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Old 23-04-2008, 11:00   #1
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22 Foot Ranger in the San Juans

Howdy folks,
First time boat buyer post lessons down in Seattle. Just wanted some opinions of a Ranger 22' I've got my eye on. As far as a first boat to learn on, would this be adequate as I learn my way around the San Juans?

I've heard a 25' is best...can someone tell me the positive or negatives to a smaller boat for a newbie in these kinds of waters?

Thanks so much!
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Old 23-04-2008, 11:46   #2
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Aloha Kwazi,
Welcome aboard!! Good to have you here. The 25 will be a bit more stable and have a lot more room down below. It will also have a bit more boat speed.
My first boat was a 22 (a Catalina) and after I'd purchased it, repaired it and sailed it all over the lee shore of Oahu I had thoughts of wanting to go around Oahu or sail interisland. I soon realized that if I had a 25 I would be able to do it but with the 22 it was a bit too bouncy for my taste. Although the boat had sailed interisland before it was not to my taste.
That's just my opinion and experience.
If what you will be doing is mostly in sheltered waters and your goal is to learn to sail then the 22 will be ok.
Good luck on your decision.
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Old 23-04-2008, 13:57   #3
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Thanks

Great-thanks very much for the reply-I appreciate the insight.
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Old 23-04-2008, 14:07   #4
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The 22 footer is fine for the area and for learning to sail. IMO, smaller boats are better learning platforms.

But make sure the boat has a very reliable outboard, because wind in the San Juans is not reliable, based on my experience. Generally light and variable. Frequently non existent in spots. Also stay away from wheel steering on that size boat (or anything up to 30 - 35 feet)... it's completely unnecessary and you're much better off learning with a tiller.

on edit: you might look around for a good used J-24. It's a great learning platform, fast and a lot of fun to sail. If you get the racing bug, you can race it one design. You can probably buy one cheap because the Class has been in decline.
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Old 23-04-2008, 15:29   #5
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Thanks again!

Thanks Speedo-I appreciate it. We've taken a few lessons so far on a 25, so I'm not sure how different a 22 would be. Appreciate your insight.
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Old 23-04-2008, 17:05   #6
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Originally Posted by kwaziwampo View Post
Thanks Speedo-I appreciate it. We've taken a few lessons so far on a 25, so I'm not sure how different a 22 would be. Appreciate your insight.
Which 25? It's possible that the Ranger 22 would be much lighter and more responsive.
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Old 23-04-2008, 17:22   #7
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Learned on a 25' Catalina
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Old 23-04-2008, 19:04   #8
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Assuming it was a "regular" Catalina 25, and not the racing type boat, which I think was called a Capri 25, the Ranger 22 is probably a better sailing boat, It will point higher and generally be more fun to sail.

But if you want to do some cruising, most 25 footers would have a lot more room and would be more comfortable. Probably plenty of boats on the market out there, so I'd consider a few boats before buying one.

For example, this seems like a well equipped San Juan 28, if you want to do some cruising:

San Juan 28

It has a wheel vs. a tiller, but it's attractively priced if it's in good shape. I used to sail on one of these many years ago, and I know they are/were popular out there. Pretty good boat.
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Old 23-04-2008, 19:40   #9
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I lived aboard in Tacoma for 3 1/2 years on a Hunter 25'. I agree with the statement that a little larger will offer more in terms of comfort and handling. I don't know much about Ranger, is it a fixed or swing keel? IMHO, a swing keel in the San Juans/Puget Sound will make you wish for a fixed keel; it being better to wind. As you are aware we can get some brutal weather in the PNW and you can experience ALMOST all the world of sailing has to offer, without ever going bluw water, in that area. And with that area being so well charted you wont/shouldn't run into too many surprizes with regards to shallows etc that would make a fixed keel/slightly larger boat a hinderence. Be sure to have a good surveyor inspect it before you buy it. Lots of boaters in the PNW buy'em and treat them like their cars. Not poorly but just not with the love they should have.
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Old 24-04-2008, 08:41   #10
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I sailed my Venture 21 in Puget Sound until I bought Oh Joy. No issues and lotsa fun, as long as you avoid the gales.
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Old 25-04-2008, 03:12   #11
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From the Ranger 22 website: The Ranger 22 Website

“The new Ranger 22 is a brutally single-minded design: She's built for speed. Pure and Simple. Everything on board contributes-or we wouldn't have it on the boat...”
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Old 25-04-2008, 15:02   #12
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I've sailed both the Ranger 22 and a Catalina 25 (not the racing version) and the advice you're getting is pretty much spot on. I sailed on my Dad's Catalina then got my own Ranger 22. If you think you're going to be doing a lot of overnighting the Ranger is going to get real small real quick. However if you're going to be mostly daysailing, the Ranger will be a great boat to learn on. I admit upfront I'm biased; I love mine.

She's easy for me to single hand, at 22' it's cheaper to lead all lines aft, cheaper to buy sails for, and outsails the Cat 25. And it's 3 less feet of boat to dock.

The Ranger is a more responsive boat and you'll get more immediate feedback as you experiment with sail trim and all the various rigging. It's a very forgiving boat too and can take some pretty foul weather. It has a 4' fixed keel that will keep you right side up. It's just a fun, fast, boat.

HTH,
Mike
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:09   #13
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Kwaziqampo,

First and foremost whatever boat you purchase make sure she is sound, check all fittings, and have the outboard serviced and learn how to service it.. Having said that most of us have started out with smaller boats moving up to larger. I remember doing so and remember all those nice small bays affording privacy....larger boats stay out of. A great web sight for aerial photo viewing of the San Juan shoreline...www.appy.ecy.wa.gov/shorephotos.

Mike
S/V Kestrel
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Old 20-05-2008, 18:45   #14
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Sj and Kwazi

I think it would work great for learning and in the San Juans. I have been in the San Juan's 3 times on larger boats. I have seen plenty of smaller boats sailing. You could get in somewhere easily if the weather became and issue.

I had a Mac 25. I would go over there without hesitation. Having said that I would not go over there after mid September. Weather.

I learned on the Mac 25 from what I read from a host of books. It was pretty fun seeing the things you had read about actually work, with a little trial and error

I would do it and have fun.

DW
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