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Ranger Boats Z520C (2016-)

1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.



Brief Summary

Ranger offers the Z520C with a range of outboards up to 250-hp. With the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. on the transom, turning a Raker HO 14½“ x 26” three-blade stainless steel propeller through a 1.85:1 gear reduction, the 20'9" (6.3 m) long, 7'11" (2.4 m) beam, single side console reached 71.7 mph at 5700 rpm wide open throttle. With throttles pulled back to 3000 rpm, the boat ran 32.5 mph at 3000 rpm, which works out to an even 5.0 mpg. That gives her a predicted range of 203 statute miles with a 10% fuel reserve. Ranger provides a built-in setback at the transom that moves the motor aft for better boat handling. The transom is reinforced with pultruded fiberglass for strength and stiffness.

Key Features

  • Minn Kota Fortrex 80 24V trolling motor
  • Recirculating aerated livewell with divider, pump-Out and Venturi Air
  • LED courtesy lights
  • 2 Lowrance HDS7 fishfinders/chartplotters at the bow and console
  • 1 bike seat with Pro pole
  • Padded front deck
  • Insulated cooler with gel-coat liner and drain
  • Custom color package
  • Integrated tackle and rod management system
  • Trailer with aluminum wheels with matching spare tire and wheel

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
500 2.6 2.3 0.3 8.67 7.54 351 305 73
1000 5.3 4.6 0.8 6.56 5.71 266 231 78
1500 6.8 5.9 2.45 2.78 2.41 112 98 74
2000 8.2 7.1 4.85 1.68 1.46 68 59 75
2500 26.1 22.7 5.35 4.88 4.24 198 172 81
3000 32.5 28.3 6.5 5 4.35 203 176 85
3500 37.4 32.5 8.35 4.48 3.89 181 158 88
4000 43.6 37.9 10.75 4.06 3.53 164 143 92
4500 51.3 44.6 12.9 3.97 3.45 161 140 94
5000 60.1 52.2 16.7 3.6 3.13 146 127 99
5500 70.2 61 21.8 3.22 2.8 130 113 105
5700 71.7 62.3 22.1 3.24 2.82 131 114 106
ranger_z250c_chart_15.jpg

Specifications

Length Overall 20' 9'' / 6.32 m
Beam 95''
2.41 m
Dry Weight 1,825 lbs.
828 kg
Tested Weight 2,483 lbs.
1,126 kg
Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance N/A
Weight Capacity 1,650 lbs.
748 kg
Fuel Capacity 45 gal.
170 L
Water Capacity N/A
Length on Trailer 25' 9''
7.85 m
Trailer Weight 5,000 lbs.
2,268 kg
Total Weight 2,483 lbs.
1,126 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.8 sec.
0 to 30 7.1 sec.
Ratio 1.85:1
Props 14 1/2 x 26 Raker HO
Load 2 persons, 3/4 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 61 deg., 82 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O.
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 1 x 250-hp Suzuki DF250TLSS
1 x 225-hp Yamaha VF225LA
1 x 250-hp Yamaha VF250LA
Six Evinrude engines from 225-hp and 250-hp available
4 Mercury engines from 225-hp and 250-hp available

Captain's Report

Ranger Boats Z520C running shot

The Ranger Z520C is a big bass boat with an overall length of 20’9” (6.32 m), a beam of 7’11” (2.41 m) beam) and a weight of approximately 1,825 lbs. (828 kg).

Mission Statement

The Z520C, Ranger’s most popular tournament-ready bass boat

, is designed for the serious tournament fisherman, with vital features like a broad bow casting area, storage for 20 fishing rods as long as 8’6” (2.59 m) and a large stern livewell.
She’s always been available with power up to a 250-hp outboard and the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. breathes new life into the Z520C with its prodigious 2-stroke torque and power.

Ranger Boats Z520C floor plan

The Ranger Z520C has the space for all of the gear that serious anglers would need for a day of fishing.

Distinguishing Features

Bottom Design.

Ranger’s Rite Track Keel keeps more hull in the water. This minimizes the effect of crosswinds and reduces lateral drift when the boat is trolling or at rest.

Built-in Setback.

The Z520C’s stern has the setback for the outboard motor built into the transom structure. This is a more robust installation and it positions the motor farther aft, enhancing the influence that trim has on performance.

Pultruded Reinforcement.

The Z520C’s transom is reinforced with pultruded fiberglass that results in a stronger installation for the motor.

Aerated Storage.

Ranger’s patented Power Ventilated Rod Storage System (PVRS) uses a blower to circulate air throughout the bow storage lockers to keep tackle and equipment dry.

Custom Trailer.

A tournament fisherman spends a lot of time on the road traveling between events. The Z520C rides on a custom-built tandem-axle Ranger Trail trailer that’s designed for the boat. It sits lower on the trailer for easier access when towing.

