- Aerated livewell/baitwell on front deck
- Minn Kota 70PD 60" BT trolling motor
- Driver and passenger air ride seats with seat slides
- Durable marine-grade carpet
- Fiberglass in-floor cooler
|Length Overall||18' 11'' / 5.77 m|
|Length on Trailer||
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||3.5 sec.|
|0 to 30||7.5 sec.|
|Props||19p 4-blade Revolution|
|Load||2 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||64 deg., 45 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: light chop|
1 x 225-hp Mercury XL 4-stroke
Contents of Report
- Mission Statement
- Major Features
- Features Inspection
- Ranger VX1888 WT Power Options
- The Stern
- The Cockpit
- The Helm
- The Bow
- Retail Price
- Options to Consider
Ranger designed its flagship aluminum VX1888 WT to be a boat that can handle less-than-ideal conditions and provide active families with the ability to do some serious fishing or serious playing. Fishing features include a 70-pound thrust Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics, and a livewell and for fun, there’s a Bluetooth stereo, and cell phone management stations with USB and 12-volt outlets.
• Seating for six behind the windshield
• Dual livewells
• Wood-free construction with Ranger foam flotation
• Lowrance Hook fishfinder
• Hydraulic steering
• Available with Mercury, Evinrude or Yamaha power
Power Choices. With so much consolidation taking place in the marine industry, having a choice of motor brands is becoming rare. Ranger offers the VX1888 WT with outboards from Mercury, Evinrude, and Yamaha ranging from 150 to 225-hp.
Ranger VX1888 WT Power Options
• 150 XL Pro XS FourStroke
• 175 XL FourStroke
• 175 XL FourStroke DTS
• 175 XL Pro XS FourStroke
• 200 XL FourStroke
• 200 XL Pro XS FourStroke
• 225 XL FourStroke
• 225 XL FourStroke DTS
• 225 XL Pro XS FourStroke
• H225HX G2
• F200XCA Digital
Our test boat was equipped with a Mercury 225 XL FourStroke and a dual-overhead cam design with 24 valves. Electronic fuel injection is computer controlled with Advanced Range Optimization. A 6” (15.24 cm) manual jackplate helps drivers fine-tune the boat’s trim and raises the motor when anglers want to get into shallow water.
The VX1888 WT’s shallow outboard well has weep holes to avoid collecting water. The transom gave us a good look at Ranger’s all-welded construction. Beneath our feet, the boat is built with Ranger foam flotation. The boat comes standard with SeaStar hydraulic steering and the only other connection between the boat and engine is a rigging tube. A screw-in inspection plate provides access to the bilge. Four pull-up cleats are on each side at the bow and stern, but we would think about relocating the fuel filter so it doesn’t get snagged by a dockline. A stainless-steel boarding ladder meets ABYC guidelines and freeboard measures 23” (58.42 cm) at the stern.
New for 2020, the VX1888 WT has a choice of graphics packages including, white, crystal red, charcoal metallic, midnight blue, carbon and fusion lime green. The high-gloss paint is baked on for improved durability.
Just forward of the transom on each side are hinged hatches. The lined hatch to port reveals open storage with a drain. To starboard, the hatch unveils the cranking battery that is appropriately secured and the standard Dual-Prop 6X3 charger. If tow sports are in the day’s plans, an optional ski tow pylon that screws into place is available.
The aft fishing deck spans 6’7” (2.01 m) by 3’5” (104.14 cm) at the deepest pockets on each side. The depth is 24” (60.96 cm) to make room for the motor well and the fiberglass fish station includes tool holders, two drink holders, two rod holders, a forward-facing compartment for Plano boxes, and a measuring stick. A latching hinged hatch conceals a 20-gallon (76 L) aerated and timed livewell.
The height from the top of the casting deck to the top of the cap rail is 20” (50.80 cm). A 10 ½” (27.67 cm) wide caprail with rubber nonskid adds safety. Jump seats on each side of the fish station fold up to add passenger capacity. The bottom cushions lift up to show 14” x 11 ½” x 9” (35.56 cm x 29.21 cm x 22.86 cm) storage compartments.
The VX1888 WT’s cockpit decking is covered in marine-grade nonskid vinyl that looks good and provides safe footing even when wet. Marine-grade carpet lines areas where nonskid decking isn’t needed.
All of the seats have custom marine upholstery color-matched to the boat’s graphics. The driver and companion travel in air-ride seats that also adjust fore and aft. The cockpit seat backs also fold down. With the bucket seats and aft jump seats, there’s seating for six behind the windshield. The boat is rated for a maximum of seven people and the total combined capacity for people, outboard and gear is 1,920 lbs. (871 kg).
A padded lockable rod-storage compartment is in the port bulwark and just above is a grab handle. Padded textured access panels enhance the VX1888 WT’s upscale feel. Outboard of the aft starboard fishing seat is an open compartment. Grab handles are outboard of the aft seats on each side.
The driver’s console is 5’1” (129.54 cm) tall from the sole to the top of the tempered glass windshield and the windshield itself is 18” tall (45.72 cm). The windshield bends at the corners to form a 90-degree angle and there’s no distortion from any angle.
Engine instruments are installed in a custom fiberglass console above the competition steering wheel. The gauge cluster includes a depthfinder, a tachometer, a speedometer and fuel and trim indicators. The Lowrance Hook-2 5” (12.70 cm) sits in clear view to the right of the wheel. The flush-mounted shift-throttle control is on the starboard bulwark in comfortable reach.
