Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?
The boat in question is a very different boat in almost all ways than the Ray Hunt designed near clone of the Oday 30 that was marketed as the Ranger 30.
The Ranger 33 was a Gary Mull design and was part of a series that included the smaller Ranger 23, 26, 29 line of performance cruisers. As much as I am a big fan of Gary Mull''s work, and really like the smaller Rangers in this series, and think that the Ranger 23 is the near perfect first boat for a new sailor and my favorite 23 footer of its era, I have never really liked the Ranger 33.
In stretching the design brief, the design of 33 somehow seems to lack the sophistication of the smaller boats in this series. It was almost as if Ranger was trying to stuff more volume into this boat that was easily doable within its length. What came out was a boat whose bow and stern sections seem a lot fuller than the smaller boats and whose cabin structure seems too large for the hull.
In general Rangers of there era were not all that well built but the issues were pretty minor in the smaller boats. Talking to a long term owner of the Ranger 33 several years back, he described having to add more remedial structure than should be required on what was then a pretty new boat. In the Ranger 33''s defense he was racing his 33 hard in San Francisco Bay which is a pretty harsh environment.
But these boats are now substantially older and his desciption of flexing problems, mast support problems and structural issues in the keel area while not extreme for a coastal cruiser of this era, were certainly less than ideal. I have not experienced this first hand so I am relying on what may be too small a sampling here to say if this was the case of all 33''s.
These were pretty fast boats for their day fairing comparably well with other performance boats like the Cal 34 or Ericson 32 of that era. They fair especially well on reaches and dead runs and less so when beating.