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Old 23-05-2016, 14:42   #1
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1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

I am debating on purchasing a fully working sailboat that is big enough to live aboard, or purchase (or being given) a project boat. I realize that it could cost more with the project boat, but the learning involved seems invaluable. So my motivation is not necessarily to spend as little money as possible, I am here for the experience. So I will talk about this 1974 Ranger 28 that I can have for free (I know I know... its not really free):

Here is a 10 second video showing the beautiful lines. I liked this boat immediately, the design seems great.

Here is about 200 pictures of the inside


I figure I can dock it up for a month and clean it out and make get the battery, and simple bilge pump system working, along with a manual bilge pump as well. Then start checking the systems one by one. It really seems like a blast.

I have a 3.5k ready for anything major on the boat and 1k a month I have budgeted for the boat, that includes docking... so more like 6 to 700 a month.

It is a Fin on a moderate skeg style and the biggest expense upfront, might be the transom and outboard motor. The reason, is because the inboard motor was removed. I believe the sails are alright, they are inside and it looks like about 3 of them.


Do any of you see any red flags that I should be aware of?

As for my abilities to do an EXCELLENT job on plumbing, electrical and renovation, is a project boat such a bad idea?

Should I find a project boat with an inboard? Does this really matter?

I am not even sure what kinds of questions to ask right now, I am just putting myself out there and saying hello. If anyone has had experience with a project boat or a Ranger 28. I would love to hear your opinions.

Thank you all and nice to meet you.
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Old 23-05-2016, 15:51   #2
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Boat looks like a Ranger 29 not the IOR optimized Ranger 28. Could only see a few pic's of the interior but it looks like a typical neglected boat. The big issue will be the engine. If it's an Atomic 4 there is a to of info. out there and pithy of help with parts and service. Often can find used engines cheap if needed. If you can get the boat for free and you can put in the time and money, I'd go for it.

Brackets on the stern look like a monitor wind vane may have been there at one time, is it included??? If it is that would make it a no brainier.
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Old 23-05-2016, 15:59   #3
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

My intentions are to sail up and down the east coast and not venture too far off into the deep blue. I plan to make my money coding Python applications. So living on the boat is ideal. Freedom to travel is important to me. Of course I will be saving for for a more sea worthy vessel and perhaps saving 20k to 50k is a good idea. By that time - perhaps a year and a half, I will be much more equipped with experience to buy more what I want.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:19   #4
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Switching to outboard probably not a big deal at all, very light boat so 8-10hp would probably be plenty to push it along. Losing the outboard gives you more storage space for living aboard. The boat is an IOR design which will give you more living space. The boat is very well canvassed and should go very nicely even in light winds, especially if it is one of the later tall rig examples.

Then there are the down sides: the boat is an IOR design with wide beam and pinched ends so it likely will have some nasty habits if you aren't on your game. You sound like a comparative newbie but the solution is fairly straightforward: reef a somewhat early going upwind and don't carry a spinnaker going downwind in over 15kt of wind. Regardless the boat will likely take a bit more effort to sail generally. With amgenerally conservative approach to sailing the boat should be a good starter boat.

Here's the big negative, it's very lightly built. For living aboard and protected waters it'll be just fine. If you want to do coastal, OK as long as you stay within 8-16hr of an easily entered harbor and check the weather forecast hourly. If you start thinking about offshore or long coastal passages this is not the boat to take.

Overall as a liveaboard or starter boat it looks just fine but don't expect to keep it long if you start wanting to go very far afield.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:19   #5
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Boat looks like a Ranger 29 not the IOR optimized Ranger 28. Could only see a few pic's of the interior but it looks like a typical neglected boat. The big issue will be the engine. If it's an Atomic 4 there is a to of info. out there and pithy of help with parts and service. Often can find used engines cheap if needed. If you can get the boat for free and you can put in the time and money, I'd go for it.

