Ranger Tugs introduces new 31′ trailerable tug!

Kent, WA—Fluid Motion, LLC, the designers and builders of the popular line of Ranger Tugs have introduced the newest model in the fleet—the Ranger 31. The new R31 will debut this month at the Seattle Boat Show in the Stadium Exhibition Center, January 26-Feburary 5. Hull #2 is expected to make the East Coast debut at the Miami International Boat Show, February 16-20 at Sea Isle Marina on Biscayne Bay.

R31 Profile

The R31 shares many of the features and qualities of her smaller sisterships but some notable additions to this larger model make her ideal for extended cruising while still being a trailerable trawler. The R31 is the first Ranger Tug to feature a flybridge equipped with electronic controls at both the upper and lower helm. The flybridge also retracts to allow for trailering the 31′. The builders at Ranger Tugs also equipped the foredeck with seating and a table that can be raised or lowered depending on whether the boat is under way or at anchor or dock for entertaining. In addition to the extra seating now available on the flybridge and foredeck the 31′ allows for a larger cockpit area with wraparound seating and extra seating that folds out of the gunwale. When not entertaining, seats are folded leaving the cockpit unencumbered.

The interior layout of the R31 features two staterooms—one large island berth forward with en suite head and a midship berth and day head. Those who are familiar with Ranger Tugs models will recognize the galley layout and lower helm station that maximize interior space. A starboard side door provides easy access from the lower helm to the side decks so crew can get to the bow for line handling.

“We’ve been working on the R31 for the last year,” shares Jeff Messmer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ranger Tugs. “While we do have owners that are eager to upgrade to a larger model, the R31 allows us to introduce Ranger Tugs to a set of boaters who prefer a mid-size cruising trawler. We’ve done well with our trailerable trawlers and we continue to increase sales of the R21, R25SC, R27 and R29. The R31 will help us grow even more.”

R31 Deck Plan

Like all Ranger Tugs, the new R31 comes essentially turnkey with standard features and equipment intended to make her owner’s experience hassle-free and allow for ease of handling and comfort under way. Standard equipment includes bow and stern thrusters, an optional aft steering station and a Volvo D4 300hp engine that achieves a 16 knot cruise speed.

Ranger Tugs are built at a dedicated facility in Kent, WA, where the company now also offers a new Factory Delivery program and a Destination Training Cruise for new owners. The first R31 will debut in Seattle Jan. 26-Feb. 5 and will be offered at a base price of $279,937. Ranger Tugs is now taking orders for the first R31s and the first boats will begin to ship to dealers this spring.

Ranger Tugs 31 (R31) Specifications
LOA molded 31′
LOA rigged (with swim & pulpit) 35’2″
Beam 10’0″
Draft 28″
Fuel Capacity 180 U.S. gallons
Water capacity 80 U.S. gallons
Holding tank capacity 40 U.S. gallons
Weight (Dry) 10,500 .
Engine Volvo D4 300hp

For more information, visit www.rangertugs.com or call 253-839-5213.

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IMTRA introduces a truly waterproof multi-directional cockpit spreader light …

Marine-Rated Light Offers Water Intrusion Prevention and Maximum Flexibility with 42-degree Rotation

New Bedford, MA – Imtra, the leading importer and supplier of quality marine products, announced today the availability of the IML Cockpit Spreader Light. The only waterproof light available with a rotational positioning design, the Cockpit Spreader allows maximum flexibility in illumination and installation on any vessel …

Read the full article in “GEAR & ELECTRONICS


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Congressional Bill Seeks To Save/Increase Access To The Water

741.jpg (300×220)Don’t miss the info from BOATUS on this important piece of legislation that’s making its way through the halls of Congress in the NEWS section of compactyachts.com …

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The Rosborough Seaskiff 22′ – A ‘pocket lobsterboat’ for your next boat ride, fishing trip, crab/lobster trap run or on-water camping adventure!

A History of the boat by Peter Brown for compactyachts.com

Rosborough Seaskiff 22'

In 1976 Royal Lowell designed a pocket lobster boat for inshore fishing. Royal had great success as one of the first designers who capitalized on converting traditional wooden boats into fiberglass.  Bruno and Stillman in Newington, NH, who had begun building fiberglass Friendship Sloops, commissioned Lowell to design a 42’ lobsterboat. Soon they added a 35 foot boat and a 55 ft boat all of Lowell’s design.

