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Ranger Boats Z521L (2021-)

1 x 250-hp Mercury Pro XS



Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
600 3.3 2.9 0.7 4.7 4.1 216 188.2 62
1000 5.7 4.9 1.4 4.2 3.6 192 167 67
1500 7.5 6.5 2.5 3.1 2.7 141 122.2 70
2000 9.3 8.1 4.8 2 1.7 90 78.1 73
2500 20.2 17.5 5 4 3.5 185 160.8 81
3000 26.1 22.7 5.5 4.8 4.2 220 191.1 82
3500 30.8 26.8 6.6 4.7 4.1 216 187.7 82
4000 37.5 32.6 8.8 4.3 3.7 197 171.1 83
4500 43 37.4 11.2 3.9 3.4 177 153.9 84
5000 47.5 41.3 12.7 3.8 3.3 172 149.9 87
5500 58.5 50.9 19.7 3 2.6 136 118.5 89
5860 67.1 58.3 23 2.9 2.5 134 116.7 94

Specifications

Length Overall 21'8"
6.6 m
Beam 98"
2.48 m
Dry Weight 1,950 lbs.
884.50 kg
Tested Weight 2,952 lbs.
1,339 kg
Person Capacity 5
Fuel Capacity 51 gallons
193.06 L
Total Weight 2,952 lbs.
1,339 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Props 14 x 23
Load 2 persons; 12.75 gallons fuel; 50 lbs. gear
Climate 81 deg.; 10 humid.; winds: 5-10; seas: 1

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 250-hp Mercury Pro XS

Captain's Report

The Ranger Z521L Ranger Cup Fitted.

The Ranger Z521L is one of Ranger’s premier bass boats. Our test boat came Ranger Cup Equipped, which gives the boat all the bells and whistles a serious angler would need to be tournament ready. The L-series brings stylish designs, Ranger’s Ultra Comfort Seats, a Secure Engine Start Keypad, a custom trailer and functionality that makes this a quality boat live up to the Ranger name.

Major Features

  • Mercury 250 Pro XS engine.
  • Handmade Ultra-Comfort Seats
  • Power Ventilation Rod Storage
  • Minn Kota Fortrex 80 24V trolling motor
  • Hot Foot Throttle Pedal
  • Custom Matching Ranger Trailer

Performance and Handling

The Ranger Z521L has an LOA of 21’8” (6.6 m) and a beam of 98” (248.92 cm).  With an empty weight of 1,950 lbs. (885 kg), 25% fuel, two people and test equipment, we had an estimated test weight of 2,952 lbs. (1,339 kg). With the single 250-hp Mercury Pro XS turning a 14 x 23 prop and would up to 5860 RPM, our speed topped out at 67.1 MPH.  The best cruise was at 3000 RPM and 26.1 MPH.  At that speed, the 5.5 GPH fuel burn translated into 4.8 MPG and a range of 220 miles.

The Z521L was just a pleasure to drive and required little elevated skill to drive. This boat is designed for the average fisherman but performed like a professional angler’s boat. With her sharp handling characteristics and almost zero chine walk at top speeds, this boat truly lives up to the Ranger name.

Bow

The casting deck is all-carpeted over padding so it’s soft and completely eliminates fatigue when standing for long hours. The console has been reconfigured to accommodate longer rods that can be stored on this deck with the retractable rod-straps fully forward.

There are three storage compartments for rods and we noticed that none of them were carpeted to protect the gear. This is by design. Carpets hold moisture and that moisture gets transferred to your expensive gear. So not only are we making the compartment drier, but it’s also got a power ventilation system to further dry out the contents. Very slick. The port holds 10 8’ (2.44 m) rods, the center holds five 8’6" (2.59 m) rods in the first row and 5 9’ (2.74 m) rods in the second row while seven more rods go in the starboard compartment.

