Congrats on the Ranger. I bought a 1974 26' over the summer and was able to singlehand it before it was hauled this fall. Some additions I made:
- A BoomKicker in place of a topping lift. It makes dropping the main (which has a light downhaul on it) a piece of cake.
- A TillerTamer which "self steers" for me for a minute or so while I tend to the rigging. When I tack, I release the lee jib sheet, helm over, trim the main to get some headway, set the TillerTamer and then trim the jib. Good to go.
- Winchers on the primaries and secondaries. Once I've trimmed the jib, I wrap the sheet in the Wincher groove and I'm back to the helm.
When I get the sails and tiller balanced right, she'll self steer with just a nudge or two from my knee on the tiller.
Some other improvements in the works:
- Moving the halyard winch from the mast to the doghouse roof and adding a rope clutch - raising the main gets easier.
- Installing a gas piston on the forward hatch so I don't have to tie it open.
- Buying a whisker pole.
Am I out of money yet??!!