As with any successful venture, it wasn’t long until a couple of employees split to form their own venture.  Sisu Boat Company was formed in 1976 with a new Royal Lowell 22’ design.  All designers develop their designs by evolution.  Lowell had taken the successful 42’ and directly scaled it down to an 18’ size, and although this was a successful boat that is still being built by Eastern Boat Company, Lowell thought that in scaling it down the boat was too narrow.  He corrected this with the Sisu 22, stretching the beam to 7’10” (sheer to sheer).  Sisu built about 150 of these boats from 1976 – 1982.  About 1/3 of them were inboards.  The rest were outboards, with a few inboard/outboards.

The majority of these first boats were work boats.  They were part-time lobster boats for people who ran 100-150 traps and would tend them after work at a day job ashore.  Sisu caught the eye of Boating magazine, who did a feature article on the use of the boat as a pocket cruiser or sport fishing boat.  Sales steadily grew in this market,  but sport fishermen wanted more speed.  Sisu quickly discovered that outboard power over 120 hp could make the boat unstable at high speed and limited power to 115 hp.

In 1982, Sisu made new molds adding a full length spray rail that ended at the transom about 2” above the waterline. This corrected the stability issue and power limits went up to 150 hp.  Between 1982 and 1988 nearly 600 boats were built.  The molds were leased to Portsmouth Boat Company between 1988 and 1992.

Rosborough Boats purchased the molds in 1992 and moved them to Halifax, NS and introduced the Seaskiff 22.  Rosborough, already established as a premier fiberglass builder with the highly successful RF-246, took design cues from the 246. They raised the sheer and added an enclosed pilot house with Rosborough’s signature pilot house doors.  Successful 246 construction techniques upgraded the boat, allowing for foam floatation, and ample space below decks for fuel , water and waste.  The innovative pilot house provided space for a galley and full protection from the weather, either sun or cold.

By combining the brilliance of the Lowell 22’ design with the innovative use of space of the Rosborough, the Seaskiff 22 became an ideal pocket camping/cruising boat.  The size is not daunting to trailer.  A ½ ton pickup, SUV or crossover can handle the 5,000 lb. load. The galley, while complete, is compact and out of the way, leaving space for the people.  So many little boats try to be bigger than they are by stuffing too much furniture and equipment into too small a space making the boat cramped and uncomfortable to go for a boat ride.

The Seaskiff 22 offers room to be comfortable on a boat ride with plenty of glass in the pilot house to enjoy the fruits of your explorations.  At the end of the day swinging at anchor, the cockpit provides ample space to sit and enjoy a sunset.

* Peter Brown (and further info on the Rosborough Seaskiff 22′) may be reached at Rosborough Boats at: peter@rosboroughboats.com
* Take a look at the Rosborough RF-246 here! 
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Heavy-duty ROPE for your heavy-duty winch …

3/16 Amsteel in hand

I’ve switched my winch to a rope vs. the steel cable or nylon strap usually employed to move heavy boats on or off the trailer. It’s called Amsteel Blue, and it utilizes Dutch technology which makes it several times stronger than rope and stronger than the equivalent size of cable …

Read about it in ‘Gear & Electronics’


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SEA TOW provides FREE radio checks!

Sea Tow

Fostering the best kind of public relations, Sea Tow has unveiled its new nationwide “Radio Check” response program, and has invited all boaters to use it …

Jump to NEWS to read the whole story 


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Parker 2830 Extended Cabin – A yacht built for exploration and fishing …

The Parker 2830 Extended Cabin

The morning was dotted with patches of fog, with a steady 10 knot wind blowing into the San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate, which was off my port beam. I had decided to make the short-cut passage into Richmond’s Inner Harbor, foregoing the well-marked Brickyard entrance to the North. Following the chart carefully, I picked my way through a circuitous route in the ‘skinny water’ south of Brooks Island where the depths came up to 4.5 feet at times (near high tide!). I was glad (and felt a bit triumphant) to reach the dredged Inner Harbor at the Protrero Turn (38’ depth) after traversing several miles of unmarked portions of the Bay off the Richmond, CA shoreline.

