George Liddle and Pat Kleppert Chat 11/19/03

 

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm Walleye Central welcome for George Liddle of Ranger boats!!
Driftr - Welcome George Liddle!!!!!
ebijack - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!
Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!!!
mrbreeze - Clap, clap!!
Fishnmagician - Clap, clap, clap!!!
JCWI - Clap, clap!
Juls - Clap, clap, clap, clap, welcome George!
ebijack - What's new for the Ranger trailers George?
George Liddle - Thanks everyone. I'm glad Pat Kleppert is able to join us also to help field some of the questions.
Chatman - Welcome Pat!!!
Juls - Cool!
Driftr - Welcome Pat Kleppert!!!
Driftr - :)
walleyeus - Guys, is a 623 in the cards?
ebijack - Pat, the answer man! :)
Chatman - Between Pat and George, there is a ton of knowledge about Ranger Boats...
Slapshot - Are there any changes to the 620 tiller for 2004? I ran one last season and all I can say is it may be one of the best riding and fishing boats I have been in!
George Liddle - Some of the changes in the boats would be a new console design to accept flush mounting large units such as X-15's and VHF radios at the same time. And still allowing for ram mount applications. The trailers have taken a significant change in fender design. And I will let Pat explain the new 25" transom on the 620's.
Pat Kleppert - I don't know about the answer man but I will try to help get everyone up to speed on what is new at Ranger.
Dave34 - Are there any new RCL models in the Fisherman series?
George Liddle - The trailers have new armor coat finish. Which, is basically a bed liner finish on the complete trailer frame. It also comes in assorted colors. The fender has been redesigned with a step between the wheels on the tandem. And LED lights are standard equipment. 
Pat Kleppert - With the emphasis on XL motors, we made the transom on the 620 25", now we can install the four stroke motors and still have a wide variety of DFI motors as well.
ebijack - Pat with the 25 inch transoms, does the Ranger sit any higher in the water at the transom?
Pat Kleppert - The RCL package is available on the 617, 619, 620 and 621, there are two color schemes and the package comes equipped with electronics, a trolling motor and a kicker.
Dave34 - Sounds good!
Juls - Is there still a step in front of the wheels too? That's the one I use to get in and out of the boat...
Pat Kleppert - The 25" transom will help when trolling in big waves and the boat lifts a little better when on plane.
George Liddle - One improvement the 25" transom has made is we have really improved performance of the 620 hull.
ebijack - With Ranger dominating the tourney circuits, what's the next step?
Pat Kleppert - The new fenders also have a step between the wheels to help get in and out of the boat.
Juls - The key word being, "also!" Thanks Pat! ;-)
Slapshot - I know the 25 inch transom in the 620 T makes a big difference!
George Liddle - Ranger really wants to learn from the tournament circuit and the tournament fisherman on how to build the best boats to withstand the conditions and making them the most fishable. They work really hard at that. The tournament circuits have been a big asset to the development of our walleye boats.
Pat Kleppert - Input from tournament fishermen has been very instrumental in guiding the design of our boats, walleye and bass and saltwater anglers alike.
Slapshot - A Great tournament support team as well! They are always around to make sure things are going well.
George Liddle - Thanks for mentioning that.
matt thompson - Hey, they work for musky also!
Pat Kleppert - One thing on the 620 that is also new is the bait well in front of the driver's console.
Chatman - Frank is definitely an asset to the anglers as well as the company. Parnell too!
George Liddle - Something else that's new is the 618 tiller. 18' 4" in length and 90" wide rated for 90 hp. We feel that this really helps the walleye line.
Driftr - George, where are the batteries mounted now?
Chatman - How does the 25 inch transom make a difference in the performance of the hull? Besides the obvious following wave issue that it will eliminate.
Pat Kleppert - I forgot about Musky fishermen, we have a 195M that has a 50" live well!!
Dave34 - How soon will the new info show up on the Ranger website?
George Liddle - The batteries are still mounted in the rear storage boxes of the wheel boats.
Pat Kleppert - The 25" transom helps the motor dig deeper providing better bow lift.
George Liddle - The new info should show up, on Rangers web site, the first of the year.
Dave34 - Any promos like the "Gotcha Covered" from last year?
Slapshot - That will be a great addition. I know when I have my 620 tiller out people ask about one smaller. 
ebijack - What's the biggest difference in the new 2004 620?
George Liddle - Dave, I don't know of any promos coming in the future.
Dave34 - Glad I took advantage of it last year!! Actually this past spring...
Pat Kleppert - The new consoles look better and allow for more flush mounted electronics, we also added the digital switching and starting touch pads. 
