Ranger Tugs generated a lot of excitement when the company introduced its new R31, and it’s easy to understand why. Built for extended cruising, the R31 is big enough to be spacious on the water yet small enough to be trailered, allowing cruisers to quickly access new areas and spend more time exploring on-site, rather than traveling to and from.
The R31 comes in two versions – a popular Sedan model, and a Command Bridge version with a fold-down flybridge that maintains height on the trailer to just 13 feet, two inches. This is a brilliant feature – not only for trailering, but any time you need to navigate under low bridges, for example.
The large rear swim platform also deserves special mention. Complete with its integral dock box that holds two separate propane tanks for cooking, it’s completely surrounded by a stainless steel rail for added safety.
The cockpit seating is very comfortable with a bench seat facing forward across the stern. Twin bases in the cockpit sole allow for the easy installation of a removable dining table. But what really sets this boat apart is a pair of flip-out seats built into the coaming on each side of the cockpit, lifting up and out over the gunnel. It’s a simple and brilliant design – when not in use, the seats fold back into the gunnels where they’re out of the way. With the addition of a small cockpit fridge (an ice maker is optional), the cockpit is a great place to enjoy the sun.
Step inside and the R31’s massive salon suggests a boat much larger than 31 feet. The spacious port-side table provides plenty of room for meals, and can drop down to provide sleeping space for two. The forward seat back there flips rearward to create forward-facing seating for two, with a fold down table for snacks or chart reading. A starboard side pilothouse door and wine cooler are nice touches.
Down below, the master stateroom in the bow features a queen island bed, with an ensuite full-size head with shower. A mid-ship berth for two, with a day head, accommodates guests.
When it’s time to set out, the flybridge helm offers great visibility, with electronic controls. A second helm station in the rear cockpit provides convenience when docking. Standard bow and rear thrusters provide joystick docking control. While this might seem like overkill on a boat of this size, the ability to spin the boat 360 degrees on its own length, or slide it sideways into a slip, lets anyone look like a champ on even breezy days.
Powered by a single Volvo Penta D4 that generates 300 horsepower, the R31 will cruise comfortably at 16 knots, and hit near 20 knots at wide-open throttle, with a 230-mile range. Cut it back to around 1,500 rpm and around 7 knots, and the range extends to a whopping 550 miles. The Ranger 31R’s hull planes easily, and is a joy to drive at all speeds.
Ranger’s R31 is designed to be a functional and capable long distance cruiser. With its innovative design features and comfortable amenities, it will appeal to a lot of boaters.
Ranger Tugs 31 Specs
Weight: 10,500 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 180 gals.
Water capacity: 80 gals.