Later that morning, while pushing along at a leisurely 5mph while departing the marina at Port Richmond, I spotted an interesting power boat (actually just the roof top from my vantage point on the causeway) near the end of a row, a few docks down. Ever the curious mariner, I turned into the mass of sail and power vessels and motored for about 8 minutes until I’d reached her. Alongside stood a boat that I’d set to sea in (nearly as readily as I would in my Rosborough) and a vessel I’d wanted to see for some time. It was the Parker 2830 Extended Cabin, and was the only one I’d seen in the dozens of marinas I’ve inspected in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Parker 2830 with twin Yamaha 250's

She had a pair of Yamaha 250’s in the rear, and looked like she could handle all 500hp, although she’s rated for 600hp maximum (173 gal. fuel tank). In seeing the vessel and doing the associated research, I came to realize that this is one yacht that is overbuilt throughout. The manufacturer puts quality into all facets of finishing and equipping this fine vessel and a large line of center console, walkaround and sport cabin boats.

Parker Marine Enterprises, of Beaufort, NC, has been in the boat building business since 1960. Now, some 50 years after the first boat was produced, the Parker name is synonymous with American-built quality and is known as “the boat you want under you when the seas get rough”. There doesn’t seem to be any detail left unattended in this (or any of the other Parker models), and one gets a feeling that the boat that is at the top of its evolutionary form, having recognized and built on everything its builders have learned in 50 years of boat building.

Large bait well and compartments; rear boarding door

The sleek 28-footer has an all-business look to it, with no exterior teak or wood to maintain. You board through the starboard, aft transom door (although the foredeck is reasonable if you have an elevated shoreside perch) and are immediately surrounded by thoughtfully-placed, quality hatches, steps and deck fixtures that are admittedly designed for fishing, but can be used for storage and other purposes. I noticed the four sunken (located in their own indents in the deck) cockpit self-bailers with plugs, the conveniently-located water wash-down outlet, the aft-facing countertop with dual, flush-mounted compartment doors (one of which is large and gas-strut supported), the deck hatches with flush stainless hinges, multiple rod holders mounted in the side deck, etc. The cockpit is wide-open and does not feature an upholstered (or otherwise) seating area.  This is to make the most space possible for the fisherman, and a couple of comfy deck chairs fit very nicely with or without fishing poles.

Going forward to the bow, you’ll appreciate the lighted steps to the side, and the stainless steel railings on the roof for support. You’ll also value the forethought of the builders and designers when you inadvertently step on an unengaged cleat and find that, when they’re not being used, they collapse, providing a very smooth contact surface.

On the bow, the ground tackle includes a top-grade Lewmar windlass, a heavy-duty plow-type anchor, a quality stainless anchor guide & roller, a hatch that gives you access to the anchor locker, a stout, all-fiberglass pulpit, proper cleats and stainless steel railings on all sides and stainless, water resistant navigation lights (mounted here to reduce glare from the lights when navigating at night) and a see-through hatch that gives ventilation, egress and a ‘moonroof’ to passengers in the sleeping compartment below.

The 2830’s roof features the aforementioned stainless steel rails, a folding anchor light, a pair of trumpet style horns (very nice and unusual for a vessel this size) and ample space for mounting a couple rows of fisherman’s “rocket launchers” (rod holders) aft and a radar mast forward.

The locking cockpit door (the only way to enter the cabin) slides conveniently to port and you enter to starboard. Curiously, Parker doesn’t offer any preferred outfitting for the salon of the 2830, but instead gives the owner/buyer the equivalent of a blank page to start with. Depending on whether or not you’re going to use the boat for a hard-core fishing boat, a part -time fishing/part-time cruising vessel, or a cruising vessel without a rod aboard her, the salon can be set-up to match. A galley, dinette and various appliances are available from Parker and aftermarket rigging firms.

The standard features denote forethought and Parker-like quality. The ladder-back chairs with cushions are at the top of the choices for a boat this size, and there are secure grab rails throughout. The windshield and windows are tastefully tinted (just enough to give you comfort-of-vision in strong sunlight) and they feature anodized aluminum frames. The forward windows (the two windshields) open to forward to a nearly verticle position for direct ventilation, and seal tightly when closed (nice feature!). Overhead lighting, companion seats, a headliner and interior storage complete the salon. The helm is very ship-like and mariners will appreciate the quality of the helm itself and the placement of instruments and throttle controls.

Below is the electric head (with holding tank and macerator pump) and the sleeping quarters with twin beds and cushions. Overhead lighting, a hatch (for ventilation, emergency egress and sun/moon roof qualities) and a pair of screened port lights finish out the sleeping accommodations. You can add items here too, including a hanging locker, more electronics, etc.

A line drawing of the Parker 2830 exterior

A quick note about the engine mounts. Parker mounted the twin engines on an engine platform that also serves as the boarding and swim deck. This keeps the transom free and increases the overall length of the boat. Unlike vessels that utilize a hull-extension (an actual, in-water, near-full or full beam extension of the hull) for this however, the platform stays above the waterline.

