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.