This Ranger Cup Equipped Z521L comes standard with a Minn Kota Fortrex 45” (114.30 cm) 24V trolling motor with foot pedal.
With the Ranger Cup Package, the Z521L comes standard with a 9” (22.86 cm) Lowrance HDS-7 Live graph at the bow. The panel on the bow can accommodate up to a 12” (30.48 cm) Garmin, Humminbird or Lowrance.
Boat Buckle brand retractable Rod Buckles come standard in this model.
The Z521L comes with ample storage space and four out of five compartments come standard with Rangers Power Ventilation Rod Storage. The center comes with Rod Storage Organizers to fit up to ten 7’ (2.13m) rods.
The aft port side storage bin is gel-coat lined, insulated, draining and could be used as a cooler.
The starboard side hatches are both lockable and can be vented with Ranger’s Patented Power Rod Ventilation system to help keep things dry.
The port side locker has rod storage for another ten 7’ (2.13m) poles. Both port, starboard and center storage lockers are vented.
Going down to the cockpit there is a 7” (17.78 cm) step that is also an insulated cooler, a tool holder to either side and a designated ruler holder.
Both seats have slide adjustments and a spring support system to help to alleviate some of the shock when running through chop or rough waters.
The helm comes standard with a 9” (22.86 cm) Lowrance display but the panel can fit up to a 16” (40.64 cm) unit. Ranger also gives you the option to substitute the Lowrance with a Humminbird or Garmin.
To the right of the steering wheel, there are two touchpads. The right side for inputting a code to start the engine and the left side touchpad is for accessory control buttons.
Between the seats is convenient storage with a lid hinged from the front. Inside is another USB port.
The nonskid surface on top of the center hatch allows it also to serve as a 13” (33.02 cm) step to the aft casting platform.
The portside console is optional and has a large glove style compartment that is not only deep but comes with two USB connections and a 12V outlet.
To the port side in the gunwale is Rangers “Running Rod Holder” with tie-down buckle strap that can hold up to eight rods of almost any length.
The aft casting platform is 6’10” x 3’10” (2.08 m x 1.67 m) and has a 4” (10.16 cm) toe rail.
The port and starboard side storage compartments in the aft casting platform are gel-coated and just like every other storage locker on the boat, they are insulated. The center two hatches is a divided Livewell that is equipped with an oxygenator timer and recirculatory.

At the aft deck, there’s plenty of workspace and the area underneath the deck is packed with features. For starters, Ranger has long been known as a company that continually makes improvements to its livewells. Here, two hatches in the center reveal a single 31-gallon (117 L) livewell with a divider and redundancy in the form of two pumps and two oxygenators. Large dry storage compartments are to both sides of that Livewell. And a single position pedestal base accommodates the second removable seat.

A receiver in the center will accommodate a standard pedestal bicycle seat or this optional fold-down seat.
A compartment against the transom holds the batteries, two trolling and one engine start, and Ranger went with lithium batteries for the Z521L. They chose lithium for its lighter weight and ability to pull full power until it's dead. In the center is the battery charger. To the left is the battery switch that allows you to use the trolling batteries for starting the engine.
There are two stylized draining vents in the transom that can be used to help with reboarding, but their main purpose is to help stop water from going over the transom when slowing down.
Our test boat came with a 6” (15.24 cm) manually-operated jackplate, but Ranger offers the option to have a hydraulically-operated jackplate installed to further help the boat's trimming capability.

Options to Consider

The Z521L is fully customizable with a vast amount of upgrades to choose from -- from stern to bow. Our boat came with the Ranger Cup Package which includes such things as Lowrance HDS 12” graph on the console and bow, two 8’ (2.43 m) power poles, Minn Kota Ultrex 112 US trolling motor, three Lithium trolling motor batteries, Hot Foot, Trim Lever, Remote Pump-out and Challenger trailer wheel upgrade for an additional $4,600. There is also the option for a Z521L Touring package instead, which would give you a Dual Pro Battery Gauge, Hamby’s Keel Protector, Oxygenator Livewell system, Deluxe Boat Cover, and Trailer parking brake for only $1,590 more. But even if buyers don’t want to splurge on the packages, there are so many options to choose from to design this boat for the buyer's wants and needs.

Price

  • Standard Ranger Z521L                                           $75,295
  • Z521L Ranger Cup Equipped                                  $79,895
  • Z521 Touring Package W/ Dual Pro Charger           $76,885

Observations

For 52 years, Ranger has been setting a standard of excellence in the industry and this boat is one of many prime examples that they still are. With its high build quality and its premium features, this boat will satisfy the average Joe fisherman or the Tournament angler.