Submitted: 11-30-2011 by mvazquez999
I am so pleased with my Ranger, and especially with the re-fit that the owner, Michael O'Hara, did recently, that I felt I must post this review and recommend the Ranger canoe line most highly.
My Ranger is a 2004 model, 16' in fiberglass with Kevlar re-inforced bow and stern, slotted ash rails and woven cane suspended seats. I bought it used 2 seasons ago and fell in love with it this first time I put it in the water. It is a great all-around boat with a smooth, flattened-U hull, no keel ridge, 34 inch beam and very slight rocker that makes it very stable and comfortable in the water. I can lean it with gunwalls practically in the water and it will not tip. It is slightly asymmetrical and tracks best going forward. With my buddy with me in the bow, we can make that 55 pound boat fly through the water! Paddling it solo in the backward direction, it did well enough so I did not mind that approach. But on the current refit, I asked Micheal to put in a third seat in the solo position so I could send it the right way through the water. Now, she responds so beautifully going solo that my solo Wenonah Rendezvous will stay in the shed more than in the past.
I really want to comment here on the excellent, helpful, expert, friendly, and reasonable service Michael provided on the refit. He replaced the ash rails, re-cored the stern and bow stems, replaced the thwarts and original seats and added a third seat (all in gorgeous wood and cane). That's what I brought the canoe up to him to do. But he really went above and beyond in his labor and service. He compounded the hull himself by hand before fitting the new rails on, re-cored the ends as I said (a free, extra job), and applied many coats of the 303 anti-ultraviolet treatment. The result of the latter (in addition to the compounding) was that the faded red gelcoat lost its oxidized layer and returned to close to the original color. Michael performed a labor of love on my canoe, and for that I am very grateful. His work was worth every penny of his fair and reasonable price. The result is now I have practically a new canoe, and it is truly a beauty. Unlike in the past, it will now reside permanently in my garage and I look forward to many happy years on the water with it. Thank you, Michael!