by Jeni Bone
You never know who is cruising the boat shows, looking for something that grabs their attention. At the recent Sydney International Boat Show, none other than the Sultan of Jahor was in attendance, perusing the Halls until his seasoned eye alit on the quaint, immaculately built, sturdy little vessels from Ranger Tugs.
Ranger Tugs 25
Says previous company owner and founder of Ranger Tugs Australia, John Smale 'Initial contact was very official. The Sultan’s Chief of Police approached me and told me he wanted to talk to me about boats. I was to address him as ‘Your Majesty’ and show the full respect due to royalty.'
Over the course of two days, the Sultan discussed buying a Ranger Tug, to add to his collection of 350 connoisseur vehicles, which also includes the world’s only chrome Lamborghini.
'He was actually besotted,' says John. 'He said he saw them and loved it. When he found out we had added so many additional features to the one on display, The Office, the Sultan offered to buy it on the spot. He always has an eye for something special, and the history, integrity and unique qualities of the Ranger Tug appealed to him.'
'All the extras' refers to the deck winch, stainless steel rod rack, full length awning, Raymarine GPS, hot water shower and other special instruments beyond the regular spec.
'We sealed the deal in the Royal Suite of the Shangri-La Hotel two days after show.'
The Seattle made Ranger Tugs are all up to Australian standard.
John Smale sold the business to Peter McCook. John discovered the vessels while on holidays in Hawaii in 2008.
The range includes the R-21 at $95,000, the R-25 which is $199,000 and R-27 is $239,00 and R-29 is $335,000.
In the US, Ranger Tugs ranked eighth in market share in 2009 for fiberglass inboard boats 24 feet and larger and it ranked fifth in the same category in 2010. There are more than 1,000 Ranger Tugs owners in North America and its line of shallow-draft, fuel-efficient boats is well-positioned to grow internationally.
More at www.rangertugs.com.au