separate 26 gallon tanks. This model is rated for 225hp outboards and has an inside maximum depth of 23”. Rod storage on port is up to 8’ rods and on starboard up to 7’.Running the Numbers

    I tested the 208VX on Bull Shoals Lake near the Ranger plant in Flippin, Arkansas. They had powered this one with the Yamaha 225 HPDI and the combination seemed to be well matched. Handling was sweet with nearly flat turns at 40 mph and the ride was smooth enough in straight runs, I looked over and found my cameraman standing and shooting video at 60 mph (I don’t recommend you do that!). Hole shots were satisfyingly fast and time to 30 mph was quite acceptable. The Soft Ride Seating cushioned the chop nicely and I felt like I had only been out minutes when I returned to the docks 90 minutes later.

    The 208VX registered a time to plane of 2.8 seconds and a time to 30 mph of 6.1 seconds. The 208’s most economical cruising speed was at 3000 rpm and 32 mph for a full tank range of 204 miles. In choppy conditions, I reached just under 69 mph, so in perfect conditions I imagine you may see over 70 mph.Conclusion

    Now you can reward yourself with a rig that can match your tow vehicle and make your personal statement in local lakes, rivers and tournaments. You can still afford to load her up with the perfect lures and baits and you can still hang in there with the best when racing back to weigh-in. The 208VX from Ranger appears to be headed for a lot of lakes in the coming years. As I have heard Ranger owners say before, a Ranger may cost more to buy, but it costs less to own because there is less to maintain and repair on a Ranger.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-) is 68.8 mph (110.7 kph), burning 20.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 77.59 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-) is 32.0 mph (51.5 kph), and the boat gets 4.36 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.85 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 204 miles (328.31 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 225-hp Yamaha HPDI.
    • Time to plane for the Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-) is 2.8 sec. seconds.
    • Time from 0 to 30 of the Ranger Boats 208 VX (2009-) is 6.1 sec. seconds.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    Fishfinder Standard

    Systems

    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    Shore Power Standard

    Exterior Features

    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard

    Warranty

    Certifications
    NMMA Certification Yes

    Price