Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 216 Times in 167 Posts
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I really love these boats. I had use of a Ranger 23 back in the late 1970's/early 1980's and thought these were one of the nicest sailing boats of that era and size, sailing well on all points of sail and in a wide range of windspeeds. I have sailed on both tall and standard rigged versions and recommend the tall rig. While I am generally a strong proponent of fractional rigs, this is a boat in which the masthead rig worked well. These were much better handling boats than the IOR oriented Ranger 22's.
If you are seeking a similar price, size, age and quality, 23 footer with a fractional rig, you might try to find a Northstar 727 (AKA Farr 727).
Build quality seemed reasonably good and certainly better than many, if not most, of the similar concept 23-24 footers of that same era. They offered a simple but surprizingly workable interior for a boat this size.
They were designed by Gary Mull who was a world class yacht designer during that period and who was at the top of his career.
Of course these boats are 30 plus years old, and like any boat this age, the condition will be very dependent on the quality of maintenance performed by prior owners. Items like the mast support system, and the shroud attachment to the main bulkhead are important to check. The rudder and rudder post should be checked for flexure and delamination of the skin. I have seen some discussion about keel bolt and keel stub issues, but can't recall what that was about.