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Silas Onboard Kismet – Penrose Point State Park And Filucy Bay

Silas Onboard Kismet – Penrose Point State Park and Filucy Bay

We've Waited a Long Time to Have Silas Onboard for a Weeklong Adventure! – Monday afternoon, Lisa, Silas and I waved goodbye from shore to Ross and Hadley and headed back to the boat. To see the wonderment in Silas’ eyes, as we departed Gig Harbor, brought back memories of when I was a child spending time on the water in a boat. From Gig Harbor we cruised through the Narrows into Hale Passage en-route to Penrose Point State Park, off Carr Inlet. We have never cruised much in South Sound, except for one trip to Gig Harbor in 2011, when we took possession of our Ranger Tugs R27. The day was sunny warm and clear, the water very calm, so we decided to anchor out for our first night. What a delight to have Silas onboard with us. We wondered what Silas would think about sleeping on the boat, which he has done many times, but always at a…

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Silas First Boating Adventure – Gig Harbor

Silas First Boating Adventure – Gig Harbor

Our First Guests on Our New Ranger Tug, Kismet! – It is often said that people are a “product of their environment.” We had our grandson, Silas, on his first boat ride, in 2013, before he was a week old. Since that day, we’ve had a few boat rides with him, his parents and recently minted sister, Hadley. As he is now almost four years old, we thought it was time to immerse him into our boating lifestyle. So we invited him to join us for – Silas first boating adventure – a week-long cruise in South Puget Sound, Washington. There was no hesitation in his reply. "When do we go?" he said. We chose South Sound for its close proximity to Portland, where Silas, his sister, and parents live. After our Ranger Tugs orientation in Des Moines Marina, we spent several days commissioning the boat with many shopping expeditions to stock and equip the boat. We left there Saturday…

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Saying Goodbye Is Hard To Do!

Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do!

Reality of Life Does Not Stop When You Board a Boat and Take Off for Ports Unknown – The real world will eventually catch up and find us. Such is what happened during our 2017 Puget Sound cruise. My brother, Ken Targal passed away after a long battle with cancer – too soon. We took a time out and flew back to Michigan to be with family for a few days. Ken was a boater, he loved to be on the water as much as Jim and I do. We were raised on summer visits to a family cottage on Lake Huron where our family had at least five boats of varying sizes. Ken lived in the water during the summer and loved the sunfish and hydroplane in our menagerie of boats. He later moved on to speed boats. He was in his element when he was with his family out on the water, boating. He was an amazing, loving…

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Ranger Tugs Gives Orientation On Volvo Penta D4-300

Ranger Tugs Gives Orientation on Volvo Penta D4-300

Kenny Marrs met us at the boat in the morning of day two of our orientation. He would be covering the Volvo Penta D4-300 engine operations, Garmin electronics, dinghy deployment and retrieval and much more. We’ve known Kenny from the beginning of our Ranger Tugs association, a nicer young man you will never meet. We have seen Kenny in action, the dedication to his customers needs is intuitive and honest. Thanks again, Kenny!  

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How Do You Say Thank You?

How Do You Say Thank You?

If you are Fluid Motion, parent company of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats, you hold the largest “Thank You Rendezvous” the boating community has ever seen! – We attended our first Ranger Tugs Rendezvous in August of 2011, just after taking delivery of our 2012 Ranger R27. At that time it was organized by the owners and supported by the Factory. It was held in Bremerton Washington that year and attended by approximately 68 boats and over a hundred owners. It was a fun event, “Parrotville Party” was the theme that year, very similar to this years theme, “Cruise to Margaritaville.” These tuggers sure like their margaritas. One has to ask why has this event gotten so big, five times the size of the one we attended in 2011? We finally decided it’s not just one thing. But it does revolve around one central fact. Fluid Motion takes care of their customers and the yearly rendezvous is a way of continuing…

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Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation Day

Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation Day

Even Experienced Boaters Need Help Sometimes! – Because of our many years of boating experience (six of those years on a Ranger Tug) we didn’t feel we needed to have the “New Boat Delivery Experience” provided by Ranger Tugs when we took possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S – but, they insisted. Boy were we wrong! Way wrong! We have been avid boaters almost all of our adult lives. In all the new boat purchases we’ve made we’ve never, ever, EVER had such a thorough and rewarding new delivery experience like we recently had when taking delivery of our new R29S. The only other experience that was close to comparing was when we took possession of our R27, in 2011. In six years, Ranger Tugs has only improved the process, amazingly not cutting back on it in any way. We think they get how important this is to the new owner’s buying and satisfaction quota meter. Pretty smart in…

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Insights Into Jim’s Packing Science

Insights Into Jim’s Packing Science

Packing for a Cross Country Trip is Like Preparing for a Marathon Getting ready for a cross-country trip requires some mental gymnastics! We’ve only got one shot to pack up the truck before we head west. Better to be well organized from the start. We knew it was going to be tight, especially since we were taking a few containers of personal items to our son, Ross and his family, who live in Portland, OR. We actually started the packing process back in April when we unloaded the contents, of our sold Ranger Tugs R27, from our truck into the garage. I sorted through it all and weeded out things we never used. Then I put most of the boat paraphernalia into containers that would eventually fit neatly in the bed of the truck. Once we depart home there's no chance we’re turning around, unless it’s Lisa who’s not in the truck. We are fairly familiar with the drill and…

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Ready And Waiting At The Factory – Kismet A Ranger Tug R29S

Ready and Waiting at the Factory – Kismet a Ranger Tug R29S

When does a boat become a boat? My thoughts are... “when it is ready to float and cruise!” Based on the final assembly production photos we just received from the factory, it appears Kismet, a Ranger Tug R29S, is ready to become a boat. The Ranger Tug R29S sports a larger head than our R27. There will also be more privacy with the head being positioned in the stateroom. The stateroom is a step up for us, having slept on a V-berth for the last six years on the R27. We are also loving the spacious under bed storage area. There will be plenty of natural lighting, more elbow room in the galley for better maneuverability. We had our new Kismet built in the same Hero Red as our recently sold R27, as this is our favorite boat color. You just can't beat the photo op of a bright red hull sitting on deep blue water. You might also notice the brows around the…

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Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Coming Home to Charlevoix, Michigan for the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous! Charlevoix Michigan was home to the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous. What a spectacular setting for this years event. Lisa and I have a fondness for Charlevoix as this was once our homeport. That was before we became enamoured of trailering our Ranger Tug all over the United States. So being in Charlevoix again was like coming home. Arriving on Monday morning, for our 3-day event, we had nothing but clear sunny skies while greeting attendees as they arrived. With 40 people in attendance, we had boaters from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, Ohio, Kentucky, Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Also in attendance were sponsors and representatives of Reed Yacht Sales, Manitowoc Marina and Volvo Penta. The event was also sponsored by Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats and Global Marine Insurance. By the very nature of being able to trailer these boats, Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats have…

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Construction Of The New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Construction of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Marrying the Hull of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S Having something built from scratch, such as a house, car or in this case a boat is usually best left to the professionals. As you’ll see from the following photos there is evidence that a tremendous amount of thought and mindful design goes into building a boat, before and during manufacturing. There is a coordinated effort, before the actual production starts, to have on hand all of the hardware, wiring, hoses, batteries, glass, lighting, engine, generator, electronics, solar panel, seating cushions, tanks, etc. This ensures production occurs smoothly and on time. If not planned properly, I could see how delays and backlogs in production could very easily happen. In this case our new Kismet was complete almost before we knew it, that’s because of the efficiency of the professionals at Ranger Tugs… they know how to build boats and they build them well. In the past, when we've ordered a…

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Nice Article On Crew Of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

Nice Article on Crew of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

TRAILER BLAZING! Sea Magazine just did a fantastic article about the crew of Kismet in their August 2017 issue. Find out more about this amazing lifestyle choice. Go where you want to boat with less restrictions, less weather restraints and more affordability. Use your boat as an RV when traveling to distant cruising grounds. For the best fun of all, get out on the water and meet up with other Ranger Tug owners, from all corners of the country, at Factory or owner held rendezvous. Become part of the community! That new VolvoPenta Engine will be taking Kismet on some big adventures, by land and by sea! Hope we see you there. #RangerTugs, #VolvoPentaNA #VPtakesme #VolvoPenta Kismet Sea Magazine

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Construction Of The NEW KISMET!

