Buying Our First Ranger Tug, "Solitude"
We purchased Solitude, our first Ranger Tug 25 on a cold dreary Seattle day in January of 2007. We had no intentions of purchasing a new boat when attending the Seattle show. We just went to see what was new. We had looked at the Ranger Tug website (rangertug.com) prior to going to the show. We were impressed with what we saw. However, the price scared us. $119,000 base price for a 25 foot boat!
Well, that was all she wrote. When we arrived at the show we wandered around looking at the various crafts. At last we came to the Ranger Tug display. We met Jeff Messmer the Vice President of Sales and Marketing" for Ranger Tugs. Jeff is a great person that loves and understands boating. His product is first rate along with great customer support. Jeff gave us a tour of the boat spending about 30 minutes with us. After looking the boat over from top to bottom, we wandered off to look at the rest of the show. Towards the end of the day we made our way back to the Ranger Tugs. The display boat was crowded and hard to see. We made arrangements with Jeff for a private showing the following morning. We arrived prior to the show opening and spent over two hours going through the boat again.
We were sold! This was to be our next boat. We sat down with Jack from Lake Union Sea Ray to work up the purchase agreement. The purchase and delivery were contingent on a sea trial aboard the Ranger Tug test boat. This meant another trip to Seattle.
We were back in Seattle three weeks later for the sea trial. Jack took us out to the narrows in Tacoma where the weather was beautiful. Clear blue sky's with a soft breeze blowing. We put the boat through its tests and came away with a signed purchase agreement. Now came the hard part, what to name our new "home on the lake". Our idea of boating is to find the smallest cove that we can safely get into, drop the hook, run a couple of shore lines, and then just hang out. I enjoy hiking while Maureen enjoys floating on her raft reading a book or two. The name we came up with that reflected all of this was "Solitude". We enjoy our solitude and time together with just the two of us.
We took our first sea trial on Solitude in Early April. Again, the weather god's were looking down on us. The sun was shining, a light breeze blew across the waters of Lake Washington. The boat ran perfectly with just a minor issue here and there. A boat with the number of systems that this boat has is bound to have an issue or two. This was no problem for Jeff and his crew. They took the list and had all issues resolved in time for a delivery the first week of May.
Finally the day arrived, I drove to Seattle from our home in Henderson Nevada by way of Salt Lake City, Mountain Home Idaho, and Great Falls Montana. I arrived at the Lake Union Sea Ray on Friday morning. Jack and his crew were hard at work with last minute follow ups. The speakers in the cockpit still needed to be wired, the depth sounder needed to be connected, all minor items.
By that afternoon, all systems were installed and I was on I-5 headed south. My first days drive would take me as far as Lake Shasta in Northern California. I pulled into a rest stop at 11:30 that night. Climbing up onto Solitude and into a sleeping bag. My first night on Solitude! Albeit in a parking lot! The following morning I was up bright and early once again heading south. Once reaching Redding I turned east and started over the Sierras.
I rolled Solitude and her trailer across a truck scale in Reno. Total weight dry (less all extra gear and fluids) was 9,900 lbs. Wet weight would be estimated at 11,000 lbs.
The trip home took 20 hours total driving time. At every stop people would approach you to ask about the boat.
Solitude towed very well behind our Dodge 3500 dually pickup.