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Old 31-10-2018, 13:32   #1
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Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Hi,

So I have an opportunity to buy a gen 1 Ranger 26 for fairly cheap. The good news is that it has a large sail inventory, brand new 5hp 4-stroke outboard and I know most of the history of the boat up until its past owner. The badnews is that it hit a rock, the guy onboard had to be medivaced (don't know if it was immersion or he hit a bulkhead...). The boat was then towed by a local salvage company and now is posted for sale by the company as the owner did not have funds for the tow. The salvage company has not pulled the boat out of the water, however, the rudder shaft was replaced and divers inspected the keel and only a 'chip' was noticed. Now to my understanding is that these keels wouldn't dent as they are not lead?

What I am wondering is if I should run or not. I will be viewing the boat tomorrow and barring any obvious problems will probably get it pulled at a local club. It is a bit of a hassle to get it pulled so I am wondering if there is some areas I can check to have a good (80%) chance of knowing if it checks out or not.

I will be using the boat for club racing, daysailing, and some weekend cruising(young able bodied).

YB
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Old 31-10-2018, 14:04   #2
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Seeing as she has hit a rock, I would be very suspicious of her keel bolts, (from what I understand they are somewhat prone to leaking as is) Having her hauled out sounds like the best first step, along with a hull cleaning to look for any cracking at or near the keel joint. I would also look very carefully at the base of the main bulkhead and look for rot or any sign that the bulkhead is separating from the hull and that the tabbing is intact.
Also was the rudder shaft replaced as a consequence of the collision with the rock and if it was do you know how much water if any, came in from the damaged shaft, it only takes a little saltwater to make electrics very unhappy. If her batteries are under the cockpit sole check the terminals for extra corrosion, and any low lying electrical fitting while your at it, no guarantee they didn't get doused but could be a good indication.
Having said all that, she could end up being a great buy if* she wasn't pounded to severely, and her electrical components did take a salt bath... Look carefully, then look again, take pictures, and look at them preferably with someone who knows as much about boats as possible, then decide to buy or not. She doesn't have to be perfect, and how good she has to be is up to you, and keep in mind repair bills tend to expand on their own accord, but if you are confident in your ability to make the repairs (or learn how to) you could save a bit on fixing anything she needs.
Regardless, good luck and best wishes.
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Old 31-10-2018, 14:15   #3
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Keel, keelbolts, stringers, hull at rear of keel, rudder tube, bearings, AND one good hit can resonate through the rigging so that all the standing rigging and chain plates need to be checked. It can also snap any tabbing on bulkheads or cabinets. I boat I used to crew on was totaled after a good t-bone did all of that kind of "it can do that?" damage.

Then you've got to consider, an Ranger26 can be a nice boat, but there can be a lot of rotting wood in the deck, bulkhead, etc. that you also want to check for.
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Old 31-10-2018, 14:27   #4
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Thank you for the replies.

A little bit more info...

The boat has sailed and appears to sail well. The salvage company owner was contemplating keeping the boat but bought another power boat instead.

The electronics are wired around the rear bulkhead with the battery under the lazzerette.

The keel boats do not leak, appearance is rusty but not unusual for the Ranger.

So here is where my noviceness comes in. I am a fishing guide with a good understandings of bad fibreglassing and problem areas etc... but what I want to know is what am I looking for upon pulling the boat that would mean it's 'totalled' or no good if it isn't leaking. Am I just looking for cracks greater than spider cracking? Maybe I am overthinking it and I'll know if I see it...

Edit: The rudder and outboard were replaced as a result of the collision. It worries me that the boat was not pulled in the year it's been at the docks and instead just had a diver down to assess the damage.

YB
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Old 31-10-2018, 15:13   #5
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

The lack of a haul out is indeed concerning, haul her and maybe have someone who is more familiar with you to bounce thoughts around with, and don't fall in love with the boat, she could be more trouble than she's worth and don't necessarily trust the salvage company, they are trying to sell the boat after all...

Also if you're looking for a discount boat, look for marital difficulties. I got my previous boat practically for a song (C&C 25) thanks to a divorce, the boat didn't need anything particular just some cosmetic things I ended up changing, and new winches (self tailing, the old ones were manually tailed) just some food for thought ...
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Old 31-10-2018, 15:16   #6
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

An hour or two of a good surveyor's time will be worth its weight in gold, in a situation like this.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:16   #7
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

I would never buy any boat for any reason without a survey by a knowledgable surveyor.

Did the keel hit the rock or the rudder?

It it was the keel, even if it is cast iron, I would look for the opening of the keel/hull seam on the leading edge of the keel and look for compression fractures on the aft end of the keel socket where it fits into the hull. Look for stress fractures on the hull in front of and behind the keel.

