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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » R - Boats starting with 'R' » Ranger
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Ranger 29
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 5220 Tue December 25, 2012
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 7.0












Description: Ranger 29
Keywords: Ranger 29
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Mon September 23, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Design by Gary Mull, in my estimation one of his best. Sloop rig, moderately light displacement, most have Atomic 4 gas power and varying degrees of customization. Successful PHRF racer in my area (Seattle). Hull is quite strong and reasonably well built for a built-to-price early-1970s "plain white sloop." I have had minor problems with one bulkhead not properly bonded to the hull, and the rudder and rudder shaft construction are a little weak. I have lived aboard for several years. In all, I am very satisfied with the boat. I believe most R-29s are selling for considerably less than their real value.
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Review Date: Sun January 3, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Quick, comfortable racer/cruiser in the 1970s "plain white sloop" mold. Atomic 4 was an occasional challenge. Strong boat, with lots of room for upgrades and improvements. Some limitations in structure like tabbing of bulkheads and mast support column, and wiring and plumbing needed some work.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Mon August 9, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Designed by highly regarded naval architect Gary Mull, the Ranger 29 was built by Jensen Marine in California (the same company who built Cal boats). The boats sail well to their rating, and have attracted a strong following as a classic 70's racer-cruiser. Key build features include a solid glass hull with plywood cored decks, encapsulted lead ballast, deck stepped mast, relatively generous sail area (399 square feet), and for the period a reasonably long waterline (23 feet LWL, 28.7 LOA).

By now many Ranger 29's have been modified, including the installation of steering wheels, shortened booms for an improved rating, repowered with inboard diesels, stoves with ovens, relocation of the mainsheet controls to the bridgedeck or cabin top, controls led to the cockpit, and installation of propone lockers. These modifications make more or less sense, depending on how the boat is being used, and personal preferences of the owner.

Strengths include: excellent sailing characteristics, an easily driven hull, reasonable cruising accomodation (for the period), good looks, ease of repair and modification, affordability, strong layup in hull and deck.

Weaknesses include: minimal ventilation forward, a narrow V berth, weak and/or leaking hull to deck joints on early models (pre-extruded toe rails), compression problems in bulkheads supporting mast, failure in hull to bulkhead tabbing, older Atomic 4 power, wooden spreaders, and minimal storage. Note: not all boats have these problems, and/or not all owners would consider these problems.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my Ranger 29. However, as these boats are approaching 30 years old, any prospective owner should look closely for evidence of hard use and lack of maintenance. Many of the older 1960's and 70's fiberglass boats are not worth the effort and expense. This one definitely is.
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Anonymous
Review Date: Wed April 5, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good sailing manners, decent interior volume
Cons: Atomic 4 engine, skegged rudder, vynil hull liner

Solid Glass hull is fairly worry-proof. Plywood cored deck is pretty tough, and won't wick water as quickly as balsa coring if it is compromised. Compared to newer boats this is not the best but compared to contemporaries such as Catalina 27, Ranger 28, Columbia 30, Odays and Pearsons, the Ranger 29 comes out as being one of, if not the, best sailor and certainly has the brightest interior.

Internal ballast is good as long as keel casing integrity is maintained. The boat could do with a touch more draft, as it is more tender than might be ideal, but compared to a typical racer she is quite stiff. The atomic 4 engine is not ideal, but has lots of power. My boat powers at about 6.2 knots cruising, over 6.6 flat out.

The only really necessary changes in my view are to replace the wooden spreaders with aluminum and rig the halyards aft to the cockpit.

If I had my way, I'd cut the rudder skeg off the hull, and put a more modern rudder on (like the Ranger 26), this would help make the boat more maneouverable and would definitely help when motoring in reverse. This is not justifiable though, at the price point of this boat.

All in all a very satisfying boat, comfortable, good headroom, and much preferable to the more common Catalina on the west coast.
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lastdog001
Junior Member

Registered: December 2012
Location: dade city fl
Posts: 8
Review Date: Tue December 25, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros: strong, simple,handles well
Cons: gas engine,

After 40 years now and still sailing well. Just bought one and hull and deck still strong, mast support has been redone, a few blisters fixed but other than that still strong and functional. somethings are built to last and I think these boats are one of them. I think that I will even keep the atomic 4. if it an't broke don't fix it. I think that this boat and engine proves that if you have something built well and maintain it well it should last a long time.
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