: ranger vs crestliner

02-25-2006, 10:05 AM
I need help in deciding which boat to purchase. my two choices are between a Ranger Reata 1750 w/115hp (max is 130) or a crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk w/contender package w/150, which is max on that boat. Both will be as closley outfitted as they can be to each other and both dealers are about the same distance from my house. Both dealers are willing to match the others price. I guess my biggest concern is that I have never owned a fiberglass boat and don't know what to expect or what's involved as far as maintence and upkeep is conerned. I have been told by everybody that fiberglass is a superior ride compared to aluminum, but i am comming out of a pontoon boat and believe that either boat is going to be a superior ride. Any and all comments would be appreciated,thank you.

02-25-2006, 12:04 PM
I owned 2 lunds and a crestliner before I got smart and now have a Warrior V193. Smooth and dry beyond belief. Friends with Rangers report the same. Its the curve of the hull--concave v. convex that makes all the difference in the world. Go for the Ranger...or do yourself a big favor and check out Warrior.

02-25-2006, 12:38 PM
I own a 2004 Crestliner and have been very happy with it. Compare the storage space in the boats and try to get the dealer to take you out on the water with each. There should be a huge difference between the price of the Ranger and the price of the Crestliner.You might also want to look at the Alumacraft and the Tracker Tundra...both excellent boats. The Tundra has all the look and feel of a glass boat with the reduced weight of Aluminum. Tests on Lake Erie were outstanding insofar as being a very dry,easy to handle boat that rode high in the water....check it out.

02-25-2006, 01:34 PM
I own a Lund so don't have an axe to grind but......looks like a lot more boat (room, storage etc.) and motor (150 vs. 115) in the crestliner for the same money. I wouldn't give that up just to get glass.

Pond scum
02-25-2006, 01:41 PM
You will have much more room in the Crestliner, and 1 extra foot of length is nice to have in rougher water. Plus, there is a big difference between 150 HP and 115HP. The Ranger is a nice boat, however.

02-25-2006, 02:29 PM
I totally agree with frisher. My first boat was fiberglass and my second boat was a highly touted aluminum boat. I got smart too --- Iím in the process of buying a fiberglass boat. Frisher is also right about the hull design. Be careful, fiberglass boats can have the right &/or wrong hull design. Some fiberglass boat companies can even have a concave vs. convex hull design amongst their own line up. Some hulls are set up for speed and some are set up for dryness & boat control. You want the latter.

Aluminum boats have had the edge on interior layouts, but the fiberglass boats are catching up fast!

Farming & Fishing ND

02-25-2006, 03:16 PM
Drive them both...if the dealer can't find a way to get you in the boat you are looking at...find another dealer.

It still amazes me how often the dealer does not do the water test thing...I can understand it if there is only hard water, but this is a large purchase...the dealer should help you find a way to get in the boats and make sure it is the right decision.

Oh, by the way...Ranger. ;)

02-25-2006, 03:17 PM
TUFFY all the way. If you can afford it.

Das Boot 3
02-25-2006, 04:37 PM
You got to love how these threads develop...Post is "ranger vs crestliner" and the responses are look at a;
If mickey wanted input on brands other than what he has narrowed his search down to - I bet he would have asked for it. With any luck Reata and Fish Hawk owners will post some input :)

Never back anything into a corner that is meaner than you are............................................... DB3

02-25-2006, 09:45 PM
i have a crestliner 1750 fishawk. i love the huge casting deck on it. i was out in 4-5 footers on bay de noc this fall and it handled them well. the contender package is great. im not too sure about that ranger model so i cant give input on that boat i just know that im very happy with my boat.

02-26-2006, 01:18 AM
I purchased an 1850 Fishhawk about this time last year. Spent over a year trying to figure out what boat I was going to purchase. Lots of things to consider -for me anyway- about the way you fish, where you fish and who you normally take along with you. This list could go on and on and will be different for each individual. I love my boat. Huge wide open front and rear deck. Storage for anything you can think of. The versatility of this boat is what sold me on it. Half the year I'm strictly a walleye guy and the other half I'm chasing bass and pannies with my two sons. The Ranger is obviously a great boat but for me and the way that I like to fish---I'll take the added space and fishability of the Crestliner again today.

Tom B
02-26-2006, 08:41 AM
I own a 1750 and have fished out of an 1850 and a couple of Rangers. With the parameters that you have set, I would get the Crestliner.

I bought my 1750 with a 50 hp. The dealer swore that it would get the job done and I would be happy with it. 2 years later, I replaced that motor with a 70 hp 4 stroke (that was the motor that I wanted when I bought the boat, but the dealer talked me out of it.)

Anyways, getting the boat rigged with a motor as close to the max as you can does make a difference in performance, not only speed, but economy. Plus, even if you never run it WFO, you will have it if you need it.

Ranger's do have a drier smoother ride. There is another thing that rarely is mentioned, though. That is ease of boat control. Glass boats have a deeper keel in the water. That allows you to easily maintain a trolling line, whether trolling or using the trolling motor to work a weedline.