Chatman - No more lost keys!
matt thompson - Is the Genmar boat show going to happen again this year?
Juls - I ordered the manual ignition switch option too, just in case! LOL!
Juls - I can't wait to see my new boat, it will be done Dec. 17th!! Merry Christmas to ME! Heheh!
Pat Kleppert - I expect some more Genmar shows, but no word has been given yet.
ebijack - What boat are you going to run in 2004 Juls?
George Liddle - Dave, I'm not saying there will not be any promos, I am just not aware of any at this time. We will just have to wait and see. I think we can also expect more Genmar boat shows coming in the spring. But they would be after the normal shows. 
Juls - A 621 Ebi.
ebijack - There was a dealer meeting this past week for the shows here in Michigan.
Dave34 - Cool, I understand you can't always let the cat out of the bag too soon!
Pat Kleppert - Ebijack, was that for all the shows or just Cobo?
Juls - I ran the 621 this year and she was a sweet boat! It made my job easy. Now, if I could just catch more fish!! ;-)
Slapshot - I haven't really tried too hard to sell my 620 tiller. I like the boat way too much! Plus, I would hate to strip the Cabela's wrap off and run it another year without a wrap, it protects the boat so well!
Guest - Hello George Tim from Spirit Lake, IA here.
Juls - You betcha! That's smart thinking Mike!
George Liddle - What would the fisherman like to see in the next generation of boats? 
matt thompson - Agreed, I was fortunate enough to run a 2004 621 this season and I loved it!
George Liddle - Hi Tim!
Slapshot - Personally, I would love to see some kind of battery operated cooler systems.
iboat - How about more room in the rear for trollers?
matt thompson - More fish in my live well!
Pat Kleppert - George talked about it earlier but the new Road Armor is fantastic, it should eliminate stone chips and keep the trailer looking great for many years. 
Chatman - Electronically temperature controlled livewells...
Juls - LOL! Matt, I agree! ;-)
George Liddle - Matt you need that option.
Dave34 - I have a 617 RCL and I'm hard pressed to suggest any major changes. I like what you've done with the trailer for '04. It would be nice to have a little longer tubes in the center rod storage, but with a 17'8" boat, I know it's kind of tough to do.
George Liddle - How are our horsepower ratings?
sevenmmm - The Rangers do have nice paint schemes. I often wonder what the most favored color is?
George Liddle - Red never goes out of style. But white is also a very popular color.
matt thompson - To me the horse power ratings always seem to be conservative.
Orange Whip - It would be nice to see the HP rating on the 620T go up a little.
George Liddle - Is the storage adequate?
Slapshot - The 620 tiller could be rated for a 150. They would get a 10 out of 10 if they did.
Pat Kleppert - If we had more room in the back for trolling, how would eliminating/reducing the rear storage boxes be?
Orange Whip - Storage on all the Rangers seems really nice.
Juls - Don't do it Pat, we need that storage! There is already plenty of room!
Dave34 - The storage is adequate on the 617 RCL because I have a 4-stroke and no oil reservoir and can use that space for storage. The only quirk is you cannot open the left bow storage door unless the windshield is closed.
George Liddle - Don't do it Pat.
Pat Kleppert - OK, I was just asking.
sevenmmm - What's the longest boat Ranger is building?
ebijack - Is there going to be another Mike James boat raffle?
George Liddle - Pat, I miss-spoke I agree with you on smaller rear storage boxes.
matt thompson - How about storage trays in the battery boxes?
Pat Kleppert - We actually make a 23' bay boat for saltwater, Sevenmmm.
George Liddle - Matt that's a great suggestion.
ebijack - Or, how about moving the batteries up front of the consoles for weight distribution?
Slapshot - George have you had a chance to see Moritz Marine's new building yet?
Juls - On which boat George? What storage would you make smaller? We need that storage on the 621's! Crankbait boxes fit in there perfectly and we carry a ton of them.
Pat Kleppert - I agree with Matt also, good suggestion.
George Liddle - I have seen their building it is awesome.
Chatman - It would be nice to see a layout where you could get closer to the transom for netting fish, but I am not sure how that would be done and not impact the storage.
George Liddle - I guess my question would be can we use more floor space behind the console?
ebijack - In the 621, no. In the 620, yes.
ebijack - IMHO
Pat Kleppert - Ebijack, by moving the batteries forward, it would add a lot of weight up front and the batteries would get worked over pretty good.
Juls - Hey, I've got a 37" inseam, which means long legs, and there is plenty of room! Please don't change the 621, it's perfect!
ebijack - Worked over?