Features Inspection

At the Bow

One of the most obvious benefits of a bass boat in this size range is the large fishing area in the bow. It measures 3’5” (1 m) wide forward and 6’11” (2.11 m) aft and is 7’7” (2.31 m) long. It also has padding beneath the carpet to reduce fishermen’s fatigue during a long day on the water. There are two receptacles for the fishing chair to accommodate anglers of various sizes.

Ranger Boats Z520C bow

The Z520C’s forward casting deck has more than enough space for two anglers to fish.

Well Thought Out Standards

Most bass boat manufacturers like to boast that they designed space into a given model’s bow for optional electronics. Ranger provides the space and includes the Lowrance HDS7T Gen 3 fishfinder/chartplotter as standard equipment. The Z520C’s bow also has a Minn Kota Fortrex 80 24-volt trolling motor with a recessed foot pedal, accessory switches, a tool rack and a cup holder.

Ranger Boats Z520C fish finder

Ranger provide mounting space for a standard Lowrance HDST7T. Shown here is an optional Garmin GPSMAP display. Humminbird units are also available.

Bow Storage

For quick trips between fishing spots

, the Z520C has retractable straps that click into place to secure reels on rod handles and a soft padded area ahead of the driver’s console where the rod tips can rest. In-deck lockers have hatches that lock, open on gas struts and close on thick rubber gaskets. The portside locker is open and finished in gelcoat and includes a soft rubber mat in the bottom to accommodate rods up to 8’6” (2.59 m) long with removable partitions. In the center locker, there are ten dedicated rod racks. To starboard, the carpeted compartment looks good for lifejackets and other gear.

Ranger Boats Z520C rod storage

The Z520C has rod storage outboard to port and in the massive center locker. Note the slots in the center locker for tackle boxes.

Ranger Boats Z520C pvrs

Ranger’s Power Ventilation Rod Storage uses a blower in the rod lockers to dry out the equipment after a day of fishing.

Ranger Boats Z520C retractable strap

This retractable strap secures fishing rods to the deck when the boat is running.

Ranger Boats Z520C rods

When the rods are strapped down, the tips rest on this soft pad outboard of the helm console.

Ranger Boats Z520C indeck locker

The starboard in-deck locker has two separate compartments with individual hatches.

The Cockpit Step

Working aft to the Z520C’s cockpit, there’s a step down

into the seating area. The hatch for the step opens to reveal an insulated draining cooler with two drain plugs. There are tool racks on each side and in the base of the cooler is a receptacle for fishing net storage.

Ranger Boats Z520C cooler

The insulated cooler keeps drinks handy and the tool racks on each side keep pliers and scissors in quick reach.

Ranger Boats Z520C ruler

The ruler for measuring fish slides into a slot to port of the cooler and tool rack.

Ranger Boats Z520C fishing net

This clever receptacle for the fishing net secures it when underway and makes it easy to retrieve when needed.

The Cockpit

The Z520C comes standard with two thickly padded SRS bucket seats

and a step with a storage compartment and cup holders in between. Owners can opt for a second console ahead of the port SRS bucket seat. The sole of our test boat was finished in a seagrass-like material, a flooring option Ranger calls “chainweave,” that felt good underfoot. Outboard of the passenger’s seat, there’s storage for six more fishing rods, a rugged grab handle, a storage tray and cup holder. Inboard just below the seat is a second handle that pulls out on a strap. Forward in between the angled footrest, an available plastic panel opens on hinges offering additional storage. Ranger suggests using this area for trash or a “day box” to quickly access items used frequently throughout the day.

Ranger Boats Z520C second console

Owners who plan to fish a number of tournaments regardless of the weather might want to consider the optional second console.

Ranger Boats Z520C port bucket

This rack outboard of the port bucket seat has space for six more fishing rods.

Ranger Boats Z520C tray

Note that the tray outboard of the passenger’s feet has padding to cushion the ride for the contents.

Ranger Boats Z520C foot rests

The passenger can brace against these footrests and the available panel in between opens to reveal another storage compartment.

The Helm

While the port bucket seat is fixed, the driver’s seat adjusts fore and aft

and there is a similar footrest configuration with space for a tacklebox or cooler in between. The steering wheel on our test boat was a tilt model with a turn-signal style switch on the column to control the jack plate position. The helm comes standard with a Lowrance HDS7T Gen 3 fishfinder/chartplotter in the center.
To the left is a speedometer with an integrated trim gauge and the fuel gauge is just below. To the right of the panel, there is a tachometer and the available Evinrude iTrim controls and screen just below. The throttle is mounted within comfortable reach on the starboard gunwale, with the livewell filler switch and a 12-volt power plug just below.

