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Ranger Boats Z521L Comanche (2018-)

1 x 250-hp Mercury 250 Pro XS OptiMax

Brief Summary

The name “Ranger” has long been synonymous with premium-level fishing machines, so when the company’s 50th anniversary rolled around this year, it was easy to envision that the design team had to come up with something spectacular… something that represents the culmination of everything Ranger has learned from 50 years of design and customer feedback. Well, never being ones to disappoint, it’s this mindset that gave birth to the crème de la crème, the Ranger Z521L Comanche. What does the “L” stand for? It’s the Roman numeral for 50.

Key Features

  • Adjustable driver and passenger seats
  • Dual passenger grab handles
  • Carpetless storage boxes
  • Exclusive LED light package
  • Patented Power Ventilation Rod Storage
  • Dual livewell lids
  • Lowrance HDS7T Carbon at bow and HDS9T Carbon at console
  • Padded front deck

Test Results

600 3.2 2.7 0.3 10.5 9.1 501 435.5 74
1000 5 4.3 0.9 5.6 4.8 265 230.4 70
1500 6.6 5.7 2 3.3 2.8 156 135.8 77
2000 7.6 6.6 4.3 1.8 1.6 85 74.2 81
2500 8.5 7.4 6.8 1.3 1.1 60 52.2 88
3000 18.5 16 9.1 2 1.8 97 84.1 91
3500 33.4 29 9.1 3.7 3.2 176 152.9 91
4000 43.5 37.8 9.7 4.5 3.9 215 186.8 92
4500 51.4 44.7 13.8 3.7 3.3 178 155.1 93
5000 32.9 28.6 16.9 2 1.7 93 81 96
5500 64.6 56.1 23.1 2.8 2.4 133 115.9 96
5600 66.7 58 23.1 2.9 2.5 138 119.7 96


Length Overall 21' 7'' / 6.58 m
Beam 97''
2.46 m
Dry Weight 1,925 lbs.
873 kg
Tested Weight 2,663 lbs.
1,208 kg
Draft N/A
Max Headroom open
Weight Capacity 1,700 lbs.
771 kg
Fuel Capacity 53 gal.
201 L
Water Capacity N/A
Length on Trailer 26' 5"
Total Weight 2,663 lbs.
1,208 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 5.6 sec.
0 to 30 9.8 sec.
Ratio N/A
Props 24 Fury
Load 2 persons, full load of fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of fuel
Climate 64 deg., 45 humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: 0

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 250-hp Mercury 250 Pro XS OptiMax
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power Not Available

Captain's Report

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche

The all-new Ranger Boats Z521L Comanche is the crown jewel of the lineup with everything an angler would want, all rolled into one superbly performing tournament-level bass boat.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche

The Ranger Z521L Comanche's layout.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ranger excellence, the company recently released the newest flagship of the line, the Z521L Comanche. Now to be clear, the term flagship doesn’t necessarily translate to biggest, but in this case, it’s more appropriate to say that it does mean top of the line as far as features go. It’s literally the latest and greatest. It takes all the lessons learned in 50 years of experience and customer feedback.

Most importantly, she maintains the legendary Ranger running surface that we’ve come to appreciate. This is a “minimum workload” ride in that there’s no chine-walk that we typically see in bass boats. Just hit the throttle and drive off to the weigh-in at top speed.

Features Inspection


While at first glance, the layout may seem typical, it is in fact, all new. As the market and customers continue to evolve, so must Ranger. And evolve it did.
For starters, the need for larger and larger electronics is met here with a stunning 12” (30.5 cm) flush-mounted display at the bow. Digital switching is alongside that includes switches for lights and engine trim.

Just behind is a tool holder and stainless steel drink holder. And behind that is the foot control for the 112-pound-thrust trolling motor (50.80 kg), in a recessed pocket making it less intrusive.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche bow profile

The bow is the main “office” on the Z521L Comanche and it is feature packed.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche bow features

The bow accommodates a 12” (30.5 cm) flush-mounted display with electronic switching alongside. The foot control is recessed behind a tool and drink holder.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche bow pedestal

There’s a pedestal seat with two positions to receive that pedestal. This will allow the seat to accept anglers of varying sizes and still have them be able to properly reach the trolling motor foot control.

Continuing aft, 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, 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.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche bow storage

The bow storage compartments utilize Ranger’s PVRS (Power Ventilated Rod Storage) system to keep the contents dry.

Further back are three more storage compartments, with two being able to be configured as coolers.

The hatches are all supported with gas struts so we can load and remove items with one hand. The turn-and-latch type latches are all lockable. Sorters are included to keep the gear separated, and all hatches are gasketed with a triple lip seal around a raised edge.

