A tugboat squats low and digs its heels into the unfathomably deep, dark blue water of Puget Sound. Like a sumo wrestler its center of gravity is low, its power unbounded. A container-laden barge marches obediently behind the mission-designed vessel; the sight causes me to think about the craft beneath my feet.
Ranger Tugs, as the name implies, was inspired in part by these powerful workhorses that ply the Pacific. Seaworthiness and power are forefront in the design brief. But so is style and performance. Designed by Dave and John Livingston—founder and president of Ranger Tugs, respectively—the newest stallion in their stable is the first IPS-powered 41.
Cruising at 20 knots with the sun streaming in through the large forward-facing and side windows, our crew began to settle in for our first half-day run north to the San Juan Islands—the well-documented destination of choice for those who cruise this part of the world.
The 41 revealed a clever and cavernous storage space beneath the salon seating that would ensconce all of our supplies at the push of a button. Also in this space keeping our luggage company was a fridge (there was more cold storage aboard the 41 than some supermarkets) as well as a full-sized washer and dryer. Early in our trip I began daydreaming about what it would be like to sell my land-based belongings and live aboard. Its features, like copious storage space and real-world-sized amenities, can turn dreams into reality dangerously quickly.