Parker has seen to the basics and then some (the raw-water wash down system, for instance), while leaving some “custom” outfitting to the client. Take a look at the used market and you’ll find a wider variety of interior arrangements than on other hulls. You’ll also discover that Parker vessels hold their value longer than most, which makes them a good investment when new.

Power Outboard
Length 28′
Beam 9’6″
Draft 18″
Dry Wt 6625
Max HP 600
Fuel Capacity 173
Deadrise 21

Whether you’re looking for a fishing boat, a fishing boat that you can stay on comfortably, or a fully-outfitted yacht for exploring, the Parker 2830 Extended Cabin may be the boat for you. The company also builds several models you’ll want to research, including the Parker 2320 Sport Cabin, the 2520 Sport Cabin, the 2530 XLD Sport Cabin, the 2520 XL Sport Cabin, the 2530 Extended Cabin and the 2830 XLD Sport Cabin.

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In case of emergency – Cruise with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

Recently, I picked the top 3 units out there, researched them thoroughly, and bought one for my boat. This recounts the quick, easy process for registering a PLB, how I came to buy the one I did and the peace of mind found in having it with us when we leave port …

Read the full story in “Gear & Electronics”

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USS Sperry crosses under the Golden Gate for the last time …

On Monday morning I had the chance to do something that means a great deal to me. I was on my way out of the yacht harbor when I spotted a great grey hull making way for the (Golden) gate …

(jump to “NEWS” to


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The TRUSTY 23 – The “little ship” with big yacht flair!

Trusty 23

I was contacted this summer by a gentleman, who has become a yachting friend since, who wanted to learn more about the Trusty 23, and her newer big sister the Trusty 28. I know the Trusty name, and know the British boats to be stable and well-built. I shared with him what I knew, and agreed to look into the Trusty Motor Boat company (Trusty Motor Boats Limited) and to review their famous 23-footer in compactyachts.com. The result has been a fun and informative voyage into the British boat building culture, and a deeper appreciation for the philosophy, boat-building prowess and the quality vessels built in Kidderminster, England by Blue C Marine.

I chose the 23 to explore, as the 28 is brand new and the 23 has track record. Blue C Marine doesn’t compromise their craft with substandard design or componentry. Everything about each yachting project they build is first quality. Their boats are finished at a level we normally find on much larger yachts at much larger price points and, when completed, each yacht shows and performs as if it was built with extraordinary care for the founder of the company. The Trusty 23 demonstrates the company’s dedication to building well above the level that would be expected, by a discerning owner, in a 23-foot yacht.

From a distance, the Trusty 23 looks like it has the classic lines of boats that have plied the restless waters of the English Channel and British rivers for ages … in fact the rounded bilges and “plucky” hull resembles trawler-style fishing boats seen for decades, up an down the British Isles. Up close though, there’s a precision to the way she’s put together that reflects Trusty’s years of commitment to building fine vessels. The boat is referred to as a “gentleman’s cruising yacht”, and has both the seaworthiness and “fit out” (a British term we don’t use very often) to match.

The spacious cockpit is your boarding point and one steps over the side onto pre-molded steps, as British boaters don’t go for ‘swim steps’, preferring a simple boarding ladder (in case one goes overboard) instead. The extra long stainless ladder is mounted to the starboard transom. The size of the cockpit, with it’s transom L seating and table, first deceives you into thinking you are on a bigger boat. Many happy days will be spent here, doing or not doing a variety of things, in good weather. The floors and even the steps are covered in optional fine marine teak flooring. To the port and starboard sides of the finished hardwood doors leading to the yacht’s salon are raised shelves. Depending on what options the buyer chooses, the port shelf converts to sink and the starboard offers an outdoor steering station, or they’re handy in their native forms as shelves, with or without cabinets. There’s a raised stainless railing surrounding the cockpit for safety and footlights on each step leading to two 7” side walkways that lead to the bow. Sturdy railings and stainless grab rails on the salon roof protect you as you head forward, and quality ground tackle makes the anchor chore easier.

