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Ranger Boats 185 VS
(w/ 1 x 150-hp Mercury XR-6)

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Interview with Randy Hopper Part 2

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

The 185 VS is built on the popular sized tournament hull and combines performance and maneuverability at an affordable price tag. Her broad beam gives the 185 the stability anglers need while on the tournament trail, and her long list of standard features and additional equipment allow a range of customization.

Key Features

  • Power Trim
  • Competition Steering Wheel
  • Teleflex SeaStar Pro® Hydraulic Steering
  • Recirculating Aerated Livewell with removable divider
  • Genmar FirstMateTM
  • Glove Box (Dual Console Only)
  • Performance Bench Seating
  • Console Panel with speedometer, tachometer, fuel & trim
  • Bow Panel & Switches
  • Trailer
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 18' 5''
    Beam 7' 8''
    Dry Weight 1,530 lbs.
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 17 ''
    - 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 40 gal.
    Water Capacity none
    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 150-hp Mercury XR-6
    Opt. Power 1x 150-hp Mercury XR-6

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    1000 3.7 3.2 1.3 2.8 2.4 101 88 64
    1500 6.7 5.8 3.4 2.0 1.7 71 62 71
    2000 8.5 7.4 5.5 1.6 1.3 56 48 77
    2500 19.6 17.0 6.1 3.2 2.8 115 100 70
    3000 29.0 25.2 7.1 4.1 3.6 147 128 80
    3500 36.5 31.7 7.9 4.7 4.0 167 146 86
    4000 40.2 34.9 8.8 4.6 4.0 165 144 87
    4500 47.7 41.5 11.0 4.6 4.0 165 144 96
    5000 53.4 46.4 14.4 3.7 3.2 133 116 92
    5400 59.2 51.5 18.1 3.3 2.9 118 103 94
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    1000 88 163 6.00 4.92 1.19 64
    1500 62 114 10.80 12.87 0.85 71
    2000 48 90 13.70 20.82 0.66 77
    2500 100 185 31.50 23.09 1.36 70
    3000 128 237 46.70 26.88 1.73 80
    3500 146 269 58.70 29.90 1.98 86
    4000 144 266 64.70 33.31 1.95 87
    4500 144 266 76.80 41.64 1.95 96
    5000 116 214 85.90 54.51 1.57 92
    5400 103 190 95.30 68.52 1.39 94

    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 2.6 sec.
    0 to 30 5.6 sec.
    Ratio 1.87:1
    Props 14 1/2 x 23
    Load Load: 2 persons, Fuel: 3/4 full, Water: none, Gear: minimal
    Climate Temp: 65 deg., Humid: 65%, Wind: 5 knots, Seas: light chop

    Captain's Report

    Tested By Capt. Bob SmithAfter chasing Ranger for some time, I finally got the call to test some of their world famous bass rigs out in Kissimmee, Florida. Since I live in Tampa, it was going to be close and more important, warm. I loaded up my fishing gear, added inland fresh water fishing to my license, filled the tank on the truck and started east to Kissimmee to meet up with Dan Benton, Sales Manager for Ranger. The first order of business was to catch some fish and to tease Dan about the big log that swam away as he trolled towards it. I think that was his first sighting of our little friends which would also be trolling the waters nearby, this one appeared to be about eight feet long.TrailerSince we were shooting aerials from a helicopter the second day, I got the chance to do a little towing with this rig. Ranger’s trailer system makes hooking up and keeping the rig behind you where it belongs on the road easy. The swing-away tongue helps the rig fit better in short garages or small parking lots. I found maneuvering in the tight parking lot with many obstacles to be simple and comfortable. Getting the rig up on the bunks the first time was a snap, and the matching colored trailer made the set look great. They even brought a green model that matched my truck! Shame they had to take it back at the end of the day.SpecsThe 185 VS is 18’5” overall in length and a beamy 92” giving her a stable feel when casting from the gunwales. You can hang up to 175-hp motors on the transom which has a 10” setback for better performance out of the hole. The inside depth is 20” and the transom height is 23”. Fishy FeaturesUp front is a standard 24V Minn Kota trolling motor fed by 6 gauge wiring with 50 amp fuse, and controlled by an easy to operate foot pedal. The rod lockers on the port and starboard provide ample room for fish fighting rigs, and the port locker storage can handle up to 7’6” rods and starboard can store up to 7’ rods. Just aft of the casting deck up front is a storage area with a small cooler further aft and center of the forward casting deck. Your fishing buddy even has a Runnin Rod Rack next to their seat on the port side and a comfortable angled deck for a foot rest. When the going gets a little rough there’s a retractable grab handle just under the seat which gives them something other than your elbow to hang on to underway. Behind the WheelThe helm console has a windscreen to help keep the mosquitoes out of your mouth, unfortunately your partner may have to swallow some. The console includes a Garmin depth/fish finder, and steering is assisted with Teleflex SeaStar giving the driver smooth control throughout the speed ranges. The livewell separates two storage boxes just behind the seats and an access panel completes the area behind the seats. The large stern casting area has a space to put a casting seat up or just keep it clear for easy movement from side to side.Performance and RideEarlier that day I had tested the 521VX, a top of the line offering, and expected to see big differences in how the 185 handled. Was I surprised! The 185 had the same characteristics of cutting fine turns and staying glued to the water as did the 521, and there was little bow rise on the hole shot and tracking was excellent, whether trolling or at cruise speed. The 185 made it out of the hole in just 2.6 seconds and north of 30 mph in 5.6 seconds. Although she was rated for up to 175 horses, we had a Mercury 150 XR-6 strapped on the transom and achieved 59.2 mph at top end. I found her best cruise to be around 3500 rpms at which she burned 7.9 gallons per hour and cruised at 36.5 miles per hour. At this rate, she can run about 167 miles on her standard 40 gallon fuel tank. If you run top speed, you will be turning 5400 rpms and burn about 18.1 gallons per hour with a range of 118 miles on the tank. The extra flotation also kept this hull stealthy with a low end reading of 64 dBa and a top end reading of 94 dBa.When I finished testing this rig, I could see why she is the most popular selling model of Ranger’s tournament boats. The 185 VS offers professional qualities at a competitive price.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Ranger Boats 185 VS is 59.2 mph (95.3 kph), burning 18.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 68.51 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Ranger Boats 185 VS is 36.5 mph (58.7 kph), and the boat gets 4.65 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.98 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 167 miles (268.76 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury XR-6.
    • Time to plane for the Ranger Boats 185 VS is 2.6 sec. seconds.
    • Time from 0 to 30 of the Ranger Boats 185 VS is 5.6 sec. seconds.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Systems

    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    Power Steering Standard
    Shore Power Standard

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Standard
    Ice Chest Standard
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard

    Warranty

    Hull Warranty
    Transferable
    Lifetime (original owner)
    Yes (10 years from the original delivery date)

    http://www.rangerboats.com/staticPages/bbbb.cfm
    Deck Warranty
    Transferable
    Lifetime (original owner) Yes (10 years from the original delivery date) http://www.rangerboats.com/pages/tradition/bbbb.cfm
    Gelcoat Warranty
    Transferable
    1-Year
    Yes

    http://www.rangerboats.com/pages/tradition/bbbb.cfm
    Blistering Warranty
    http://www.rangerboats.com/pages/tradition/bbbb.cfm
    Accessories Warranty
    1-3 years* http://www.rangerboats.com/pages/tradition/bbbb.cfm
    Certifications
    NMMA Certification Yes
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