Center Work Station

If the bow is the office then this center area, adjacent to the helm, is the workstation that supports the office and it’s set up for exactly that purpose. Now, just as we need to accommodate the demands for more and more electronics, so do we need to accommodate more and more tools. Ranger placed tool holders to the right and left of the step/seat and it includes a pull-out measuring bar. In the center, at deck level, is a place for a landing net.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche center station

The center workstation supports the working offices fore and aft.

Port Console Position

On our single console setup, far and away the preferred setup of pro anglers, the left side held more running rod storage. The dash had the infinity stereo that is Bluetooth ready but still includes MP3 and USB connectivity just alongside.

Ranger Boats Z521L Comanche rod storage

The space alongside the passenger has running rod storage racks. A stereo is in the center.

Aft Casting Deck

At the aft deck, there’s plenty of workspace. And underneath the deck, the area is feature packed. 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.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche

A single, feature packed 31-gallon (117 L) livewell is under the aft casting deck.

Battery Management

At the aft end of the rear casting deck is a re-imagined battery compartment that is among the best we’ve seen. It includes all batteries, a switch that includes a charge and parallel feature, the battery charger, and remote oil reservoir for the engine. On the lid is an electrical schematic for making short work of troubleshooting any problems.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche battery compartment

This is what our idea of a well laid battery compartment is… and apparently Ranger’s too.


How often do we ever include a section on the transom in a bass boat? Well we are here and with good reason. This model includes features, such as (A) a remote oil fill, (B) a remote drain plug, (C) an external battery charger, (E) pultruded fiberglass for greater strength and durability, and (F) a battery level indicator that advises when the batteries are low and in need of a charge plus it can be connected to your smartphone to send notifications. To both sides are (D) stainless integrated grab handles with one being used as a grab handle for the portside reboarding ladder.
Ranger Boats 521L Comanche


The helm is not without it’s upgrades. Just as the bow accommodated larger electronics, so did the panel here, this time with a whopping 16” (40.6 cm) display. Gauges are below and Ranger utilizes multi-function gauges to cut down on the clutter. A modest windscreen is just above the console and we did notice that it did a fine job of deflecting the 67 mph winds while operating at speed.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche display

Ranger’s new helm console accommodates a 16” (40.6 cm) display in the panel.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche gauges

Below the MFD are gauges for quick glances at current conditions. We can also switch the display to read this information.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche helm panel

Below and to the right, is a reconfigured digital switch panel. Below, the console includes a second set of USB and MP3 connectivity ports.

The seats are unique to the L series. They’re wider, seatbacks are higher, and they’re better padded…. The helm seat has always been on a slider, now the passenger seat is as well. The center step between the seats is covered in non-skid. Inside is a great place for quick-place items like cell phones and wallets. It’s held open with a gas strut and closes on a lift-and-lock latch.


The Ranger Z521L Comanche has a LOA of 21’7” (6.58 m) and a beam of 8’2” (2.49 m). With an empty weight of 1,925 lbs. (873 kg), full fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 2,663 lbs. (1,208 kg).

With a 250-hp Mercury Pro XS OptiMax turning a 24-pitch Fury propeller, we reached a top speed of 66.7 mph at 5600 rpm, and she could keep that speed up for 138 miles. Pulled back to a best cruise setting of 4000 rpm and 43.5 mph, her fuel burn was 9.7 gph which produced a range of 215 mpg while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 53-gallon (201 L) total fuel capacity.

From a dead start we hit the throttle and got up on plane in 5.6 seconds. She accelerated to 20 mph in 7 seconds, hit 30 in 9.8 seconds and 40 came and went in 12.9 seconds.


She’s got the legendary Ranger hull, so hit the throttle, then the trim to get that stern up on the pad, and the rooster tail kicks in and off she’ll go. No need to struggle with chine walk because there isn’t any, just go. Of course, as with any high speed bass boat, straight ahead is the way to go…. Turns at this speed aren’t a good idea. She’ll start to wobble over chop, and once through, it’s back to top speed.

Ranger Boats 521L Comanche running

Here is the Z521L Comanche riding up on that stern pad. The bow is slightly elevated and she’s kicking up that rooster tail. The stern is the only part of the boat in the water and it is here that she’ll be running up to her top speed.


The Z521L Comanche comes packaged with a standard trailer that includes matching fiberglass fenders and trailer step, hydraulic surge brakes, Ranger’s Cool Hub lubrication system, aluminum wheels including a spare, swing-away tongue, a swing jack, retractable tie downs, LED lighting, and Road Armor Equipped protectant.


If there were ever an argument for making a good thing better, the Ranger Boats Z521L Comanche is certainly making the point. In addition to all these features, she’s got the running surface we so appreciate, the foam-filled construction, a pultruded fiberglass transom and fiberglass stringers. The end result is a boat worthy of being noted for demonstrating all that Ranger has to offer, rolled into one legendary boat.