Construction of the NEW KISMET!

UPDATE on the NEW KISMET! Having sold our Ranger Tug R27 a few months ago, we ordered a Ranger Tug R29S, we'll take delivery of our new Kismet in August 2017. So, we are spending the summer boatless! Lots to do at home while we prepare to travel west to Seattle, next month, to take possession. This tug, with a sportier look and a Volvo Penta diesel engine, will take us to some exciting cruising destinations with a quieter, more stable ride. Our new tug will be just a little bit bigger, but still trailerable. Yes, Kismet will look good again in that Hero Red hull. Looking forward to a little more room to accommodate our growing grandchildren. One of our new goals is to share our love of boating with them for many years to come. Construction photos to come soon!

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Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel In The Broughton Islands

Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel in the Broughton Islands

Pierre's Echo Bay Lodge and Marina is Famous for Their Nordic Themed Feasts – Less than 2 miles away from the previous nights anchorage in Shoal Bay sits Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge and Marina. We arrived early morning for a 2-day stay. Before making our way to our assigned slip, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tank. This is a chore we prefer to do on the way into a marina. That way, when we leave early morning, we don't have to wait in line at the fuel dock. After coming out of the wild, with several days spent watching for bears, whales and eagles, we found ourselves, once again, immersed in a busy and unique, floating community. Pierre's Echo Bay is well-known, by boaters in the Pacific Northwest, for their central location in the Broughton Islands and the owner's flamboyant nordic roots. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry have created a haven for boaters in the Broughton Islands with a decidedly nordic flare, a reflection of their…

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Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole For Bad Weather

Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole for Bad Weather

  Shoal Harbour is Located Close to Pierre's Echo Bay at the North side of Gilford Island – After lunch, we stayed a couple of hours relaxing in the Burwood Group, it was that spectacular. Our plan was to anchor for the night in Shoal Harbour. En-route there, we explored while cruising in and out of Scott Cove and eventually Pierre's Echo Bay, taking a quick spin around the famous floating marina (we had reservations secured for the next day). After our exploration cruise, we arrived into the north arm of Shoal Harbour as planned – late afternoon. The harbour is a well-protected, shallow watered, anchorage. Navigating into Shoal Harbour can be a little nerve wracking, as one needs to negotiate a narrow channel before entering the harbour. Its called Shoal Harbour for a reason, I would guess, many parts of the bay are “shoaled.” With that said, we found a spot in five feet of water at low tide. Shoal Harbour has a logging operation located in the…

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Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Burdwood Group – A cluster of low lying islands – One of the interesting features of the Burdwood Group Islands are the white shell beaches. This grouping includes Denham Island, Walker Islet and a few other unnamed islands and islets. We stopped for lunch during our day-long exploration on our way to Shoal Harbour. The surroundings were amazing, almost dreamlike with pointy islands all around. It helped that it was an extremely calm day with glassy water below us reflecting the mounds of islands nearby. Above us, the sky was intensely blue at the height of the day, we felt saturated in warm color and dreaminess. It felt like time stood still. We were soon joined by a couple of sailboats, they coasted by as if they were gliding on half-set Jell-o. The Burdwood Group Islands are a popular spot for kayakers. We can see why. I would want to return to this group should we ever make it back to the Broughton Islands. It was that amazing! We made…

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Peace And Quiet In Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Peace and Quiet in Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Simoon Sound – A Sure Thing for a Bear Sighting We left Kwatsi Bay late morning to head back west into Tribune Channel and eventually Simoon Sound. First, we wanted to explore the length of Tribune Channel while also looking out for a spot to anchor for the night. Our preferred choice was Macintosh Bay, but the best spot was taken. We proceeded further back into O’Brien Bay and found a nice spot in the north corner of the bay with a good view of a level shoreline and wide open beach area where we hoped to have a black bear sighting at low tide. Simoon Sound is located on the north and east sides of Wishart Peninsula between Tribune Channel and Kingcome Inlet. The sound is also a reserve of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Captain George Vancouver anchored here on Discovery and Chatham in 1792 Entertainment for the night? Bear Watching! Sure enough, at 5:15 we spotted a small black bear walking on the rocks…

