Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

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Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Freefall » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:27 pm

I’ll be in the market for a new (or used) boat in the next few months and have seriously been considering an aluminum hulled boat. The 2 brands that have caught my eye are Vexus & Ranger. Mostly because they seem to have a few more details that add up and make a difference.

My questions to those who own one or have been in one are...

Are you pleased with your purchase or would you choose a glass boat ?

Are there any details that you wish it had or that you’d do differently if you were buying again today?

How is the ride in comparison to a glass?

For the Ranger Owners, are all the hatches sealed and waterproof like the Vexus?

Any other advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby JoeLanghans » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:58 pm

I would recommend a Ranger, definitely stay away from Vexus. Resale, proven brand, dealers in most areas, stable like a glass boat, less $ and better than a Vexus, better value, etc etc...

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby kmah » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:43 pm

Good evening. Great questions and you should always do your own research prior to spending your hard earned money. I will try to address each of them as you presented them.

Both brands are tremendous and I’ve had the pleasure of running both brands extensively. The people who designed, built, and ran Ranger for the past 50 years are now behind the Vexus Brand. So although Vexus is a new company, the people are very familiar with building, designing boats, and dealing with their customers.

I ran an AVX2080 last season through the entire western tournament season in all kinds of weather and water conditions.

I am not sure which two models of the Vexus and Ranger you are considering. So I’ll point out the differences and you have to decide if those differences are important to you.

One boat is build on a traditional “mod V” hull design. Which means as you get towards the front compartments of the boat you tend to lose depth (storage volume). The boats gunnels are also welded in a mod V configuration bringing the boat to a “3 point” connection in the front.

The other is built with stretched formed gunnels which allows the boat to make a point at the very front and this forms a single connection point. This also allows the boat to carry the depth (storage volume) forward into the front compartments. The boat forms a V in the front of the hull area. This helps with cutting the water especially in rough water.

One uses drop in Poly boxes for the rear storage compartments the other custom builds fiberglass compartments for the rear storage compartments. They are larger, due to custom fiberglass molded compartments they are allowed to form an aggressive gutter system, rubber seal, and use compressing latches to lock water out of the two rear compartments.

The other unseen benefit in this is that it allows additional foam to be injected into and around the rear compartments, deck, and behind the seated area. This foam acts as an vibration and sound damping agent when running in chop or rougher seas.

One paints the underside of every lid to eliminate oxidizing or discoloring associated with bare aluminum.

If you are in northern California CC Marine Modesto and New Castle carries both brands and if you wanted to ride in either, I can set that up for you. There is a strong dealer network with both brands from Washington (Vexus), Redding (Vexus/Ranger), New Castle (Vexus), Modesto (Ranger), Hemet (Vexus), Phoenix(Vexus).

If you would like to speak in person please DM me your number and I will reach out to you.

Good Luck.
Ken Mah

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby MasterBassinator » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:40 pm

Honestly the major downside in an aluminum boat for me is how much you get pushed around when facing windy conditions or current. It can get pretty frustrating and makes me want to go fiberglass.

Good luck in your search! Check facebook groups for used boat sales. I've seen amazing deals out there! West Coast Bass Boat Sales in particular.

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats..

Postby WRB » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:56 am

Take a look at XPress X21 Pro or X19 Pro Boat models.

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby HavocTheBeast » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:37 am

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Mark-C » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:48 am

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby AnglersPursuit » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:42 am

I bought a Ranger aluminum boat in 2017 thinking I was getting Ranger quality and everything I hear about their boats. Specifically bought them instead of another brand for this reason. I’ve been highly disappointed in the boat and the company.

My boat was advertised for saltwater and although saltwater is terribly tough on boats it’s quite obvious they didn’t build this boat for saltwater at all. Heck, they admitted as much over the phone.

I’ve replaced almost every component on that boat. Some I’ve replaced more than once. You name it, it’s failed. From the cleats being pressure screwed into the raw aluminum with no seal and eventually every cleat pulling out to all of the deck hatch locks corroding completely. The manufacture of the locks says freshwater only yet they were used anyway. I’ve replaced the trailer lights 3 times. Both battery switches 3 times. 3 or 4 breaker switches at the console, usb twice, the cable to change the aerator broke leaving it completely useless.

