Ranger Otter Canoe - initial impressions

I bought my 16’ Alumacraft when I was 12. It’s served me well for quite some

time and I’ve had some good times with it. I’m getting lazy now and figured I

could treat myself to a new, lighter boat. I recently took delivery of a 16’

Ranger Otter from Ranger Canoe in Ashland, NH. I got the polyester - E glass

layup with wood trim. Advertised weight is 56 lbs, though it feels a bit lighter

to me.

Was able to get out for about 3 hours on Saturday on a larger lake in the area.

Overcast, cool, and windy. Wind was just below causing a good chop, but

noticeable in a canoe, especially solo.

With two people it’s a real charm. Seems fast, tracks nice and turns easily when

needed. Good control in the wind. Most importantly my wife likes it. She

was a little skittish at first, being lower to the water compared to the

Alumacraft, but she got over it quickly. The Alumacraft is all she’s ever been

in. Purposley sought a few boat wakes, both head on and broadside. Felt good in

both cases.

Took it out solo for about an hour, and it was a bit skittish. Kneeling just

behind the yoke. A bit more tippy feeling. I think with one person (180 lbs) it

rides a bit high in the water. The wind took me once where I couldn’t get it

turned into the wind. I had to duck behind an island and come out strong into

it. My wife isn’t a strong paddler in any event so I had some indication of how

it would handle solo w/ballast. Planning on a couple of 5 gal water containers

for ballast when I’m by myself. But maybe I just need to get used to this boat

too. Time will tell.

Need to add a kneeling thwart. Hope to get it out in more conditions soon to get

a better feel for it, but from what I’ve seen so far it’s a nice boat. Overall I

think it’s a solid, quality built canoe. Looks nice too! Mike O’Hara worked with

me for a couple of weeks to get the order and delivery worked out over the phone.

Nice guy to do business with.

Thanks for the review
Sweet looking boats. I wish the budget was there for a couple more boats. The Otter is on my wish list.

Ranger Otter
Like I noted, haven’t had a lot of time in it, but I like what I see. It’s a nice boat for the money.