So when I was in my 20s and was excited to buy my first fishing boat, I just jumped on the band wagon and bought a used 2000 Smokercraft off Craigslist without doing any research... I was just thrilled to get out on the water, little did I know I was about to get myself into a bunch of problems. The used Smokercraft I bought was around $5k, needed a little fixing up with electronics and other things on the interior, so I fixed some of those things up, then soon as I placed her in the water, she leaked like a sieve. Leaked so bad, that I said hell with it, resold her and decided to use that money towards a better boat. Learning from my mistakes, I ended up researching to death on fishing and boat forums what type of aluminum hull is not known to leak and is resilient on big water, along with difference between welded and riveted hulls, the shapes of hulls, and what brand is known for top quality welded hulls. Some say you should still go with a brand like Lund that is riveted and has a little flex to the hull... But the brand that everyone kept mentioning on the forums was Crestliner, 15+ years later and I can safely say I'm super happy with my 2004 Crestliner Superhawk!
BassBoat Central - "I was looking at a new Ranger RT198P at the boat show and was concerned about what I saw when examining the hull. Specifically, there were no press broken ribs in the hull just a lot of flat surface. Those ribs are there to provide lateral strength and without them, the hull is more prone to flexing. (In my opinion)"
And really, the bottom line is, deep V aluminum boats are made for big water/rough water and flat bottom aluminum boats are for more smaller water/calmer water like Kent Lake and Stony Creek. There's a reason why boat manufacturers use a deep V hull specifically for rougher water and advertise this design for that reason! And really, if you're going to buy a welded aluminum hull versus riveted, I recommend doing a lot of research and buying from a brand that's "known" for quality welds like Crestliner and aren't going to break!
And as I explained in this video when cleaning the hull of my boat with Starbright, there's something very special about the design of the curved hull by Crestliner that just slices through waves a lot better than other aluminum boats on the market, believe me I know from experience! When my Smokercraft cut through a wave I felt a big bump, then when it came back down on the water, the impact was even worse and my spine felt it every time. When my Superhawk cuts through a wave, the impact is hardly noticeable and when it comes back down on the water, you feel an impact but it's a lot more cushioned, along with the thickly cushioned seats Crestliner uses versus the Smokercraft seats. Again, something special about the design of the hull on the Crestliner and even the quality seat material they use onboard, they're just known for quality!!!
I've been through 3-4 foot waves over and over again, went through hell and back on Lake St. Clair many times over with my Superhawk, I have still have had not one major problem to date! Some fishermen say B.O.A.T. stands for the acronym, break out another thousand, no it doesn't if you do your research and buy a top brand.
Might I add Ranger is known for quality when it comes to fiberglass boats, everyone has seen the one popular video from the 80s of the Ranger bass boat doing wheelies in super rough water, however I don't think they are known for quality aluminum boats in rough water, Crestliner is!!! I remember Arcasting saying his Uncle runs a Fishhawk on Lake Michigan, where waves are even taller and rougher, claims he's had no problems and loves it. I only paid $12,000 for my used Superhawk from a boat shop in Saginaw, soon I'll be installing $16,000 worth of electronics on my boat with humminbird 360, 80 lb Terrova, along with Garmin livescope... Meaning my electronics are way more than what my boat is worth, yet the quality is still top notch, my videos prove it.
Best analogy I can use is how some musky anglers buy a baitcaster brand like Daiwa whichs known for a lot cool features and speed for musky lures, but are not known for resiliency like Shimano is for casting pounders. It just is what it is... I think it's great JC Dropshot is doing a review on his boat, it's going to be giving Ranger some insight, however I also think he should of known better on using a flat bottom welded boat like this on Lake St. Clair, considering he knows how rough it gets. Kind of like running a supercharger on an LS1 aluminum engine versus an iron block like the 04 Cobra, LS1 aluminum block is just not going to hold up for very long. Or even running expired carbon fiber on a submarine, expecting it to hold up, not going to happen. Best of luck, hopefully gives all of you some insight!
The Ranger RT 198 P didn't demonstrate or handle anything, the real test is how the hull holds up after 5 or 6 years... You did a review way too soon, not knowing longterm how it will hold up, this is why I do reviews on majority of my products after a few years! Whether it's the Shimano Stradic 5000, the Chasing M2 or even the Daiwa ProRex...
Also, highly recommend getting an aluminum deep V-hull boat with a full wrap around windshield... Or you'll be wearing a rain jacket from the waves and overspray every time you go out on rough days!!! Safety comes first, electronics and other upgrades can be made down the road... Even if I bought fiberglass, I'd be buying more what Doug Wagner has, which is deep v Lund fiberglass boat with a wrap around windshield versus a standard bass boat which I think is overrated for the price. A lot of people and anglers don't realize, bass boats came from the south that ran on calm smaller inland lakes, not the Great Lakes!!!!
You have to be careful with youtube video reviews on YouTube people, I even stressed this with Dustin Dunill's videos on underwater drone reviews. His reviews are just reviews on drones the date he receives from the mail and tests them, he's basically just talking about the specs and showing off the features, they're really not honest reviews on resiliency or longevity with how long the battery lasts, the motors, the plastic propellers, the outer shell or glass camera lens. Why I waited 2 years on reviewing the Chasing M2!!!