May 27, 2020
By Matt Straw
V-hulls are all about getting there fast, safe, and dry in big water. V-hulls easily reach places where bass boats shouldn’t be at all. And multispecies boats are getting bigger, faster, and more spacious while sprouting all kinds of wild standard features.
Take the new Skeeter WX2200, a 22-foot fiberglass beauty unveiled in August 2019. It has a mega-wide beam of over 8 feet, opening up front and rear deck space, creating a larger cockpit area, and broadening the interior to make rigging up more comfortable and provide extra room for movement when fighting and netting big fish. Storage space is incredible—more room for more tools and toys. The bigger cockpit has room for all the electronics you need.
The hull of the WX2200 represents the sturdiest Skeeter design yet. Front and rear aluminum deck-grid inserts bulwark the hull’s strength. Optional on most boats but standard on this ship is Hamby’s Keel Protector, which guards against costly damage to the keel from rocks, freeing boaters to safely beach more often as needed or desired.
The WX2200 comes with an amazing list of standard features, including a Humminbird Helix 12 with GPS, a Yamaha T9.9 kicker, a bow-mounted Minn Kota 112 Ulterra, and an Infinity Bluetooth stereo.
Ranger introduced three new hulls and five new models in the multispecies genre this year. “The all-new FS PRO Series of boats are the direct result of us listening to the needs and wants of dealers, pros, customers, and guides who use these boats to their absolute limit,” says Kody Bradbury, Ranger Product Development Manager. “We pride ourselves in producing not only the highest quality boats on the water, but also the most forward-thinking and angler-friendly models to be found.”
The FS PRO Series now includes the largest Ranger FS Series boat ever—the 622FS PRO, a 22-foot 10-inch behemoth with greater hull integrity, more power, and inverse comfort. It’s joined by the 621cFS PRO, 621FS PRO, 620cFS PRO, and 620FS PRO—all new 2020 offerings. The three larger models can take up to 400 horses, while the two smaller cFS boats max at 300 hp. But all have 102-inch-wide decks, and all feature Ranger’s all-new Total Command Cockpit—a cockpit that’s more spacious thanks to the deletion of rear storage boxes along the gunnel. Yet, every other inch of the FS PRO Series was scrutinized in the name of expanding storage, and the resultant bow tool drawer and dual front deck rod boots produce even more fishing space on the front deck.
Bow storages have been enlarged to maximum size. Redesigned rear storage boxes in the non-cFS boats can hold scores of vertically oriented Plano 3700 boxes for quick access. The passenger console features an enlarged 16-inch glove box with a smaller secondary box for personal items, while a console cubby can backmount VHF radios. Beneath the driver’s console footrest is a new lockable storage box, and beneath the passenger console is dedicated storage for a custom Ranger-branded 5-gallon bucket with rattle-free rope handle.
Total Command means RIDE ‘em (Ranger Intelligent Display Engine). RIDE is standard on FS Pros, featuring a 9-inch touchscreen multifunction display (MFD) allowing anglers to control every critical aspect of the boat from the cockpit—ignition, security, trim tabs, livewells, Power-Poles, lighting, stereo, jackplate, and more. Meanwhile, the screen displays RPM, MPH, fuel, heading, and other data.
Small-boat enthusiasts should scope out the new Ranger VS1660T 16-foot tiller deep-V rated for up to 40 horses. It has an enlarged forward compartment with two accesses, twin lockable 8-foot 6-inch rod boxes, a large livewell and battery and fuel storage under the rear deck. In the enlarged cockpit, the captain is within easy reach of a custom-built gauge pod that houses a tachometer, twin USB charging ports, a 12-V outlet, keyed ignition, and rocker switching. Atop the fiberglass pod rides electronics up to 7 inches. Foot-activated trim buttons for easy manipulation are standard.
The new Ranger RB200 center console, “big brother” to the well-established RB190, is 20 feet 4 inches long. “It’s bigger, stronger, and has everything you need for a day on the lake, in the marsh, or on the flats,” says Jimmy Wallace, Ranger New Product Development Engineer. “This boat is bound to be a hit with guys who hunt, fish, and just love being outdoors.” A “nimble” performance-minded hull planes quickly in shallow water yet carries more buddies and offers plenty of storage for rods, guns, and decoys.
Rod holders flank the console, where the batteries are stored. A flip-up leaning post conceals a timed, aerated livewell. The RB200 is rated for up to 150 hp.
The new Starcraft Delta 188 DC, an 18-foot 11-inch deep-V, has a 96-inch beam, 38-gallon fuel capacity, and a maximum-hp rating of 175. Anglers will appreciate the big raised bow casting deck, twin livewells, and a pro-style console with plenty of space for electronics. The brand new Vertex Performance Strake (VPS) hull sets a new standard for high performance aluminum boats, providing improved acceleration and better handling. Integrated performance strakes carve the surface as you open the throttle leaving only clean, undisturbed water for the prop. That means noticeably faster hole shots and a quicker time to plane, even when running with a full tournament load. Starcraft created VPS to achieve high-hp performance with smaller, lighter, fuel-efficient engines to reduce angler expense.
The new Smoker Craft Adventurer 178 DC is a highly stable 17-foot 11-inch ship with a 96-inch beam. It can handle up to 150 horses and has a 32-gallon capacity. It also features the Vertex Performance Strake (VPS) hull. Bow and stern livewells, center rod storage, in-floor storage, and rear flip-up jump seats are all standard. The VPS hull means faster hole shots and a quicker time to plane.
Starweld introduced the 18 Fusion Pro with a capable big-water hull at only 17 feet 4 inches. It has a 150-hp maximum, a 90-inch beam, and holds 23 gallons of gas. The Fusion Pro was designed with the input of top professional anglers. The all-welded, full-length reverse chine hull features an impressive torsion beam stringer system for exceptional handling and durability. A full vinyl cockpit, casting platforms, port and starboard rod storage, 25-gallon bow livewell, removable rear jump seats, and hydraulic steering are standard. The 18 Fusion Pro offers can be personalized with a wide range of options and electronics and more storage space than any previous 17-foot Starweld.
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the new V-hulls, built to take you places where no bass boat has gone before, with serious new options, bridge-of-the-Enterprise-like cockpits and, of course, more space for more toys.
*In-Fisherman Field Editor Matt Straw is a multispecies expert and longtime writer for In-Fisherman publications.