Ranger Boats Z520C helm

The Z520C’s helm has a modern feel with flush-mount accessory switches and keyless ignition.

Ranger Boats Z520C wind screen

There is a windscreen on top of the console, and our test captain felt that it could have been a little taller to provide better protection from the weather.

The Aft Cockpit

The step between the bucket seats leads to the aft casting deck

, which is 6’11” (2.10 m) wide and 3’8” (1.12 m) fore to aft with the same carpeting as found up front. There’s a receptacle for a fishing chair. At the leading edge of the aft deck is the aerated livewell that has a divider to keep species separated, and twin sliding acrylic hatches.
Outboard to port and starboard are storage lockers and the boat comes with a toolbox in the port side aft locker. In the splashwell, there’s a plug for the shorepower and a switch that controls a remote drain plug. The livewell control is just below the throttle. The ladder is aft to port.

Systems Access

Abaft the livewell, a large hatch in the center of the rear deck opens to provide access to the batteries, charger and a spare propeller mount.

Ranger Boats Z520C aft casting deck

This large hatch in the aft casting deck opens on a gas strut so mechanics can use both hands to maintain the batteries.

Ranger Boats Z520C switch

This switch shuts down the batteries so that the engine can be jump-started.

Ranger Boats Z520C diagram

On the underside of the battery box hatch to the right, there is a cable diagram.

Ranger Boats Z520C schematic diagram

To port is a full wiring schematic diagram for folks who forget to keep their manual on board.

Ranger Boats Z520C propeller

The spare propeller mount is forward of the battery charger so that owners can grab the spare wheel quickly.

Power and Performance

Ranger Offers the Z520C with a Range of Outboards up to 250-hp.

We tested with an Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. 2-stroke outboard turning a Raker HO 14½“ x 26” three-blade stainless steel propeller through a 1.85:1 gear reduction. We hit a top speed of 71.7 mph at 5700 rpm and burned 22.1 gph, giving the boat a range of 131 miles at wide open. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we ran 32.5 mph and sipped 6.5 gph, giving the boat a range of 203 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Acceleration

2-stroke outboards are known for torque, and that translated into strong acceleration from our test boat. She planed in 3.8 seconds, ran out to 20 mph in 5.3 seconds and to 30 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Ranger Boats Z520C running shot

With a 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. 2-stroke outboard, the Z520C planed in 3.8 seconds and hit 71.7 mph at WOT.

Handling

Forget the idea that bass boats are one-dimensional straight-line bullets. The Z520C handled smoothly through our battery of slalom and circle turns and, when we ran it back through our own wakes, the boat felt solid.

Ranger Boats Z520C running shot

The Z520C handled well, tracking cleanly through a variety of maneuvers.

Construction

As mentioned above, Ranger builds the Z520C with pultruded fiberglass in the transom for exceptional strength and rigidity. Knee braces extend forward to help absorb stresses on the stern. The fiberglass stringers are foam filled to help dampen vibration and water noise on the hull.

Power and Price

Base retail price is $68,000 and, as tested with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. 2-stroke outboard, increases to approximately $79,000.

The Trailer

The Z520C comes with a tandem-axle Ranger Trail trailer that is custom built for the boat. It has a swing-away tongue, aluminum wheels, a spare tire, rear Boat Buckle tie downs and LED lighting. Ranger finishes the trailer in its Road Armor paint for improved corrosion resistance.

Ranger Boats Z520C trailer

Packaged with a trailer, the Ranger Z520C comes ready to head to the launch ramp.

Warranty

Ranger Boats provides a Structural Hull limited warranty for the First North American retail purchaser for the period of ownership. For the second North American retail purchaser, the limited warranty period for structural hull defects is 10 years. Cosmetic gel coat warranty is one year.

Options to Consider

• Trolling motor from Minn Kota or Motorguide

• Battery charger upgrade

• Chartplotter/fishfinder upgrades from Lowrance, Humminbird and Garmin for bow and helm

• Evinrude G2 panel

• Port console

• Ski tow installed

• Center seat option

• Choice of manual and hydraulic jackplates

• Tilt hydraulic steering

Observations

Ranger did their homework when rigging the Z520C as a tournament-grade bass boat. With the Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 H.O. outboard, she tops 71 mph and during a shotgun start at a tournament, the 2-stroke engine’s torque will help the boat out-accelerate the competition to get to the hot spots first.
We applaud Ranger for including such accessories as the fishfinder/chartplotter at the bow and helm and the battery charger as standard equipment. Virtually every owner orders these boats with these items anyway, so Ranger just includes them for convenience and adjusts the price accordingly.
Another convenience item is the standard trailer. If an owner knows he’s getting the boat pre-packaged with a motor and a trailer, it makes the buying process that much easier.