Brackets on the stern look like a monitor wind vane may have been there at one time, is it included??? If it is that would make it a no brainier.
It does not have an inboard. It was removed. So it will probably never have an inboard. The big money would be the transom and outboard motor. As far as the brackets, I will have to ask the owner.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:31   #6
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Well, welcome here. I had a friend who used to crew on one racing in the SF bay many moons ago. He had nothing but good things to say about it. But as you probably know, the most expensive boat to get is the free one. If you don't mind doing the work yourself it could work out fine. You can get used sails if you need any just to get started. You can re-rig it yourself, especially easy if you take the mast down. Each shroud will be about $150 (at least that is what I paid recently here in CA) And as Roverhi said, the atomic 4 can probably be made to run if it isn't. Check fuel tank. I may be confusing it with the S2, but I think it may have the keel molded in, but if not always good to get a good look at the keel bolts! The few shots I could see didn't show any real points of interest, so hard to tell. I'd probably go for it. That boat sails so well you could just go engineless for a while until you get an auxilliary. Get a sculling oar to get back in the slip.
oops just saw the post about no engine. So for what you are describing a small outboard on a bracket is ok. Used outboards are probably $750. Good luck!
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:33   #7
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Switching to outboard probably not a big deal at all, very light boat so 8-10hp would probably be plenty to push it along. Losing the outboard gives you more storage space for living aboard.
Losing the inboard you mean? I figured the space would be nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Then there are the down sides: the boat is an IOR design with wide beam and pinched ends so it likely will have some nasty habits if you aren't on your game. You sound like a comparative newbie but the solution is fairly straightforward: reef a somewhat early going upwind and don't carry a spinnaker going downwind in over 15kt of wind. Regardless the boat will likely take a bit more effort to sail generally. With amgenerally conservative approach to sailing the boat should be a good starter boat.
I am a newbie, but I do a really good job of finding out useful information. JUst as what you said, I have already listed a few sources to learn just what you are talking about with a spinnaker and downwind speeds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Here's the big negative, it's very lightly built. For living aboard and protected waters it'll be just fine. If you want to do coastal, OK as long as you stay within 8-16hr of an easily entered harbor and check the weather forecast hourly. If you start thinking about offshore or long coastal passages this is not the boat to take.

Overall as a liveaboard or starter boat it looks just fine but don't expect to keep it long if you start wanting to go very far afield.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
Sounds OK to me. I plan on buying another boat after I get to traveling the coast a bit. 8 to 16 hours, I guess that depends on wind speed and direction and I noted that advice for sure.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:35   #8
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

The entire Ranger lineup was, as far as I know, designed by Gary Mull. His boats all sailed well, so no motor is really necessary. The 28 is an IOR half tonner and has all the eccentricities of the type. The 29, an earlier design, I believe, is completely different.

There is no reason you can't rebuild a glass boat. My advice would be to forget the "systems" and aim for a strong well-found boat with excellent sails, ground tackle, and galley.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Paul
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:38   #9
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Well, welcome here. I had a friend who used to crew on one racing in the SF bay many moons ago. He had nothing but good things to say about it. But as you probably know, the most expensive boat to get is the free one. If you don't mind doing the work yourself it could work out fine. You can get used sails if you need any just to get started. You can re-rig it yourself, especially easy if you take the mast down. Each shroud will be about $150 (at least that is what I paid recently here in CA) And as Roverhi said, the atomic 4 can probably be made to run if it isn't. Check fuel tank. I may be confusing it with the S2, but I think it may have the keel molded in, but if not always good to get a good look at the keel bolts! The few shots I could see didn't show any real points of interest, so hard to tell. I'd probably go for it. That boat sails so well you could just go engineless for a while until you get an auxilliary. Get a sculling oar to get back in the slip.
Actually, I have been reading a lot about keels and safety. So my biggest concern right now is that very issue, the keel and its bolts. There is not motor, I have to get an outboard, so there goes a nice chunk of money. The sails actually may be good, I will find this out soon as well.
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Old 23-05-2016, 16:49   #10
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

[QUOTE=Paul J. Nolan;2127530...

There is no reason you can't rebuild a glass boat. My advice would be to forget the "systems" and aim for a strong well-found boat with excellent sails, ground tackle, and galley.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Paul[/QUOTE]

So you are saying, look for one in better condition?
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Old 23-05-2016, 17:02   #11
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

No not a Ranger 29. That's the Mull/Ranger 28 it appears. Well respected boat. Get a solid bracket and be careful to mount it so the motor goes into the water as far as is reasonable. You should be able to get a 6-10 HP outboard for 600+. Get an adjustable bracket.
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Old 23-05-2016, 17:09   #12
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

It sounds about perfect for your plans. A fixer upper will teach you a lot. And a low initial investment allows you to make mistakes without monetary concern. BUT, start slow, close to shore, in good weather and away from other boats.
If you are going to learn through trial and error, best to not include life threatening, to the error part.
And remember, sailing is fun, so remember to enjoy it!

Sent from my E6653 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 23-05-2016, 17:55   #13
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

The Ranger 28 is not a boat that sails very well. It has a huge weather helm problem in any breeze above 12 knots or so. Take a look at the position of the keel. It is way too far forward.

If you are not planning on sailing it too much this might not be a live issue.
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Old 23-05-2016, 18:04   #14
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

If it was really built in 74 then I think it is a R29. In video sure likes a 29.
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Old 23-05-2016, 18:13   #15
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re: 1974 Ranger 29 - Questions for the experienced.

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The Ranger 28 is not a boat that sails very well. It has a huge weather helm problem in any breeze above 12 knots or so. Take a look at the position of the keel. It is way too far forward.

If you are not planning on sailing it too much this might not be a live issue.
What type of boats do you recommend for sailing coastal and living aboard?
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