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Old 01-06-2010, 08:30   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alameda, CA
Boat: Pearson 365 sloop
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Ranger 33 for Blue Water ?

Is there anyone out there who cruises this boat, travels the world in it? Or, is it a coastal/bay boat and not suitable to face the open seas? Your experience / knowledge is welcome here.
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Old 31-12-2011, 15:58   #2
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Location: Burlington, Vermont
Boat: 1976 Ranger 33
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Re: Ranger 33 for Blue Water ?

Hi Oakland Sailor, I don't have a direct answer to your question, but hope I can provide a little info. I have had a '76 Ranger 33 for two seasons and this one has lived on a lake its whole life, but I bought it because I thought it could be two of my planned boats: a quick sailor in the lake's sometimes light wind, and an offshore boat for future voyaging.

Being an engineer and keen reader, I looked into its offshore capabilities and couldn't find any specific mention of circumnavigations or such. However, I heard that more than a couple made it from the West Coast to Hawai'i. There is currently one for sail that was either custom built or heavily modified for offshore sailing: Ranger 33, 1974, La Paz, Mexico, sailboat for sale from Sailing Texas. I've also read at least 3 books on offshore sailboats and while the R33 is not ideal, it seems quite good for offshore work, and there many many worse boats have been out cruising. Not even boats specifically built for bluewater have all the characteristics sought! The D/LWL of 259 is moderate, and motion comfort of 28 is decent, but lower than many voyagers.

Some of the issues are that it is somewhat narrow and small, making it hard to carry enough water and other supplies, but an IMS rated speed of 5.1 knots and good performance in light air means passages will be fairly quick for a boat of this length. More storage can be added if you are thoughtful and prioritize. And the narrowness gives waves a smaller level arm and greatly reduces the risk of capsize (resulting in a rather good 1.69 capsize ratio). The lack of a bridgedeck to prevent water in the cockpit from entering the cabin is a problem. A policy of always locking in the bottom dropboards while on passage can remedy this. The cockpit drainage isn't great either, but it's a smallish volume to drain. Note that on my boat, the 1.5" cockpit drains lead out 1.25" through hulls, so drainage is less than it would appear. I'm changing out the through hulls and it's not much fun. The narrow decks aren't good to use in tough weather, but leading lines, especially reefing lines, to the cockpit should minimize the problem.

The aforementioned speed and the ability to sail upwind well could help to avoid and/or claw out of potentially dangerous situations. I'm putting a composting head on mine, which saves the space of the holding tank and lines, and I've also eyed the massive unused space under the cockpit.

My cruising plans are some years out so I can only talk in theory at this point, and I know of a few others thinking along the same lines with their R33s. I'd appreciate hearing what you decide and why.
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Old 31-12-2011, 23:16   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
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Re: Ranger 33 for Blue Water ?

For it's length and beam the Ranger 33 is a bit heavier built than the Cal 34, at least 2 of which have gone round the world. Given that Cal and Ranger were affiliated companies for a significant portion of their existence and construction quality would be similar I would expect the Ranger to be the stronger boat.

Per PHRF the Ranger is about 20sec per mile faster than the Cal so it is no slouch.

Given the finer bow I would expect it to be wetter upwind in heavy air.

I agree about the side decks being a bit narrow, but short of getting a purpose designed cruising boat that will generally be a problem.

Stowage may or may not be a problem depending on how you arrange things on the boat and how many are aboard for long passages.
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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