Submitted: 07-23-2008 by rjb
I've had fair amount of time paddling both a Mad River Explorer and an Old Town Discovery. My Ranger takes top honors. My boat came equipped with a kneeling thwart for solo paddling. I would strongly recommend this option for anyone who paddles solo on regular basis. The hull is asymmetrical, and performs best when paddled solo in the forward direction.
I've paddle in a wide variety of conditions: salt water tidal ponds, bays, harbors, lakes, and rivers. I've encountered big waves and high winds, and have never been disappointed with the Ranger's performance. I regularly fish, while standing, and secondary stability is excellent. Primary stability might be a little deceiving to for the less experienced paddler, but this boat is stable.
Concerns of boat being noisy are likely the result of fiberglass construction. If silence is a priority, try a royalex boat and be prepared to sacrifice performance and add weight. I must admit, I often consider buying another boat - another Ranger (perhaps in kevlar).