Ranger VS1660

Since Ranger’s splash into the aluminum boat market in 2013, its aluminum line keeps expanding, and for 2019, the builder from Flippin, Ark., unveils its smallest model yet, the 16-foot-long Ranger VS1660. Typically, the smallest boat in the fleet is a “price boat” that’s designed to lure boaters into the family. The VS1660 qualifies there with an MSRP of $18,995 — Ranger’s big bassin’ wagons such as the Z521L can approach six-figures with all the options — but it immediately defies the label in other ways.

The first indicator of a boat being entry level? Cheap seats. But the pedestal seats on the VS1660 are really nice and are clearly the product of Ranger’s vaunted in-house upholstery department. One of them can be repositioned to the bow as an at-rest fishing seat. An extra one costs $399. Made of fiberglass, the driver’s console is an homage to its Ranger DNA. The power lever’s placement on the console makes it a little awkward for driving, but it’s probably a smart place for it, since it frees up the gunwale area for a lockable storage locker that can hold Plano tackle boxes or life jackets. Naturally, with a Mercury 50 FourStroke, it’s no speed demon, but it’s just right for smaller lakes and rivers. The trolling motor’s battery is in the forward deck, next to the huge 20-gallon livewell, so the VS1660 has no problem planing. There’s really not much bowrise; it pretty much rises in a level fashion as it planes in a leisurely time of five seconds and reaches 20 mph in 9.1 seconds. I was surprised by the relatively fast top speed of 32 mph. Most 16-footers have a single six-gallon tank, but the VS1660 has room for two of them under the rear deck, which easily flips up for access.

Entry-level boats are typically devoid of extras, so they can reach an attractive nationally advertised price, but the VS1660 includes items such as a Ranger Trail trailer, a Minn Kota Powerdrive 55 trolling motor, a Dual-Pro battery charger and maximum Mercury power. Ranger makes it easy to accessorize the VS1660 with a Lock-Track mounting system that allows temporary installation of items including rod holders, tables and downriggers. A dash-mounted Lowrance Hook2 4-inch fishfinder is standard, but buyers can upgrade that to a 7-inch Hook2 gimbalmount unit for $805.

Specifications

LOA: 16 ft.
Beam: 7 ft., 5 in.
Deadrise: 8 degrees
Capacity: 3 people
Dry Weight: 975 lbs.
Fuel: 12 gal.
Maximum HP: 50

Performance

Peak: 32 mph/5600 rpm/88 dBA
Cruise: 25.1 mph/4500 rpm/82 dBA

Standard Equipment

True-Lock track system, Minn Kota Powerdrive 55 trolling motor, Ranger Trail trailer

Optional Equipment

Lowrance Hook2 7-inch GPS/fishfinder, vinyl foredeck, Minn Kota Ultrex 80 trolling motor

Builder

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