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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at both of these boats and looking for advice on what upgrades y'all would recommend for these so I can try to figure out an 'out the door' price. I'm just a weekender so nothing nuts. Just things that would make my time more productive and enjoyable. (trolling motors, electronics, etc.)

RT178
Ranger 2016 RT178


RT188
Ranger 2016 RT188
 

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If it was me I would get the larger boat, it has more horsepower to get off the water in a hurry if you need to. I just upgraded my motor this year to what the boat was rated for, had bought it like this I wouldn't have had to sit in a hail storm a few years ago. I would start with at least a 24v trolling motor the ipilot would be a nice to have with the anchor lock for windy days. I would buy the electronics separate I think it would be cheaper but I could be wrong
 

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If it was me I would get the larger boat, it has more horsepower to get off the water in a hurry if you need to. I just upgraded my motor this year to what the boat was rated for, had bought it like this I wouldn't have had to sit in a hail storm a few years ago. I would start with at least a 24v trolling motor the ipilot would be a nice to have with the anchor lock for windy days. I would buy the electronics separate I think it would be cheaper but I could be wrong

Agreed, get the max hp and largest boat you can afford , tow or store it will save you money in the long haul .
 

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For the price difference its a no brainer to get the larger boat. If you plan on fishing in Texas some of the bigger lakes around here can get rough. The larger boat will fish better in adverse conditions. Not a big fan of that dealer but if you do have to buy there you can get your mercury serviced at Tracker.


MAtt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, regarding the Mercury - I've heard really good things about the Yamaha 4 strokes. Both of the boats have their max hp (75 & 115) Any thoughts on changing them changing the Merc to a Yamaha? Other than that it'll be a matter of if I can get the 118 in my garage. Just looking for info on what other electronics to put on it and if I should get a different trolling motor. Seems like it comes with a really basic fish finder on the console so I'd probably want them to install something better on the bow and/or console. I'm just learning about the SI-DI sonar stuff.
Comes with:
MinnKota® Edge 45, 45 in. trolling motor
Lowrance® Elite 3X depth finder at console
On board Dual-Pro charger, 6 x 1
 

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Yeah, regarding the Mercury - I've heard really good things about the Yamaha 4 strokes. Both of the boats have their max hp (75 & 115) Any thoughts on changing them changing the Merc to a Yamaha? Other than that it'll be a matter of if I can get the 118 in my garage. Just looking for info on what other electronics to put on it and if I should get a different trolling motor. Seems like it comes with a really basic fish finder on the console so I'd probably want them to install something better on the bow and/or console. I'm just learning about the SI-DI sonar stuff.
Comes with:
MinnKota® Edge 45, 45 in. trolling motor
Lowrance® Elite 3X depth finder at console
On board Dual-Pro charger, 6 x 1
Move the present FF to the bow and get a better one for the console that you can swivel around when you're on the deck. Interior lighting. A leaning post up front. iPilot is trophy.
 

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Leaning posts are cheap in the bargain cave at Cabelas. Usually have a couple in there that are hyrdraulic.
 

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Yeah, regarding the Mercury - I've heard really good things about the Yamaha 4 strokes. Both of the boats have their max hp (75 & 115) Any thoughts on changing them changing the Merc to a Yamaha? Other than that it'll be a matter of if I can get the 118 in my garage. Just looking for info on what other electronics to put on it and if I should get a different trolling motor. Seems like it comes with a really basic fish finder on the console so I'd probably want them to install something better on the bow and/or console. I'm just learning about the SI-DI sonar stuff.
Comes with:
MinnKota® Edge 45, 45 in. trolling motor
Lowrance® Elite 3X depth finder at console
On board Dual-Pro charger, 6 x 1

Both Merc and Yamaha make excellent motors. In this area though I would recommend a Merc over a Yamaha (I own a Yamaha). Parts are 30-40% higher for Yamaha's vs Mercs and finding qualified service centers in central Texas is easier for Mercs. I would get the bigger boat with the bigger motor then fish it for a while and decide what you want to change. You may even be able to look out for deals on used / older generation stuff on ABF and pick up a trolling motor and a depth finder for cheaper.
 

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Buy a Lund....that would be your best upgrade. That flat bottom on big lakes is going to torture your spine.
 

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Hi, I have a Lowe 18HP Stinger, which is comparable to the Ranger with 115hp.
I also looked at the ranger, but got a good deal on the Lowe (used). One thing that I noted as I did the research about the boat ... I was told (and Gary can correct me if I am wrong) that the 115HP Mercury 2 Stroke is at least ~25lbs lighter than the 115hp Mercury 4 stroke. I would assume similar math applies to engines of other brands. I try to squeeze every mph out of my boat possible.

When reading through the reviews of the Ranger, one of the chief complaints was that it was slow for its size (approx. 45mph top end), whereas the Lowe was slightly above 50mph.
(I had Gary add a 6" Jack plate and now I'm pushing 60mph (no passengers, full of gas & tackle))
The other thing that sold me on mine (and I'm not trying to convince you to buy Lowe) was the amount of front deck space and how it tapers from bow to transom. Most aluminum boats look like a pizza slice, where mine looks more like a candy bar. Means good stability and you can run laps without anyone falling overboard ... just something to think about.

Good luck on your purchase!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again to everyone for all of the great information.
The more I look into this the more questions I have.
One being - Will an 18ft boat with a swing away tongue fit in a 'normal' suburban garage with room for a car? My 165 tracker does and it doesn't have a swing away tongue. I know it would be tight and I have to angle it, but thinking there's a lot of guys on here with 18 ft boats that will know.

Thanks!!
 

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How deep is your garage? Is it 18'11" like all these lame builders put in. Not everything in Texas is bigger...LAME

Man you are maxed out at a 16ft boat unless you store it sideways in a double car garage. I actually got the measurements for my boat and painted them on the floor before I made my purchase. I have a 3 car garage. The boat is in the garage and a Minivan. Have fun with your search.
 
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