Fishing more like a 20-footer, the 186 XT has the fishability you need to go from the office to the lake, or fish a weekend tournament near your home. This complete boat, motor, trailer package is rated for up to 115-hp outboard power and has 23 gallons of fuel capacity.
- Cranking/Trolling Motor Battery
- Fiberglass Stringers
- Flush Mounted Remote Throttle Control
- Modular Console
- Minn Kota® Edge 40 lb 36" Trolling Motor 12V
- No Feedback Steering
- All Composite Transom
- Aerated Livewell with Timer
- Aluminum Prop
- On Board 1x6 Minnkota Charger
- Plush Marine Grade Carpet
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Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane
|0 to 30
1.75 : 1
Mercury Revolution 4 Stainless Steel 19 4-blade
2 people, 5/8 fuel, no water, minimal gear
Temp: 48 deg., humidity: 49%, wind: 10 mph, seas: chop
1 x 115-hp Yamaha Outboards
|Gelcoat Warranty Extended
||No/ Only by review
|Hull Warranty Extended
||Lifetime (original owner)
Well-Equipped Rig at a Good Value
By Capt. Robert Smith
Ranger continues to build on the advantages of the popular 176XT. The extra length is focused up front adding about 15 inches to the fishing deck. Another important part of the package is the custom trailer that now comes with the Ranger Road Armor protection.
From the Bow
The fishing space on the bow is more like what you would expect on a 20-footer. Stepping to either gunwale, you find the value of the wide beam and design that doesn’t have you staggering back to the center to keep from swamping your own boat. The carpet covers the entire deck softening each step and keeping things stealthy. To port is a standard 40 pound 12-volt trolling motor with the wired foot control mounted to the center. The starboard side of the front has a step pad for sure footing when deploying the trolling motor or boosting yourself up on the front with the boat on the trailer.
Across the aft end of the bow deck you have a spot to put a casting seat or chair and three lockers. Two outboard lockers hold a ton of gear and tackle while the center locker has a 7’6” rod locker. Of course the storage is all lockable to keep your stuff secure when you’re not around.
Stepping down into the cockpit, you have plenty of room to stretch out for the ride out to the fishing hole. The buddy seat has a running rod holder for two rods and a bungee strap at the top edge to hold it in place. Rubber pads protect the deck finish and the reels from damage. Both you and your fishing crew have cup holders for your morning coffee at your side. Seating is three across with fold-over seat backs and storage under the center seat. The driver’s footwell is deep enough that I was comfortable at the helm, and I am 6 feet tall.
Aft Casting Platform
Working our way on back, the aft casting deck is still large enough to work the banks with your partner. You have room to keep your catch alive in a center livewell with removable center divider. Just outboard of the ends of the livewell are two more storage lockers for gear and tackle. Across the aft edge of the deck is a hatch for access to the batteries, on-board charger, oil reservoir and bilge plumbing. Locate on each corner are step pads for sure footing.
This model has a custom matched single axle trailer with swing-away tongue. The frame is 4-inch steel channel protected by Road Armor coating. The spare is side mounted and you have grease hubs on the wheels. You can opt for disc brakes. On the trailer, the package is 20’1” with the tongue opened up and 98” wide.
The overall length of the 186XT hull is 18’9”. She has a beam width of 89” and a transom height of 21”. This model is rated for up to 115hp and I tested it with a Yamaha 115hp 2 stroke. She weighs about 1,450lbs and has a fuel capacity of 23 gallons. The center rod lockers can store rods up to 7’6”. The cockpit depth is 16 ½”.
This boat will please the speed demon fisherman both with her budget friendly price and amazing performance for her size using a 2-stroke. With two grown guys on board, she seemed glued to the water with only a slight wiggle when trying to finesse the last tenth of a mile per hour at top end. She was out of the hole quickly in 3.1 seconds, and reached 30mph in about 7.7 seconds with two guys on board and 5/8ths of a tank of fuel. She reached a maximum of 51.6mph at 5600rpm and reached a best cruise of 31.6mph at 3500rpm for a total cruising range of 272 miles.
With an economy slumping and budgets breaking, it is harder to find a value product with exceptional performance. I believe the Stratos fills the bill of delivering a bass rig under 19 feet that fishes like a 22 footer, yet is budget friendly. When most deliver just the basics for budget friendly values, Stratos seems to be raising the bar.