In a tin boat, so much of the boat is out of the water, that if you are working in the wind, you will have a hard time controlling the rear end of the boat.

I have trolling motors on the bow and stern to help maintain the line that I choose. It's actually easier to fish alone, as not too many people understand how to work a boat with 2 trolling motors in the water.

Tom B

02-26-2006, 01:23 PM
I am surprised that no one yet has asked you how you plan to use the boat, because to me that has everything to do with which boat you buy. I am moving on to my 3rd boat (in the last 14 years) and with each boat, the reason for changing was driven by the fact that the way the boat would be used changed. I have owned a small tiller Crestliner, a mid sized console Tuffy and am waiting for my Ranger 1750 to arrive in April.
In your two choices it seems the big differences would be:
1. The Crestliner will go faster
2. The Crestliner will be longer and may handle large waves better
3. The Crestliner bow will sit higher out of the water and be harder to control in strong wind.
4. The Ranger will ride smoother and probably drier in rough waves (due to double reverse chined hull)
5. The fit and finish of the Ranger will be better
6. The Ranger has much more seating (up to 8)
7. The Ranger trailer is a very nice one (will you be pulling it a lot?)

My point is that other than price being the same these are very different boats. In my case because it is a family boat (tubing, sking, cruising) at least 50% of the time the Ranger was a better decision for me. Being able to seat a family of 5 plus a friend or 2 was a big deal to us.
If I have learned anything now on my third purchase. Spend a few minutes to write down your "musts and wants" of how the boat will be used and let that drive your decision. Then pick a dealer who you feel you can trust and will service you when something breaks (and they all do break). Let price be important but DON'T let price be the primary or only driver.
Good luck

02-26-2006, 01:38 PM
If you need rod storage the Model of Ranger you are looking at may not have enough storage. I have owned two Rangers and a Crestliner. The fit and finish on Rangers are superb. I enjoyed the Crestliner also. It is a matter of choice and how you plan to use it. I am not convinced the 115 would be my choice and may be just a little under powered. I have the next model up the 617, which they don't make anymore and it needs the 150. They say a 115 would do the job but the 150 has to work to get to little over 50.
I also would highly recommend a water test and also consider how you are going to use it.

My Dad always said
"When everything fails read the directions"

02-27-2006, 10:27 AM
I think the biggest ? is what do you plan on using it for? Fishing and plesure, or strictly fishing.

Will give you more space, 1' longer and wider
Less $$$ for little more boat

Will give you dry storage(crestliner need rubbemaids containers)
Better ride(Crestliner is very wide, provides rough ride in 3'+ footers)
Better Boat control(High sides and hull design on crestliner make difficult for boat control in wind, she really skates)
Glass maintenance, wax boat every now and then, get keel guard
Ranger better quality fit finish on the boat

Good luck


03-03-2006, 12:51 AM
I own a Cliner 1850 and I agree with Troy. If you fish in the wind, the Cliner, or any tin boat in this class like the Lund Fisherman or Alumacraft Trophy , is really hard to handle. Also, if you intend to do much trolling, the cliner with the 150 isn't going to troll as nice as the Ranger.

OTOH, size does matter and you can't beat the Cliner for room. You can fish three or four people easier in that 1850 and the floor space is really nice if you do any recreational boating.

03-03-2006, 07:20 AM
I had a new Lund 1900 IFS until a divorce took it. I now own a Ranger 617. My opinion on the two boats as far as aluminum vs fiberglass> The Ranger glides though the water, very comfortable. The Lund was less forgiving in the water especially when it was rough. There is NO way to keep dents out of an aluminum boat. I know this probably does not bother alot of you, but it killed me:) A fiberglass boat is easier to load in river current. The one thing I miss is storage. The aluminum models up till now have more storage. Again,just my opinion:)

03-03-2006, 01:00 PM
I had a Lund ProV 1800 IFS and my Ranger Reata 1750 will be here in April. Most of the pros/cons have been discussed already, but I will highlite a few that influenced me.

The Lund was an OK boat (I HATED the painted gunnels and the livewell system), but it did not perform well in big waves. Moderate waves it was ok, but I didnt like the ride in rough water. I believe because it was so wide and flat, it bounced on top vs cutting through them like a knife.

Not many Ranger owners have posted, I suggest you talk to them. When I have, they all loved Rangers. Nary a one had a bad thing to say. That meant something to me. As the 1750 Reata is new, you will not find any that own that boat yet, but try and find some 1850 owners.

Lastly, I will buck the "max the hp" trend. My ProV had a 150 Yammy which was too much motor for the boat. It was jumpy. You could not have inexperienced drivers even sit in the drivers seat, let alone drive it. Skiing/tubing was an adventure to see if you could avoid pulling someones arms off. I dont need to go 50 mph (I bet that is darn near blasphemy to some...). Low 40s is plenty in my book. That last few mph really sucks the fuel. If you are a guide who routinely fishes 40 miles from the dock, then sure, but for most of us, it is a waste....in many cases I think it turns into a big #@$% contest. Just my .02.

