Nearly 40 years ago Forrest Wood introduced the TR series, Ranger Boats’ fiberglass, trailerable fishing boat that changed the world of angling forever. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the company went back to that drawing board and produced the 2008 177TR.
Its retro color package, snub nose, old-school logo and tri-hull look are reminiscent of the classic design, and are sure to catch the eyes and capture the hearts of every angler who ever owned, or wanted to own, one of the originals.
“We wanted to take a nostalgic look at Ranger Boats in honor of Forrest and Nina Wood,” says Keith Daffron, vice-president of sales. “This was truly a fun project to work on.”
Nostalgia aside, the 177TR is a thoroughly modern fishing rig. A tri-hull in appearance only, it’s built on Ranger’s 618 VS hull, arguably one of the most efficient and smoothest riding hulls ever made, and is rated for up to 115 horsepower.
The boat I tested was powered by Evinrude’s 115 E-Tec, and topped out at 40.7 mph on my handheld GPS, with a 4.7-second hole shot. The 177TR may not take you anywhere in a real big hurry, but it’s not meant to break speed records. Besides, its immaculate manners, even in tight turns and over choppy wakes, more than makes up for its moderate top end.
Standard equipment includes Minn Kota’s Maxxum 55/SC 12-volt, bow-mount trolling motor, your choice of a Humminbird 323 or Lowrance X-52 console sonar, 6x2 Dual Pro onboard charger, and full instrumentation, including trim and water pressure gauges.
Center and portside rod lockers handle multiple 7 footers, plus there’s room for extra sticks on a passenger-side rod ramp. Dry storage is under the starboard bow and rear deck.
For a boat in the 17-foot-class, I was impressed with the spaciousness of the fore and aft decks and cockpit, as well as its stability at rest.
The 177’s classic styling makes it a unique looking rig, but everything else makes it a serious fishing boat. Whether you chase bass, panfish, cats or walleyes, the 177 deserves a solid look at your local boat show.
Ranger Boats, (800) 373-2628
Length: 17 feet, 7 inches
Beam: 83 1/2 inches
Max. Horsepower: 115
Max. Capacity: 1,250 pounds
Price As Tested: $23,392