2017 Ranger Tugs R-23 Outboard

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder


The new for 2017 R-23 is Ranger Tugs’ first and only outboard-powered model. The other seven models in the lineup from twenty-one to thirty-one feet are all diesel-powered inboards. To make this R-23 even more interesting, it is also available with a sterndrive. The standard power is a Yamaha 200 horsepower outboard; optionally available is a fresh water cooled 170 horsepower Volvo diesel Duo Prop sterndrive.

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The R-23 bridges the gap in Ranger Tugs’ lineup between the R-21 EC and the R-25 SC and offers an amazing amount of on board cruising amenities given its hull length of twenty-two feet, eight inches on a trailerable eight foot, six inch beam. Fully rigged with the outboard motor, it is another five feet longer.

So first consider this. The R-23 is essentially a twenty-three foot boat and yet it provides separated sleeping accommodation for six persons, two four-seater dinettes, a fully equipped galley, separate stand-up head compartment with shower, fully enclosed cabin with stand-up headroom, plus a usable entertaining cockpit. Hardly all seems possible but it is all there.

One of the first features you may notice on the R-23 is its unique two-section curved windshield with extended hardtop visor. When entering the R-23’s salon, you will immediately notice how bright and airy it is. There are two translucent overhead opening hatches in the V-berth plus four hull-side portlights, two translucent overhead opening hatches in the hardtop above the helm area fully surrounded by skylights, opening cabin side windows plus an almost full-height opening glass bulkhead plus a glass entry door and a fixed window at the rear of the cabin. Curtains and window covers for privacy are of course provided.

Almost all accoutrements for normal cruising are of course provided as standard equipment on the R-23. A hi-lo teak table in the V-berth area provides seating for four adults and with the filler cushion, converts to an adult berth for two. Aft of this berth on the starboard side is an enclosed head compartment with a marine head and wet shower. Opposite on the port side aft of the berth is a stainless steel sink with hot and cold water.

A couple of steps up and aft puts you on the teak and ebony sole of the salon area with driver’s helm with single seat to starboard and the four-seater convertible dinette to port with its forward hinged backrest providing a forward-facing double companion helm seat. All instrumentation at the helm is electronic from the single lever electronic shift and throttle control to the full Yamaha engine instrumentation including fuel-flow data, to the front and center Garmin 7610 GPS plotter with depth sounder and fish finder. A USB port is provided as is a VHF radio, trim tabs, plus two pantographic windshield wipers.

Aft of the helm is the galley with stainless steel sink, alcohol/electric cook top, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, some storage, plus both 110 and 12-volt power outlets. A fresh water level monitor is provided as is a stereo with four speakers, Bluetooth, AM/FM, and auxiliary input. Aircraft style LED indirect lighting bathes the cabin. Beneath the dinette table is a mid-berth with foam mattress suitable for sleeping smaller children or for use simply as a huge storage area.

The aft seatback of the port side dinette is reversible thus providing an aft-facing double seat. By opening the large glass bulkhead window up to its horizontal position and then opening the cabin glass entry door, a most sociable entertainment area is created in conjunction with the cockpit and its standard double-wide fold-out transom seat, cockpit table, and cockpit soft top canvas extension.

Other notable standard equipment included with the R-23 Outboard includes a full-width swim platform with concealed stainless steel boarding ladder, transom entry door, rooftop sports rack, fishing rod holders, vinylester hull bottom barrier coat, plus, note this, trailering lights built in to the hull providing brake, turn signal, reverse, and rear lights to augment normal trailer lighting. Clever.

Notable available factory options include a gas generator, 90 watt solar panel, anchor windlass with anchor and rode package, autopilot, bow thruster, radar, diesel forced air cabin heater, inverter, dockside air conditioning, aft cockpit sunshade, 9.9 hp Yamaha auxiliary motor with mounting bracket, swim platform rails, underwater lighting, plus a tandem axle aluminum trailer.

It is most obvious that the R-23 Outboard packs almost a full complement of the necessary cruising amenities into a most compact package. Easy to look at, easy to handle, and easy to live with. What more could you possibly want?

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Length: 22'8" 6.9 m
Beam: 8'6" 2.59 m
Dry weight: 5,000 lbs 2,268 kg
Draft: 2'6" 76 cm
Fuel Capacity: 75 US gals 284 L
Base Engine / Drive: Yamaha Outboard
Engine HP: 200
Fuel Type: Gas
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