Good luck in your purchase and please post back on both your decision and how you like it.

03-03-2006, 03:13 PM
What motor did you order on your Reatta? I like the 1750 but I;m a little concerned with the 115 on there. Top speed doesn't worry me--most people waterski at @30 mph or less, and the same goes for tubing. However, holeshot is a key with waterskis, particularly for a bigger guy like me on a slalom ski.

Also, Just curious, why the 1750 vs the 1850?

03-03-2006, 06:09 PM
I'll agree with everyone that suggested to have an on the water demo before buying. However, I'll put a strong question mark in front of the Ranger you described being a dryer, smoother ride than the Crestliner you described.

IMO, the 1750 Reata with a 115, while having enough power, will not ride as high due to the less than max motor size. The Crestliner, being a foot longer and quite a little more horsepower, may just give you a smoother and dryer ride - becuase of the length and power combination more than the material it is made out of.

Generally, the glass boats are dryer and smoother. But it can also be said that generally, the bigger boats with more horsepower are dryer and smoother as well.

If you get the glass boat, see if they will throw in a buffer. It's so much easier to buff a glass boat with power tools.

Unlogged T-Mac
03-03-2006, 06:22 PM
I am surprised by that. I mean... it's cool, but not what I experienced, myself in those two, same boat models.

It just goes to show, "ride" is somewhat subjective and depends some on personal feel or taste.

Glad you like the 617 Ranger.
I do think those 617s ride flippin awesome for a 17 footer.

03-03-2006, 09:44 PM
I was surprised to see the 2 boats you're comparing, a 1750 Ranger to an 1850 Crestliner, and a Reata to a Fishhawk instead of a Sportfish.

I would have assumed that if you're looking at the 1850 Crestliner you would have looked at the 1850 Reata, or same thing for the 1750s. And I would have assumed that if you are interested in the Reata you would have been interested in the Sportfish over the Fishhawk.

I own an 1850 Reata and love it and don't think a tin boat would compare. But since the Crestliner you are interested in is bigger and has a lot more HP than the Ranger, in this case I would say go with the Crestliner. Never having been in a 1750 Reata I too wonder if they may be a bit underpowered, although I would put faith in Ranger's reputation to not put out a boat that would be underpowered.

When it comes to a drier smoother ride, I'd put money on the smaller Ranger instead of the bigger Crestliner. Tin hulls just can't compare with fiberglass in that regard, especially since the boats are only a foot different in size.

03-04-2006, 09:27 AM
You really should compare the Ranger 1850 instead of the 1750. I am a Ranger man all the way, but that 18' Crestliner is going to span the chop a little better, have a lot more room, and should be faster on the top end. I think the decision is fairly simple at this point. The Ranger guy is the one who will make out if you go with the 1750. Talk to them about the 1850 and then take a good look at standard vs. option prices, trailers, etc. and you may be surprized how close the 2 boats will be in price. If it comes down to 18' boats being compared and pricing is close, hands down it would be Ranger all the way.

03-04-2006, 11:13 AM
Ranger gets the vote here. My experience with Crestliner was you better have some good raingear for the ride. I was drenched!

03-06-2006, 06:59 AM
I was looking at the 1750 vs the 1850 Reatta and was very worried about only being able to rig the 1750 with a 115hp, but after talking to my dealer about it they told me that the Evinrude E-tech 115 is actually putting out in the area of 126hp and that was part of the reason they decided not to build the 130hp this year. Just something to think about. With the E-tech the 1750 may not be that underpowered.

03-06-2006, 08:01 AM
I just bought a Cresliner Muskie edition with a 150 yamaha. I have been in both boats that you describe and fell that the Ranger is dryer but the crestliner definately has more room. By dryer I mean big waves. I used my dads 1850 crestliner in a couple tourneys and it was great, fast and smooth with a 135 opti. But it tends to trough some water in big waves. My dads boat is a single council. My new rig is a dual counccil so that will keep some of the water from the pasenger.

Loading in the river? Not sure what one of the other posts above was talking about but if you have the right trailer (Bunk Trailer a must on any boat for river fishing) any boat is easily loaded. My new rig has a custom crestliner bunk trailer and looks beautiful and I am sure it will trailer just like any Ranger Trail.

Cost. My boat is an 04 been on water 5 times and then sat at the dealer because it was underpowered. I know the guy that had it before hand personally, thus the 5 times on water. Anyway I swaped the 115 to a 2006 150 yamaha and a t-8 kicker loaded it down with electronic and all the goodies and paid $24K for it. So cost wise, used 2000-2002 ranger same ball park but for the type of river fishing I do, aluminum was the choice, didn't want the big glass runing through the back waters chasing walleye.

03-06-2006, 12:32 PM
I put a 115 Yammy on it. every catalog and dealer that I saw, showed it with that motor. I am not concerned at all about how fast or holeshot, but I can definitely let you know what I think after I use it.