Looking at an 88 Ranger 364v as my first Bass boat. Opinions please

Started by lacofdfireman, March 14, 2017, 09:53:09 AM

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Looking to upgrade from Kayaks to a bass boat and came across an 88 Ranger 356v for $4500. 

This is basically the ad.

1988 ranger 364v, excellent shape, new carpet throughout, boat has been completely gone through, everything works, runs awesome, 150hp mercury black max, two props very fast, new Minkota 85lb trolling motor, two lowarance fish finders and down rigger, new axel, wiring, leds, and tires on trailer. Storage and travel cover Lots of extras Price is firm, serious inquires only.

Been looking at the Bass Tracker line of boats also.  What would some of your concerns be on a boat this old?  Would be something to look into or run away from.  Also this one is a lot older than the Bass Trackers that I've been looking at for about the same money.   But this one does have a larger motor.  Most of the Bass Trackers I have looked at are 60-90hp.  Thought and opinions please.

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Bud Kennedy

The main issues would be that the 88 ranger had a wood transom, I don't think they went to all composite until 89.  This is very problematic.  The other would be the age of the motor.  I would forget about this one.

anytime you are looking at a boat this old you need to read the ads with a bit of tongue in cheek attitude.  Until you see it, smell it, stand in it and drive it down the lake you really won't know.  Also boat motors of this vintage are also not economical to run as they really like to burn the fuel.  Trust me on this one, my boat is a 1991 and I have a lot of experience for spending money to keep it going.


I was hoping to see some knowledge from Bud, Rick, or one of our other Ranger experts on this one before I put my .02 in the bucket. I was thinking the transom was wood and going back that far in years I wasn't sure. Besides age, that's not quite an 18' boat and I think you'll be feeling a bit cramped for space with both sons with you.

He mentions lots of he's added to the boat but only thing about the motor is it has two props and is very fast. Besides wanting to have a compression test done, I'd be checking the lower unit grease and asking when the waterpump and seals were last replaced.

Assuming the motor has been in the water, in addition to checking the compression I should have mentioned that it's a good idea to unscrew the lower unit drain plug long enough to let a little gear oil drip out. If it's milky, walk away.

I would recommend not going any older than maybe mid '90s.
Stratos 285 XL Pro 150 Evinrude ETEC

Dobyns Rods - LSCR Club

Donald Garner

I've checked around and Ranger started building fiberglass transoms in late 1988.  To be safe I'd pass on this boat.  Like mentioned there's just too many things that could go wrong and there's nothing worst than having a boat and spending a bunch of money on it.   There's an old saying > What does Boat mean?  Break out another thousand dollars  ~shade  Marine mechanics labor isn't cheap either.  In my area they charge $100.00 dollars an hour to work on boats.

Bud and Princeton_Man has provided some sound advice here. 

Good luck in continuing to find that right boat.
Belton Texas part of God's Country
Stratos 285 Pro XL Yamaha 150 VMax; Lowrance Hook 7 Electronics; Minn Kota Foretrex Trolling Motor

G3 1548 Alwed Jon boat Yamaha 25hp outboard 


I have an older Ranger love the hell out of it. but what everyone is saying is correct. nobody in louisville will work on older outboards found a man here that is really good and fast he is my number one man now if I have any problems.


Hopper began experimenting with fiberglass pultrusion in 1985, in 1986 he secured the patent and 1987 was when they first introduced the fiberglass pultruded transom models. To be 100% honest, I am not sure if that was all 87 models or just certain ones. Had a 1990 330V , loved the boat. It was a complete disaster when I inherited it and and we completely restored it. Was a rock solid fishing machine for sure.  A lot has been covered already but will come down to what your looking for.  My 90 was my first and I quickly found I needed bigger and faster, your situation may be different but we were trying to fish 3 and 4 out of that little 330V and it got old quick. Today I wouldn't go below a 200hp, fuel injection or 19 footer with a dual axle trailer but that's just my needs and wants and after getting it checked by a certified technician and you are comfortable with the price and it will meet your needs go for it. Just remember it's a very old boat and it will probably need some hands on work but it's a good way to learn all about your first one.
Stop by the Garage and let me know if you have Maintenance issues that you need assistance with.


You've had some great advice from folks that owned them, the one thing I would say is that on older boat of that age may be a decent purchase or a money pit. They were great boats, in their day.
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.