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Old 24-08-2009, 21:31   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, NC
Boat: Ranger 29 - Anabelle Lee
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What a Clunker!

Good evening all...

I am the proud new owner of the Anabelle Lee... A 1974 Ranger 29.. My first non trailorable vessel. She is truely a wreck:

Sitting in Saltwater
No bottom job in years
Filthy deck
Electrical shot
Atomic 4's Carborater flooding
Most of the rigging is unserviceable
All the cushins are worthless
The plumbing has been stripped out
The roller furler is jammed
the V Berth has been stripped down to the hull
and much much more...

That said... I LOVE HER!!!! She is mine and we are meant to be... I intend to restore her... No... Make her better than ever..

One problem.. I know exactly ZERO about restoring and refitting boats (Basically what I have read in "This Old Boat"). I am not afraid to get my hands very dirty and I recognize that I'm likely going to be signing over my paychecks to a team of Marine Service Professionals... My question is... Where, oh where, to start? I find my self at a loss. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,


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Old 24-08-2009, 22:35   #2
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Is she in the water, or out? If in, then get her out and to somewhere you can work on her and won't need to move her, for months. If you've got a barn or something like that, or can build a shed over her for weather protection, that would be good.

Strip everything out of the interior. You need to get down to the fundamental hull components. Chances are, there's not much, if anything, that is salvageable in there, anyway, but it will let you inspect it all in the process. You really need to be able to get the bulkheads, stringers and hull/deck joins. Every inch of them need to be inspected and make sure that the building blocks are sound. You may become very familiar with epoxy and fiberglass repair!

Once that is done, then you start with the engine/power train and electrical system. If you don't have Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, get it. It will be a big help to you in designing the systems.

Good Luck!


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Old 24-08-2009, 22:36   #3
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I'd concentrate on what its going to take to get her sailing again. I'd ignore the cosmetics and interior for now and concentrate on the rigging, the engine and the parts of the electrical system related to the engine (starter battery, carb, alternator / shore charger). Oh and a bilge pump.

Got some sails?
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Old 24-08-2009, 22:59   #4
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Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
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Welcome to the forum.....I'm sure others will ask the WHY-WHY-WHY question.
I’ll assume that when you say its meant to be, you mean it, good or bad.
As far as where to start, First determine how/where you intend to use the boat...this will help determine the gear and excreta required....this will help determine the scope of work....this will help determine the required time/money investment.
This is likely to be a long project…one immediate consideration is where will she live while the work is being done…. lot to be said for convenience.
Good luck.
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
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Old 24-08-2009, 23:29   #5
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On writing large checks...

Marine professionals are expensive and work in a high cost environment.

This is 2009. The old idea of a moderately paid worker patiently completing a first class job is not really with us anymore. Expect professionals to come in, do a neat expensive job, get paid and get out.

I found that the only way that I could get work done on my boat that I could afford was to do it myself.

I'd go along with the suggestion from Tom that you should get the boat cleaned up, motoring and sailing and try getting round the harbour. Use it for a while before you make any expensive decisions.

At this point I'd suggest putting in a small diesel. Keep your eyes open for a good secondhand one of about 20hp. A new one has much to recommend it if your budget allows.

Don't rip out the interior until you are sure what you'll put in its place. When you are put clear marks indicating levels and the positions where everything is to go before demolition. If you can use any of the existing interior as templates this will save time.

The carcass work, the internal framework upon which the interior is fixed, is two thirds of the interior work. Keep as much of it as you can.

Intentional Drifter is right about a good working environment. Eventually you'll probably want to pull the boat from the water, get the fibreglass to dry out, and properly do all the underwater part. Doing the exterior and the interior while the boat is on the hard in a convenient location and with scaffolding will get you a superior, faster job.
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