Fishnmagician - Pat, Lund does it.
Chatman - The batteries, I think, should be in the rear for weight distribution and for not shakin em silly as Pat mentions. IMHO.
matt thompson - I've gotta run, Thanks and I'll talk to you soon George!
Slapshot - The scary part of the older Rangers and I haven't looked at a newer one as of late. But you learn in a quick hurry never to measure a fish during a tournament on the top of the back livewell!! I had a partner make that mistake and a 4 pounder slid right back into the drink! :)
ebijack - So does Crestliner.
Pat Kleppert - The more forward you put the batteries, the more they bounce around.
George Liddle - Juls don't worry we're not going to change your boat. Just brain storming.
Juls - Ouch Mike! That had to hurt! :-( 
Juls - Oky-doky then, I'll take a deep breath and relax now! Thanks George! ;-)
Chatman - LOL!
ebijack - The rear step, so to speak, on the Rangers is great for laying the catfish/sheephead and unhooking then dumping back into the drink.
Pat Kleppert - We were thinking of you on that one ebijack!
Juls - I agree Ebi, I do the same thing!!
ebijack - :)
George Liddle - Any feed back on the MWC moving to the East?
Chatman - A great idea!
ebijack - Are there any changes to the transom to help carry weight of the big 4 strokes?
Pat Kleppert - The Saginaw MWC should be great.
Juls - I think it will help them grow George. There are a lot of folks out East that would like a chance to fish the MWC without putting the miles on to do the Central Division.
Driftr - Amen to that Juls! :)
sevenmmm - New York and Pennsylvania are full of walleye fisherman, think it's a good move and bet it'll draw a lot of attention!
George Liddle - The 621 and the 620 have 25" transoms to accommodate the new 4 stroke outboards.
Juls - I think so too.
Chatman - More willing anglers than a lot of people realize Sevenmmm...
Driftr - Henderson Harbor is going to be a real good one for big fish.
Driftr - Lake Ontario's Huron!
Slapshot - The one thing I will say about Ranger and I think everyone will agree. They pay close attention to detail and the end results show! It is hands down the most solid and finished boat on the market!
ebijack - Ranger is top of the line, bench mark for detail, fit and finish!
sevenmmm - That's a brave thing to say to a Ranger Rep! LOL!
Pat Kleppert - The 25" transom also allows us to put more floatation foam in the transom area as well.
Slapshot - LOL!!
George Liddle - Thanks for your comments The people in Flippin Arkansas really work hard at that. And Ranger has just been awarded its third JD Power award in a row.
Chatman - Cool. ;-)
ebijack - Ranger does outdistance everyone else as far as boats field in most every tourney, both walleye and bass.
Pat Kleppert - Thanks for the compliments.
ebijack - The Ranger cup really adds a touch no one else can reach.
Chatman - How many walleye circuits is Ranger a sponsor of George?
ebijack - More fisher people than circuits.
Juls - The hull design on the 621 was a major improvement over the 620 as far as ride was concerned. It was much smoother. Now with the 620 getting the same design, it too will be an improved ride over the old 620's. It's nice to see Ranger working so hard to advance, and achieving that goal.
George Liddle - Ranger is also starting in 2004, the Ranger Owners Group. All the new boat buyers will become members automatically . Which entitles the customer to some nice gifts along with a quarterly news letter and automatic registration into the Ranger Cup.
ebijack - Another step forward for owning a Ranger.
George Liddle - I'm not sure how many circuits we are currently involved with Ralph.
Juls - That sounds good George.
Driftr - I see one in Ebi's future! :)
Juls - LOL!
Chatman - LOL!
Slapshot - I am not sure what they did to the 620 tiller hull but it is one of the smoothest and driest I have been in!
ebijack - Ranger also (which is important to me an a lot of others) runs the smallest width trailers per given boat than anyone else.
George Liddle - 620 has been a great boat.
ebijack - You got that right Driftr!!
ebijack - Pat knows! :)
Dave34 - I like the trailer width also, it makes a good garage fit!
Chatman - It's nice to see a surge in popularity in the mid to large sized tiller boats. George, your area has to be the capital for tiller boats in the nation! There are a few tiller jockeys around here too.
Pat Kleppert - What does everyone think about the future of outboard motors? What will be the most popular in the future?
gmb - I am a little late, so sorry if you have already answered this, but is anything new on the 2004, 621?
sevenmmm - What is the width of the trailer?
ebijack - 98 inches for the 620 trailer.
Pat Kleppert - Ebijack, I will bring my 621 over and see if it fits in your garage!
ebijack - 2 strokes, you know me Pat!
sevenmmm - What's the width of the 620?
ebijack - If you can get it up the driveway Pat! :)
Driftr - I like what I hear about Bombardiers E-Tech.