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Can’t Get Enough Of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Can’t Get Enough of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina More fog greeted us this morning. We watched it slowly roll into Viner Sound the night before. Never have seen this much fog in our lives! So, today was another exploration cruising day. We enjoy poking into little coves, around islands, up bays, rivers or sounds, just to see whats there. It must be the inquisitive nature and wanderlust in our blood and our ongoing desire to see as much of the Broughton’s as we can this summer. Our end goal today is a return visit Kwatsi Bay Marina. Soon after we departed Viner Sound, we cruised through a group of islands called Burdwood Group. We were scouting potential anchorages for when we come back through. We moved slowly east into Tribune Channel, once again, but saw no whales, however we did see a great many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, way off in the distance. After a delightful afternoon cruise we traveled the final…

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Day Three – North Channel Presentation, Boat Crawl And Pizza Party

Day Three – North Channel Presentation, Boat Crawl and Pizza Party

Day three began with another broadcast of the Little Current Cruisers' Net at the Anchor Inn for those who missed it on Monday. Jim and several other Tugnuts went back and helped Roy log in names of vessels calling in. We were also very fortunate to have another North Channel Presentation, again this year by Roy Eaton. Thanks Roy! After the North Channel Presentation, we had another fabulous creation for lunch, by Kelly and the Anchor Inn. Lunch was followed by a boat crawl. We all opened up our boats so that we could take a look/see at what improvements, changes or additions we made to the interiors or exteriors of our boats. This is a very helpful event for all the Tugnuts in attendance. Storage has got to be one of the most burning issues on our Ranger Tugs and I have to say some people get very creative on finding extra storage space. We always take photos of things other Tugnuts do…

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Upside Of Downsizing To A Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Upside of Downsizing to a Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Reading this e-book, I couldn’t help but wonder how many cruisers might be tempted to follow the example set by Jim and Lisa Favors, a couple with thousands of miles of Great Loop cruising experience who, after five years of full-time living aboard, gave up their comfortable 40-foot trawler for a trailerable 27-foot Ranger Tugs.Like many other PassageMaker readers, I’ve gone aboard boats like this at boat shows, asking myself whether my wife and I might someday want to downsize and try to squeeze into a smaller boat. A trawler yacht that can be towed over the highway and cruised in many different areas each year, avoiding long passages over water. After all, it’s a whole lot faster and cheaper to cover the distance between, say, Ft. Lauderdale and Halifax or San Diego and Seattle at 60mph, compared to displacement speeds. “One of the beauties of this plan,” the Favors wrote as they were planning their move, “is that we’d be able to cut out a lot of long boat travel days by driving to the heart of a spot and dropping the boat into the water.”
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Rim Route To South Bay Cove On Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Rim Route to South Bay Cove on Lake Okeechobee, Florida

"Big Water" – Lake Okeechobee and the Rim Route From our one-night stop in LaBelle, we proceeded toward Lake Okeechobee (or in Seminole Indian language, Big Water), we'll be taking the rim route around the lake instead of going straight across this time. The Okeechobee Waterway, which includes the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie River, boasts a 134.3 nautical miles from west to east and is the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the United States. You can transit the lake by going straight across or by the more protected, though shallower, rim route that follows the southern edge of the lake. We've never done this path before and are looking forward to seeing something new. We'll stop one night to anchor at South Bay Cove, a spot Jim found on Active Captain and heard other boaters talk about. It is located at the southern end of the lake. It was a very thickly overcast day so we did not get very good…

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2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous – Many Thanks To All…

