Looking a bit like a sea going version of those camper vans beloved of German and Dutch early retirees, the US-built tug boats offer unique and innovative ways to spend time afloat. Ranger Tugs are scaled down versions of typical US Bristol Bay trawlers and are already winning hearts and minds from boaters who enjoy safe and economical cruising. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and like the Land Rover, it does depend on your view-point.
Well known in the USA and Canada, they have recently spread into Australia and New Zealand. No dealer in the UK that I could find but with the continued plunge of the dollar they become cheaper by the day. The range comprises two models, the R21-EC and the R25 (shown above), similar except in their dimensions. The R25 is Length 7.49m (24'7') Beam 2.59m (8' 6') and Draft 0.66m (26').
Each model, of course, offers different performance characteristics due to the various power sources; the R21-EC can cruise at seven to nine knots with its 30hp Yanmar, while the larger R25, with a 150hp Cummins MerCruiser diesel, hits its straps at 20 knots and cruises comfortably at 13-15 knots.
The build integrity of the Ranger Tugs appears first rate; fibreglass stringers, hull of vinylester resin, deck and liner of polyester resin and solid, hand laid fibreglass with alternate layers of 24oz woven rovings.
The list of standard equipment aboard a Ranger Tug is particularly impressive and includes many items often viewed as optional accessories by some manufacturers.
Included as standard are dual batteries with isolator and switch, battery charger, bilge pump (auto, 500 gallons per hour), navigation lights, AM/FM stereo with CD player and four speakers, sink and on-board water system, butane gas stove, opening pilothouse windows and a range of storage lockers with teak louvered doors.
Factory fitted options include marine electronics such as GPS, marine radio communications, air conditioning, a cabin heater (a must in Seattle-style winter weather!), 12 volt refrigerator, a comprehensive teak package, a full width aft swim platform and a marine head with holding tank, macerator and pump out. 2008 Ranger R25
Special Price from $119,937 (£60,258.15) plus freight, tax & options
Length 24'7' 7.49m
Beam 8' 6' 2.59m
Draft 26' 0.66m
Displacement 5,750lbs 2,610kg
Fuel Cap 75 gals 283.9 ltrs
Water Cap 30 gals 113.5 ltrs
Holding Tank Cap 30 gals 113.5 ltrs
Height on Trailer without Mast 11' 10'
Height on Trailer with Mast Lowered 13' 5'
USA Website, www.rangertugs.com