Chatman - Me too Jim!
Dave34 - On the 617, it's about 94" wide, about 6" wider than the boat.
Fishnmagician - I like DFI's, still.
Chatman - Lighter and faster 4 strokes, and designs like the E-Tech and Merc's X motor...
Pat Kleppert - The width on the 620 is listed at 98" on the trailer.
ebijack - The E Tech controls the opening and closing of each injector which is something completely new!
sevenmmm - The trailer doesn't go beyond the width of the boat?
gmb - Thanks!
Chatman - Not really Sevenmmm..
Pat Kleppert - The boat is 941/2' wide so the trailer is just a little wider.
ebijack - Most "city" homes here, have a 103 inch opening to get into the back yard.
Pat Kleppert - We will try this spring when I'm in town.
sevenmmm - Hmm, I never did drive down the road with one in tow. That's pretty neat.
Mark Broderick - The 620 has a new hull for 04??
gmb - Is the 2004, 621 going to have any new features, or will the features be the same as the 2003 models?
ebijack - Other Genmar trailers are 103 if you go to a 19ft long or greater length boat.
Fishnmagician - Ebi, then a 102 is no problem, right? Hehehe!
Juls - new for 2004 is a 25" transom, Mark B.
Driftr - My Crestliner had a 103 wide trailer.
ebijack - I run a 101 inch wide trailer right now. :) It's a very tight fit, with a few scrapes on the trailer :)
Mark Broderick - Very nice!
Driftr - My boat had a 100 1/2 inch beam.
Chatman - That was a wide boy!
George Liddle - The 621 for '04 has redesigned fenders as do all the fisherman series for 2004. The fenders have a built in step along with LED lights. 
Driftr - Ralph, it is tight on small roads too!
Pat Kleppert - Gmb, the 621 didn't change much. There are new consoles and digital touch pad starting.
ebijack - What's the width for the trailer on the new 621?
gmb - Thanks!
George Liddle - The 621's width is 101 inches.
Juls - The 621 will have a new digital key pad starting system, and the buttons that were usually by the drivers right knee will be right above the key pad on the dash, Gmb.
Fishnmagician - In Minnesota, 102" is the widest we can tow, I think.
Chatman - I can imagine Jim. I used to cringe crossing the 41 bridge over the Menominee River! Those are some narrow lanes! Or on a Mississippi River bridge...eeesh!
ebijack - Anything new with the seats for 2004?
Chatman - Has George or Pat missed any questions so far?
Juls - The new dash looks pretty darn cool if you ask me. Not that "cool" will catch any more fish, but it's still "cool". Heheh!
George Liddle - The seats are a three colored seat this year. And we include 4 SRS seats instead of 2. (soft ride system)
gmb - Yeah, but it's good to be cool! LOL! If you don't catch any fish, at least you will look cool!
Driftr - The new 10" Lowrance should fit on the new dash.
Juls - Sweet!
Dave34 - Those SRS seats are the greatest!!
Juls - I'll let you know Drift'r. ;-)
George Liddle - Pat do you know about the Lowrance?
Driftr - Is the SRS like a Glyde Ride?
Pat Kleppert - I'm not sure George, the dash looks pretty big though. 
Driftr - Old eyes need big screens! :)
Juls - I'll let you know Pat. ;-)
George Liddle - The SRS seating has a spring system built into the seat itself. Not an additional spring system on the pedestal.
ebijack - I've read in the fishing magazines that you can order your Ranger most any way you want, foot pedal, dash layout, gauges etc. Is that true?
Juls - Are you in a Ranger now Drift'r???
Chatman - No, he's in his desk chair...
Driftr - I run a Crestliner, Juls.
Juls - I'm confused now! LOL!!
Driftr - LOL! Ralph!
George Liddle - Rangers are custom built boats.
Chatman - Sorry, couldn't resist, the class clown in me was coming out! LOL!!
Juls - ;-)
ebijack - Ranger had an article in the FLW magazine about that.
Dave34 - George, can you retro-fit a 2003 trailer with LED lights?
FreeByrd - George, how many boats does Ranger produce every year? Just a ballpark number?
gmb - Are there any recommendations on whether to get a tiller or remote steering for a kicker motor, on the 621?
Driftr - Juls, if there were a 50-year finance term I may be able to swing it in my budget!
George Liddle - No retro-fit for the lights, sorry.
George Liddle - Somewhere under a million boats annually.
FreeByrd - Wow!