I am not sure, but if the cast iron keel is bolted to the hull, it shouldn't be too much work to drop the keel and rebed it or at least install new bolts and nuts.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:18   #8
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Know a guy that hit a rock in a very similar boat. I did the haulout the following day. Outside there was very little to see. When we began to dig around inside the story went off the rails. Pulling up all of the wood on the seats we were able to find the damage. The boat was written off by the insurance company and eventually sold to a brilliant chap that worked for decades in the field of aircraft structural repair and he's done a very neat job of repairing to better than new. I will annex that with a warning that not everyone is capable of such a repair and such a purchase needs to be completed with eyes wide open.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:18   #9
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

"however, the rudder shaft was replaced"

How do you replace a rudder shaft (post?) without replacing the whole rudder or at least performing major surgery on the rudder blade?
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:42   #10
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

If young lives are at risk when the boat is ' repaired' as well as your own; don't do it.

The complications are immense- a proper repair requires a yard and highly qualified and warranted staff.
Likely you are not insured or insurable to pay the repairs up front?

I can tell you more but, for legal reasons, not on an open forum.

This short clip will help you understand this is not a ' bargain' it is a liability.

A very serious liability

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Old 01-11-2018, 11:16   #11
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

A significant underwater impact can cause hidden damage which is sometimes hard to identify. For me,Given the choice between a post impact boat and one free of that history it would take a very big price differential and a big leap of faith to go with the impact boat.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:44   #12
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

I think we're talking about a Gary Mull Ranger 26, right? In the family of the Ranger 23, 29, 33? I think it's a great boat. Fast, reasonably light, should be closewinded.

1. Check the trailing edge of the keel to see if it's been forced up into the hull. In groundings, the keel tends to rotate up into the hull.
2. The rudder may have been replaced because the boat swung around after the initial collision and the rudder was damaged. I agree that it's unlikely that only the shaft was replaced. I'd be very careful that the rudder was identical to the original.
3. I think the original keel was lead. If so, and if the damage is minor, then the collision was minor.
4. I agree that I would only buy this boat after a haulout and survey. Ideally, you'd drop the keel as well.

Chuck
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:52   #13
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Thank you again for all the replies. Essentially I'd be buying the outboard, sails, and rigging. The hull is free... roughly 2000-2500.

Now when you mean to drop the keel are you thinking to replace the keel bolts or to more vigilantly inspect the keel/hull seem?

YB
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Old 01-11-2018, 13:16   #14
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

The Hull, keel, keel bolts etc; and the integrity of all of those are critical to the safety of the boat. If you are contemplating sail training of youngsters etc. then it's likely you will want the best level of certainty about these aspects.

From experience:

1. The haul out should initially be in the slings. A qualified surveyor with experience of keel strikes needs to inspect. If you are not the owner of the boat- this will be on your dime.

2. If the inspection reveals damage; then most likely it will need to be towed to a yard with a repair shed. It's often not possible for mobile repairers or those without a shop to repair this kind of damage. The surveyor needs to oversee the correct( usually back of the keel) blocking and putting into the stands. WIthout this the boat will sag on the stands and any keel and keel bolt repairs may be seriously compromised to the point of making them redundant.

3. Ideally, as I understand it the mast, if it requires removal, should be done with the boat in the water.See 2 above. Most fibreglassers will attempt the job; but the risk will be on you- when you come to insure; especially if it is to be a club/training boat.If you are to have sailing integrity and the keel bolts are damaged ( how are they known to rust on this boat?), the keel and the internal quadrant frame from which the keel is suspended and re-inforced etc. is damaged and in need of repair then you may be looking at upwards of six weeks in the yard/shop.

4. If the keel strike was the problem initially; it may have exacerbated age related fibreglass damage already in the hull, specifically at the rear of the keel where it is glassed into the boat; this again will need repair and be likely at your cost.

All in all. it's potentially a lot more expensive, time consuming and fraught with current and future problems/dangers than finding a decent boat without a keel strike history.

Aircraft glassers often turn to boating repairs when retired from the former. I am sure they have great skills; in my experience they are not readily transferable nor necessarily relevant to serious keel repairs; especially on the hard standing. Your start point is the inspection; the surveyor will be able to advise you- visual inspection is the determinant.

A ' bargain' is only a qualitative concept in my hard won experience.
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Old 01-11-2018, 17:52   #15
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Re: Ranger 26-- Hit Rock-- Thinking of buying

Lots of terrible misinformation here. The fact that the boat was not pulled tells me it probably has no leaks. Could be that there was only rudder damage. Have the boat pulled, make an initial inspection ideally with a knowledgeable person, if it looks good get a professional survey if you like.
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