They're great sailing boats, especially for the money
. In their price
range, they're tough to beat in that regard. I owned one for 5 years and she never showed any bad habits, even when pushed. Although, I'm told that at the limit, the boom's a touch undersized.
Nice big bilge
sump, fairly good engine
access. Just add some lazy jacks, & a cockpit
locker organization locker & you're good to go. And yeah, that locker's HUGE.
The cons; Galley's miniscule, & the dinette's a touch small. Plus she's a little shy on storage
space in the main cabin
. Though you can work
around this; either by breaking out the tools, & or being creative in other ways. As basically the space behind the seatbacks in the Saloon
goes completely unused, as she come in factory trim. Vertical seatbacks in the cockpit
Here's a few reviews
, including Latitude 38's boat of the month:
Ranger 33 Review - Bing
Latitude 38 Boat of the Month: Ranger 33
A couple of other good boats to look at in the same price
range are; Cal 34 (bigger galley
& more comfortable cockpit), Ericson
35 (bigger down below, especially for entertaining & cooking), Ericson
32. And a few others.
If you just want bigger down below period (with amenities), look at a Catalina 30
. They're not offshore
boats, but for size for the money
, they're tough to beat. If you get one, make sure to get the tall rig.
And if you want to do things on the cheap
, take a look at Cal 29's. The quality's still there, it's just that they're a bit smaller. However, I've seen decent used ones go for $6k.
Cal's & Rangers were made essentially by the same company. Just different names & designs. As can be seen at www.sailboatdata.com
Make up a cheat sheet, or list of note cards in terms of what you want in each area of the boat. It helps to have a checklist when you're looking at boats, as it's easy to fall into lust with something, only to later discover that you glossed over X, when that was a feature or brand which you really wanted.
Given the age of Rangers, & these other boats, what separates them is; quality of care, & what they have accessory wise. Particularly as, when purchased new, accessories can wind
up costing a LOT.
Dodgers, Biminis, Ground Tackle, Auto Pilots...
Also, prior to doing the full on pull it out of the water
survey, you might consider having a mechanic
look over the engine
first. And tell you a bit about it's health
, plus what may need replacing etc.
Ditto on having a rigger look over those systems too. As those two areas are the most expensive (and critical) on the boat.
And take a friend who's sail savvy with you when you go to inspect it, as well as on the test sail, so that you have an idea of their health
PS: Given the age of said boats, a lot of them have been repowered, from Atomic-4's (gas) to Diesels. And there's little difference in the market price between them for the most part. So get one with a diesel
. They're more reliable, easier maintance wise, & better when it come time to resell the boat.