2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous – Many Thanks to All…

We Want to Thank Everyone Who Attended the First 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous We look forward to meeting up with many of the participants on the water in the future. Boats in attendance ranged from far away as Alberta, Fort Lauderdale, Rhode Island and Texas. This was the first time cruising the North Channel for 9 of the 15 boats. Although we could not have had a successful rendezvous without those in attendance, there is lot that goes on behind the scenes well before the event starts and during the rendezvous. Thanks to Debby Turner at Little Currents Turner’s for suppling the Manitoulin Island/North Channel maps for our ditty bags. We also had donations for our ditty bags from Prism Polish, GMC Flint Assembly Plant and the UAW (including the bags), Ranger Tug hats and key fobs. Thanks to Reid Taylor for making arrangements for our dockage at Little Current Town Docks and use of the Pavillion, everything was delivered as…

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North Channel Rendezvous – Two Presentations And A Pizza Party

North Channel Rendezvous – Two Presentations and a Pizza Party

Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous Last Day! On the last day Roy Eaton, from the LCCN, gave a wonderful powerpoint presentation at the Anchor Inn Bar, an overview of Georgian Bay and the North Channel highlighting some of the history and many popular anchorages. Later, back at the pavilion, we gathered for a presentation by Mark Coles (above), of Boating Georgian Bay, who gave a geological and historical overview of Georgian Bay. Mark also spent the afternoon photographing and video taping Ranger Tug owners for a piece he was doing on the Boating Georgian Bay’s website. Later in the afternoon we had a boat crawl. It’s always interesting to see what additions, improvements and/or enhancements others have made to their boats. I came away with a cave area, storage shelf, idea I saw on Mike and Jess’s boat, Illusions. Lisa liked a spice rack (above-left) that was hand built by Randy and Cindy on, I Think I Can., she also liked their…

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Day Two – Activities And Good Food

Day Two – Activities and Good Food

Day Two of the Ranger Tugs Rendezvous Begins... Day two started off with a catered breakfast prepared by Kelly, owner of the Anchor Inn. We could have gotten by without eating the rest of the day, the meal was so plentiful and well prepared. Breakfast was followed by a visit to the Cruisers’ Net, provided by Roy Eaton, at the Anchor Inn (see next post for details). (Above Left) Mike and Jim were having some fun at the marina up the road. Later that morning Kenny Marrs conducted a “Ask the Factory” session in which a lot on questions were answered by Kenny with a good exchange of helpful information between Kenny and boat owners. Late afternoon, we had a North Channel chart review followed by a marine related app session. Boating rendezvous are extremely helpful to owners with a helpful exchange with both factory reps and/or service reps, dealers and other owners. We hope this year's North Channel Ranger Tugs Rendezvous…

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North Channel Rendezvous In Full Swing

North Channel Rendezvous In Full Swing

A North Channel Ranger Tugs Rendezvous It is often stated that the North Channel is some of the best inland cruising you’ll find anywhere. We could not agree more! It is, after all, in our boating backyard playground. Lisa and I talked about the possibility of having a Ranger Tugs/Cutwater Rendezvous in the North Channel shortly after we bought our red tug several years ago. With that in mind, we approached Jeff Messmer at Ranger Tugs while we were cruising in the Pacific Northwest last summer. By fall the Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous was put into full planning mode. Jeff and I contacted several dealers in the area, Reed Yacht Sales and Lefroy Harbour Marine and Resorts. We got them on board as sponsors for the rendezvous. Dates for the three-day event were set at that point and we slowly worked out the details during the winter months. It didn’t take long to make the decision on the location…

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Day One Of The Rendezvous Began With Introductions, A Pot Luck, And Lots Of Smiling Faces

Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous Welcomed 14 Tugs and One Cutwater! Ranger Tugs arrived all morning at the town docks in Little Current until all fifteen boats (35 people) were secure in their slips. Introductions continued all day as we met people from all over the United States (8 boats) and Canada (7 boats) – 14 Ranger Tugs and one Cutwater. The boat coming the farthest distance in the U.S. was from Texas and the farthest Canadian boat hailed from Alberta. Many different people, tastes and personalities all sharing one common passion, their Ranger Tugs/Cutwater boats. Carolyn, on Pour House (above), brought a big pan of ribs for consumption by the hungry boaters at the scheduled pot luck. Soon after arriving and getting settled at the town docks, everyone was busy getting a dish ready for the pot luck that night. Mind you this was no ordinary potluck! It is truly amazing what elaborate and delicious dishes can be made on our little tugs.   Lots of…

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