Chatman - LOL!!!
sevenmmm - What is the best way for a newbie tournament fisherman to get considered for a Ranger sponsorship?
gmb - LOL!
Slapshot - Wow!
FreeByrd - Just how far under a million?
ebijack - It depends on your application Gmb, and what you're comfortable with.
gmb - That's a pretty big range George! LOL!!
Pat Kleppert - The kicker is a matter of choice Gmb. We can do either.
Chatman - All boat manufacturers, are somewhere under a million a year...LOL!!
George Liddle - Sevenmmm, you have to work with your local dealer first for any consideration on the promotional staff.
ebijack - Or you can do both, like I do Gmb.
Pat Kleppert - I echo George on that.
gmb - I was considering a Yamaha T8 with a tiller, I'm not sure I like the throttle controls being under the primary throttle control.
ebijack - George or Pat, when will the 621 be rated for a 300hp?
Driftr - I ditto on George & Pat on the sponsorship question.
ebijack - If you handline, you don't want the controls at the console Gmb!
George Liddle - No immediate plans for raising the HP limit. There are very limited options on engines at this point. 
Pat Kleppert - Gmb, I'd suggest getting the T8 in a tiller and then connecting it to the big engine with a removable arm.
Fishnmagician - Ebi, I bet with a 25" in transom, it will happen pretty soon!
Driftr - The 25" transom has to be the best remake on the hull in years.
ebijack - With superchargers being added to the picture and hopefully a new bigblock, I'd expect it soon!
Mark Broderick - Is the SRS seat on a standard pedestal, soft enough for an old guy?
Chatman - Superchargers Tom? Are you talking work, or fishin!! LOL!
Chatman - As we wind down, (2 minute warning) have George or Pat missed any questions? Are there any other questions you might have? If so, ask em now.
ebijack - Well, technology has really started to make a difference with what you can do to gain horse power, without a lot of cost increase.
George Liddle - We've had great response on the improvement the SRS seat has made. However, this could be better answered by someone who uses a 600 series.
Chatman - What boat did you run in 2003 George? And what will you run in 2004?
ebijack - 620's/621's do have the best ride to begin with.
Dave34 - I have them on my 617 and they really smooth out the rough water. Now that I know what they are like, I'd never be without them!
FreeByrd - Seriously George, how many boats does Ranger make in a year?
George Liddle - My disease is bass fishing.
Pat Kleppert - How you drive a boat makes a big difference in whether you need to add glide rides to our seats. The response on the SRS seats has been very good.
gmb - If I ordered a Ranger this month, when could I expect it to arrive?
ebijack - Built one boat at a time, 44 times a day. And that was 12 yrs ago! :)
George Liddle - Ranger builds approximately 5000 boats a year. 
FreeByrd - Thanks.
George Liddle - We are 8 to 12 weeks out for delivery.
Pat Kleppert - Gmb, check with your dealer but it should be well before spring.
sevenmmm - How many of those boats are for the walleye market?
gmb - Pat, do you know what specials will be available for the January boat shows?
George Liddle - The walleye business is a growing segment of Rangers business.
Pat Kleppert - I don't have that info. There haven't been any announcements yet Gmb.
ebijack - Like Pat has been working on, we need more bass guys in 620's and this year you see that happening here on the Great Lakes.
Fishnmagician - George, an approximate percentage?
Pat Kleppert - I'm getting a few guys who fish Lakes Erie and St. Clair, mostly.
Chatman - Sadly, it has become time to wrap this up, officially.
ebijack - Our bass circuit has 3 regular 620's where last year we had none.
Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a hearty round of applause for George Liddle and Pat Kleppert from Ranger Boats!!
Dave34 - Thanks George!!!!
Juls - Great chat George and Pat! Thanks for coming tonight!! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap! Whistle, whistle!! ;-)
jcwi - Clap, clap, clap!! Thanks George and Pat!!
ebijack - Clap, clap, clap!! Thanks George and Pat!
Fishnmagician - Clap, clap, clap!
Driftr - Thanks George and Pat !!!!!!
George Liddle - Thanks ladies and gentlemen this has been a great exchange of ideas and I would like to do it again at a later date.
Chatman - Anytime George and Pat!
Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!!!!
Mark Broderick - Thanks George!
Pat Kleppert - Thanks for having me, thanks George for inviting me! 
George Liddle - Thanks a lot Pat.
Juls - That would be great George! We would like to have you back again. You too Pat! ;-)
Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!
ebijack - Talk to you soon Pat!! I'll see you at the shows!
sevenmmm - Wistle! Whistle!
Chatman - It has been a fun ride ladies and gentlemen.