Below the controls are 12-volt, USB ports and livewell controls. Accessory switches are labeled with icons and the ignition key and a phone holder are angled up toward the driver. A drink holder is just aft of the panel. Directly ahead of the driver’s legs are storage with expandable cargo netting and a stereo speaker. In the port console are a locking glove box, grab handle, stereo controls, 12-volt and USB ports, a speaker, and a cell-phone holder. Between the two front seats, a 14” x 18” (45.72 cm x 25.40 cm) deep, insulated in-sole cooler is in convenient reach and it drains into the bilge.
Two latches release the center section of the windshield. The windshield passageway has two steps up from the sale that measure 6” (15.24 cm) and 11” (27.94 cm). The top step is a deck extension that lifts up to reveal the added purpose of the lower step. It’s a hinged, latched hatch that picks up on dual gas struts. Within this locker, another hatch picks up to reveal the trolling motor batteries.
With the deck extension in place, the forward casting deck measures 4’4” x 6’9” (1.32 m x 2.05 m). On the port side forward of the console, a hatch covers storage measuring 17” x 29” (43.18 cm x 73.66 cm). The compartment is 19” (48.26 cm) at the deepest point. For convenient maintenance, Ranger attached a wiring diagram to the inside of the hatch cover. A socket for a fishing chair is dead center on the casting deck. Directly forward of the helm station, a hatch opens the aerated 7-gallon (26.50-liter) baitwell. Just ahead is another locker measuring 13” x 16” (33.02 cm x 40.64 cm). The hatch just forward of the fishing chair socket uncovers the Minn Kota trolling motor foot control.
A fiberglass insert at the bow has space for a fishfinder with a screen up to 12” (.30 m). It also contains membrane switches for outboard motor trim, bow lights, and accessories plus two cup holders and tool slots. The VX1888 WT comes standard with a Minn Kota Powerdrive 70-lb. (32 kg), 60” (152.40 cm) BT trolling motor. The Minn Kota Terrova pictured is one of 10 upgrades available and they all mount on the port side of the bow.
Removable navigation lights install in a socket on the foredeck next to the Minn Kota heading sensor. Under-gunwale rod holders are on both sides of the bow.
The Trailer. The VX1888 WT comes on a custom-built Ranger Trail trailer. It has tandem axles with SM4700 brakes on 15” (38.10 cm) directional painted wheels and a tongue jack. To make it easier to fit into a garage, the trailer has a swing-away tongue. It also comes with waterproof lights, integrated load guides, and leaf springs. The trailer is certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association for meeting basic standards. Ranger Boats Road Armor protective finish is applied at the factory. The GVWR for the trailer is 4,700 lbs. (2,132 kg) so that will give an owner an idea of how much towing capacity is required to pull the boat and trailer package.
The Numbers. The VX1888 WT measures 18’11” (5.77 m) with an 8’6” (2.59 m) and a dry weight of 2,100 lbs. (953 kg). With two people, 47 gallons (178 L) of fuel and test equipment aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 3,286 lbs. (1,491 kg). We tested the boat with a 225-hp Mercury XL FourStroke outboard turning a 14 5/8” x 19” (37 cm x 48 cm) pitch 4-blade Revolution stainless-steel propeller.
With the engine peaking at 6000 rpm, we hit a top speed of 52.6 mph at 6000 rpm. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where we recorded 25.5 mph and burned 4.9 gallons per hour, resulting in 5.2 mph and a range of 220 statute miles while holding 10 percent of the boat’s 47-gallon (178 L) gas tank.
In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 3.5 seconds and had 12-degrees of bow rise, so use the motor’s power to get the bow down quickly. She ran through 20 mph in 5.9 seconds and through 30 mph in 7.5 seconds.
When it comes to handling, the VX1888 WT is an easy boat to drive. Being relatively light, she’s a little sensitive to trim. To get the boat to maximum speed, trim out the motor to about three-quarters on the gauge and she’ll sit up on the pad in the aft end of the running surface. Steering is a little resistive at low speeds because there’s no power assist. Once on plane, it becomes smooth and responsive.
Retail price with 225-hp Mercury XL FourStroke outboard and custom trailer: $41,995
Retail price with 225-hp Evinrude H225HX G2 outboard and custom trailer: $51,995
Retail price with 225-hp Yamaha F225XB outboard and custom trailer: $48,195
Options to Consider
• Choice of bow electronics from Garmin, Humminbird and Lowrance
• Choice of console electronics from Garmin, Humminbird and Lowrance
• Custom boat cover
• Stand-up top
• Digital gauges from Mercury, Yamaha or Evinrude
• Snap-in carpet
• Ski tow pylon
• Hydraulic tilt steering
• Fore and aft deck vinyl replaces carpet
• Front deck cushions
• Front trailer step
• Choice of trolling motor upgrades from Minn Kota or Motor Guide
The Ranger Boats VX1888 WT feels like more boat than her 19’ (5.79 m) and the boat is fun to drive. Part of the reason for that could have been that she was powered by the largest outboard available.
The value of the protection that a wraparound windshield provides is huge and the addition of an airdam to close the walkway would be a smart option that would let owners extend their seasons. For family boating, we would make the optional bow cushions standard equipment.