I get saltwater is tough but all of this stuff failed very quickly and it’s obvious to anyone the components used were half assed picked or just completely missed. Rangers response has been pretty dismissive and casual. I’d be surprised if anyone has logged the time I have on this boat yet talking to Ranger is like taking to a cell phone customer service person, their far from interested in what’s going on. Could care less how this boat was built Vs. Real world application.

You may have better luck with a freshwater version. You may get better service. All I know is guys who fish with me are getting very used to something failing each trip out and I take very good care of my boat. Blaming me for its problems is laughable BS with the people I fish with. Many of them are reconsidering their opinion of Ranger boats.

Long story short. It’s all hype and fan boy stuff until you put down money and take it home. Then crap gets real and the true service of a brand is put to test.

Me and my buddies have rebuilt that boat better than it left the factory.

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby monte300 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:52 pm

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby AnglersPursuit » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:03 pm

I heard all the good stuff too. Invested everything I had for a boat in it.

Freshwater could be different. Attention to detail maybe greater.

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Robb R » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:02 pm

I have had a Tracker Targa since I bought it brand new in 2002 . The biggest drawback is dealing with wind when trying to fish plastics slowly and /or deep water . No matter the brand , Aluminum boats are hard to use in weather .
With that said , I know some guys in Texas that have opted for the newer larger aluminum boats ( Vexxus ) and installed trolling motors with " spot lock " --- that way you can much easier fish a spot in the wind and stay on target .
I will also say that I am not a tourney guy .
The advantages of Aluminum --- easier to tow , easier to maintain , less gas used , less " cost " per trip on the water .
I don't fish " big " lakes all the time , but I don't hesitate to take it on Clear Lake or the Delta .
Additionally , Since I bought the boat --- I have only had a few issues to fix and never had anything that cost over a few hundred bucks to fix --- and thats fishing with it 20-30 times a year .

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Getshakey530 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:50 am

I bought a 2018 ranger RT188 last year and it’s a great boat, but I definitely wish I would of waited and invested in a Vexus or Lowe. There just overall a better designed aluminum boat. The rangers are nice. They do have a nice front deck with more room. But the lack of storage and detail is a big flaw. The compartments are not sealed and has resulted in rods and tackle becoming rusted. The V hull design also is better for rough waters. The ranger is one rough ride when it gets choppy on the water. I will be buying a Vexus or Lowe in the near future to replace my ranger RT as I need something better for tournament fishing.

Scott Robertson fishing
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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Scott Robertson fishing » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:06 pm

I have run a Ranger Glass boat since 2004 I wouldn't own another brand . Never had any major issues its been a great boat, still running the same boat today its a 519. I always tell people if your gonna fish windy lakes as the norm go glass , you will hard pressed to hold in windy conditions. good luck.

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Gary Dobyns
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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Gary Dobyns » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:11 pm

If you're on the fence between brands why not take a tour and see how they're built. I just walked the new Vexus facility and the way they build Aluminum boats blew my mind. I've owned a bunch of aluminum boats and still own 3 today. I will own a 4th this year and It'll be a Vexus AVX2080. I've helped repair a bunch of aluminum boats over the years and when I got to see how the AVX boats were built it blew my mind. These suckers are built STRONG and to LAST!! The amount of bracing in the hull is almost ridiculous and then they foam fill everything they can, making it SOLID . Really, with todays pricing on boats do yourself a favor and take a factory tour. Both brands you mentioned are within a few miles of each other. Decide for yourself. I'd also do demo rides in both as well. Everyone has opinions but you need to be sure the boat is right for you!! If you need help with demo ride I can try to help. My email is if you'll shoot me a phone number I'll give you a call. Good Luck!!

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Re: Questions regarding Aluminum bass boats...

Postby Lugnut » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:23 pm

Just curious what model Ranger your considering? I have a 2016 RT188 which I purchased new off the showroom floor. I would be happy to share my thoughts if this is one that you are considering.
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