My Thoughts on the New Vexus after Running Rangers for so Many Yearsby Capt Juls on 12/04/22
Boat show season is right around the corner, and if you're in the market for a new fishing boat, I want to share what I've learned after running the Vexus for a couple of months, in the hope that if you see one at the show, you'll go climb around in one, and check it out. :)
I've owned 20 different Rangers...most of them being the 621s, and I loved them. The fact, that the folks who started and built Rangers are now making the Vexus was my biggest motivator in moving, and trying out the the new hull.
I finally got the new DVX22 back in mid-September, and the first time I ran it I knew I was going to love it. I expected it to be similar to the 621 in regards to drivability, but to my surprise, it's better...it's smoother, and handles better in the rougher stuff.
Granted, I don't take people out when it's really rough, because they usually can't stand up in the boat, and it's no fun for them, so I keep my days to when the waves are forecasted to be 1-3s, and reschedule when it's going to be rougher than that. With that said, I noticed I can drive faster in the 2-3s than I ever did with the 621, and felt comfortable doing so.
It's also faster than any Ranger I have owned. I was never able to get my 621s over 58mph, and I've hit 68mph with the Vexus, which still had a little more to go, but I'm not comfortable going that fast out there....with nets, floating debris, and wakes to watch out for, so I prefer to just keep it at a cruising speed, for safety's sake. So, obviously, speed isn't my biggest concern in a boat. It's nice to know, though, that I can open it up on a nice day, and hit those speeds.
Things I like, are probably little things to others, but big things to me, and in no particular order of importance...just whatever comes to my head first:
~The windshield...it's solid as a rock. You know how when people in the boat move from the front or the back of the boat, and step up/down, and use the windshield as a crutch to do so? Yeah, this windshield can take that weight. In my 621s, I was always telling them not to put their weight on the windshield, because it can cause troubles...loosen screws and such. But, because of the way Vexus has the windshield installed, it can take all that weight, and I never have to worry about it.
It's also, not tight against the console, so I can get my entire hand back behind the dash, to clean the glass.
For many years, because of the design, I wasn't able to do that with the Rangers, and for someone like me, who likes to keep the boat spotless, that's huge. lol
~The boat's cooler is now in the rear port side corner, rather than in front of the windshield on the port side bow. That makes it much easier to put stuff in, and get stuff out, without having to climb up in the boat to do so.
~The design of the transom/splash well area is much better...it's higher off the water, so the bigger waves don't come over the back, like they can in the Ranger with the lower profile back there.
~The bow seems higher off the water when the boat is on plane, which is nice when driving is rougher conditions. I also have the trim tabs installed, and while I could set them on auto, I like to use them manually...they really improve the ride. I have the controls installed on the gunnel by the throttle, so all I have to do is reach up and adjust it on the fly. So simple.
~The bow storage compartments are freak'n huge. All the stuff I had in the 621 compartments up there, that filled those compartments to the brim, don't even come close to filling up those storage boxes on the Vexus.
~I like the rod locker, but the design of it limits how many rods you can put in there, and I know it's not 10' in the center, like a few others have... I think their website says 8'4" in the center. All my rods are 7', so that's not an issue for me.
~I like the rod storage on the port side, in the Vexus better, too. That design keeps the reels from touching anything and scratching the glass when transporting rods. The rod butt/reel supports are something I had never seen before, and at first I thought I wouldn't like them, but they are the bomb! Very cool and easy to use.
~The battery compartment can hold all 5 batteries (Rangers only 4), and the 2 and 3 bank chargers are installed in the rear starboard compartment, right in front of the transom control panel where they get plugged in. That's convenient, because I can open that compartment lid and check the battery chargers, before I unplug them. I no longer have to climb in the boat to do that.
~This one I'm getting used to....in the Vexus, in front of the live well, they have storage compartments and access to the bilge pumps. It takes up about 8 inches, I think? I'm not sure, I never measured it. But, that's where I used to have my MoDog Running Rod Rack, and because of that storage/bilge access, I can no longer install the rod rack there.
But, thanks to Cisco, who have come up with a hybrid rod holder, that is like a combo between a tube and cradle (I always preferred the cradles), I can now put the rods in the new rod holders when I'm running from spot to spot, instead of having to put them back in the rod locker or lying around the boat with customers sitting back there, too.
Cisco designed these rod holders to keep the reel facing inside the boat...(see pic below). That's what I didn't like about just the tube style holders...the reel would be facing outside the boat.
My cradles didn't have the arm attachment, so I would've had to use a bungee cord, wrapped around the end, to keep the rod from falling out when on plane. What a pain in the butt that was, each time I had to move. These new rod holders were just the ticket I needed to replace the loss of my MoDog. So, now I'm not so unhappy with that storage/bilge area. I really do like having that extra storage and easier access to the bilge.
~The area inside the back is not as roomy as the 621s, however, and is just a big tighter, due to larger storage compartments, and it only being 101" from gunnel to gunnel, but not so much that it bothers me. I noticed it, but it didn't bother me.
~The Vexus comes with Air Wave pedestals in them, and Ranger uses the through the floor suspension pedestals. So, both have bouncy seats offered, but the Air Wave product is a better choice, in my opinion. With that said, I put the SmoothMoves in mine, because I've used them for years, and my customers love them. The SM seat also allows me to be higher than the previous two options mentioned, which allows me to get above the windshield when I'm driving, (I also fold my seat down and sit on the back of it, so I'm even higher) so I can read the waves better.
~The compartment lids have deeper channels and rubber surrounds, so it is better at keeping water out of the boxes.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but know this...whichever brand you prefer, you can't go wrong with any of them. Some are just a little better, depending on what your needs are. :)