By Steven Bull
All new for 2017, Ranger (yes, that Ranger behind the high-quality fishing boats) has jumped into the pontoon world with the Reata line. There are seven models across two categories—fish and cruise. There are 20-, 22- and 24-foot models of each double-log set-up and a triple-log, 24-foot cruise model, the RP243C.
The 220 Cruise is, at a quick glance, just another pontoon with a classic overall look and layout. That’s true, but more than a passing glance and the differences start to jump out and you’ll find this pontoon has Ranger DNA throughout.
The pontoons are powder-coated for more durability and easier cleaning. The gate is wider than many pontoons and designed to be wheelchair accessible. The fibreglass helm console is automotive-inspired. The fencing is slightly higher than other pontoons, designed to up the safety factor.
We were lucky enough to get one of the first looks at the Reatas back in October and on our way to the test site in the Ozarks I couldn’t help but think that this was a bold move. Ranger’s fish boat reputation is beyond reproach and it looks like their first entry into the large, yet competitive, pontoon market might be as well.
The upholstery is premium vinyl, the seats are fully wrapped, and there aren’t that many options to choose from because every boat is designed to be ready to rock with everything you’d want.
There are some choices to make, of course, like colour (there are three), whether you want a trailer (factory-built and custom designed to each specific model) and the power option (you can choose Mercury, Yamaha or Evinrude).
When a company like Ranger gets into the pontoon market, it’s because the segment keeps growing and families are migrating to these best-of-all-world options. The 220 Cruise is likely be a hit with them as it feels like it’s been here for years even though this was the first one in the water.
TEST BOAT ENGINE
Mercury FourStroke, 150 hp, 3.0L, 8-valve SOHC inline four-cylinder with computer controlled multi-port EFI
TOP SPEED (mph/rpm)
CRUISING SPEED (mph/rpm)
16.6/3,500; 24.3/4,500; 30.2/5,500
Length: 24 ft 2 in / 7.37 m
Beam: 8 ft 6 in / 2.6 m
Weight: 2,190 lbs/ 993.4 kg
Fuel Capacity: 32 gals / 145.5 L
Price: $29,671 USD
Speed Testing by Apple GPS