Back in the cockpit, the overhang above the twin doors is lighted and stylishly curved (extending topside to approximately the center of the salon roof, which limits the rooftop storage options) to make entering for a person of 6’ easier, without a section of the roof that must be lifted. Through the center line fine wood doors (which have latches so they can be left open) and you’re in the Trusty 23’s 6’3” tall salon, and the lap of luxury (marine style). The floors are all finished in the fine wood we found in the sole of the cockpit, and the joinery work is nothing short of excellent. Matching moldings trim the interior and wooden cabinetry adorns the compact galley. The galley, with stainless sink, two-burner stove, fridge (optional) and microwave (optional) sits to starboard as you enter, while a convertible dinette for two is to port. The dinette is smallish for serving more than two, although four might squeeze in. It makes down into a single bed for an adult, or a double for children, and there is storage space beneath the cushion surfaces.

If the boat is not underway, the galley counter space can be added to with the folding helm seat, which folds forward to reveal a level space that effectively doubles the limited counter area. This won’t work while the helm is in use, though, so the cook needs to be good at preparing enroute dishes with very little work space.

The helm chair is a double-wide, comfortable affair that makes up for the fact that the Trusty 23 doesn’t have a port-side navigator’s seat. One wonders why the forward dinette settee doesn’t reverse until one realizes there’s no for your room legs with the hanging locker positioned where it is. If you were to have the factory omit the hanging locker and fashion a way to reverse the forward dinette settee, you’d accomplish a navigator’s seat, but forfeit valuable storage (and the boat’s only hanging locker) in the process  There is a wide stainless footrest to starboard that serves both the skipper and guest, and a spacious helm with a high mounted, quality, wood covered metal wheel. Mounting surfaces for a nice selection of electronics is built-in and up at eye level, which is helpful when keeping your eyes on the sea is important. Access to the throttle control, wheel, switches and electronics is excellent, and it’s clear that this helm was designed by people who have lots of experience at sea.

Step to port and down two steps, and you’re in the sleeping quarters. There’s a small door to starboard which leads into the head with sink and shower (there’s also a shower in the cockpit, which is good since I’m not sure how I’d fit through the door or in the head, but at 6’4” and 285lbs I’m not the size of the average person) and to port there is the hanging locker. The double bed is a bit tight at the foot (6’ X 4.5’ overall), but overall I was quite impressed with the sleeping accommodations (and the versatility of the enclosed head, which expands somewhat as you enter) aboard this 23-foot yacht.

Overhead lighting is thoughtfully placed throughout the interior. An over-the-bed hatch, quality windows (some that open for ventilation), and Trusty’s signature, real (opening) portholes make for lots of light, airy light. The yacht really shines with its open floor plan, lighting where you need it and flowing ventilation.

The Yanmar 54hp engine that comes standard in the Trusty 23 is an economical, quiet and dependable workhorse. It reaches cruising speeds of 7.5 knots (at 3800rpm) and does 6 knots (2500rpm) at less than 1 gallon per hour. At this pace, just 1.5 knots shy of the boat’s maximum speed, the Trusty 23 can cruise approximately 24 hours between fill-ups on its 24 gallon tank with a small reserve (at 0.8 gph). Excellent access to the engine is through large, gas strut-supported hatches in the cockpit floor. Depending on how you equip the boat, there is room for storage here too, and there’s room to get down into the engine compartment should the need arise. A second hatch delivers easy access to the fuel tank, fuel filter and an engine-side fuel manifold. An engine liner, molded at the factory for engine compartment cleanliness, reminds us that the quality thinking behind this boat is similar to that of big yacht builders.

The rounded bilge form, that unique shape that makes the T23 like generations of fishing and cargo boats before her, gives her a unique ride. Seakindly and sturdy, she seems to rise up and greet each new wave with grace and agility. Her substantial keel limits rolling in most seas, and the majority of owners we spoke with commented positively about the “little ship’s” on-water motion, both when underway and when picnicing or relaxing in the sun.

Like we’ve found with other of the world’s compact yachts, the Trusty 23 attracts the more discerning yachtsman, one with a wealth of on-water experience. We found that there are a number of sailboat and power yachtsman, from much larger vessels, that stepped very comfortably into this boat, and have had many accolades to shower upon their T23’s. The yacht’s price may give you some pause (currently approximately $125,000 for a moderately equipped vessel, before getting it to the U.S. and buying/outfitting a trailer … $40,000?), but once you’ve examined it and measured its build quality, that price will seem well worth paying.

If you’re looking at a trailerable small yacht (under 23’!) that sports the build quality of a fine ocean-going yacht (read: Nordhavn, Krogen), you’re under 6’1” (lets me out) and you’re happy with low trawler (displacement) speeds, the Trusty 23 deserves to be on your pre-purchase sea test list.

***Photos courtesy of mftr. website at: www.trusty-motor-boats.co.uk


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