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post #1 of 6 Old 08-19-2004 Thread Starter
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Ranger 28 Purchase?

I finally got the owner of a 1978 Ranger 28 to call me back and give me some more details on the condition of the boat. I thought I''d run this by you and get your feedback.

In no particular order:
Keel Bolts look good.
"out pump" on the head doesn''t work, but has a new one uninstalled.
Fresh water holding tank split, so he replaced it with a "water bag" and didn''t hook the Head Sink back up. Is it possible to located a stock tank for this boat?
He installed an electric pump to the galley sink.
Alcohol 2 burner works fine.
He installed an electric bilge pump. The boat has been sitting most of the year and he says there wasn''t one drop pumped out of the bilge when he got back to it "Dry as a bone".

New Depth Finder
Repaired Radio
New CD Stereo/speakers
Ext. Amp TV antenna.

It has the stock Atomic 4 motor:
New electronic ignition
New Water Bypass Valve
New Starter
New complete exhaust system.
2 new 6v batteries for the cabin and a new 12V for the motor.
New cabin lights installed.
He tells me that there is the "whine" in reverse which is common in this boat??? but it shifts smoothly.

Currently refurbing the interior teak trim and headliner....BECAUSE...and here''s the bad parts: There was leaking around the stanchions enough to damage the headliner and soften the deck. He cut out all damaged material and replaced it. He feels that "it was a quality repair" and that there are no more issues with soft deck or water leaking down.

The other issue is that he says it needs a new bottom! I asked what that meant and he told me that there was a "new bottom" put on about 8 years ago and he has recently found "a bubble".

And this is my biggest concern. I have no desire to perform repairs to the hull myself, so how much am I going to pay to have the hull gone over? Are we talking new gel coat or just grinding out the bubble(s) and adding new paint? Not really sure what''s involved here, but thinking you may be able to Ballpark me on expected cost for repair.

While it''s out of the water, if the keel/hull union appears to be sound, should I focus any attention here.

The boat has been in fresh water, confirmed, for at least the last decade.

What would you offer for this boat? He''s asking $6K.

The over all appearance of the boat is quite clean and doesn''t look like it was treated roughly.

Any and all feedback would be appreciated!!

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-19-2004
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Ranger 28 Purchase?


I can''t speak for the aux I have decieded that inboard gas sea water cooled motors are not in the best intrest of my wallet. However I have put a new bottom on a boat. It is alot of work but not difficult to understand. I had several blisters first time I took my boat out of the Great Salt Lake. I''ll list in order what I did to correct my bottom issues.
1. Power washed the bottom
2. Marked the blistered areas
3. Cleaned out each blister first with a knife then a grinder.
4. Sanded
5. Sanded
6. Sanded
7. Sanded till it was 100% stripped of all previous paing and gelcoats. So I sanded
8. Applied a 3 coats of a good epoxy barrier coat paint. No problem about worring about gelcoat many new boats are getting this same treatment.
9.Since I was going backinto the GSL I didn''t worry about bottom paint there in NO marine growth in the GSL. You might want to consider a bottom paint going into freash water(or even sea water).
I was limited in the time I could spend doing this work so it took me most of a sailing season to complete it. if you work more dilegently you could have it all done in a month. The painting is air temp conditional so make sure you start before you run out of warmer weather.
If you want all this done for you well.... Look for $100 a blister and around $800 for the painting. and know they might not get am much epoxy as you would like on the bottom. I think you would do much better doing the job yourself...

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-19-2004
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Ranger 28 Purchase?


Realize most of what the seller told you means nothing, the really important information is what he has chosen not to tell you...The more info a seller discloses, the more likely he has bad things hiding under the clutter of his disclosures.
Don''t go near this boat without an excellent surveyor and an engine survey - check out the cost of a replacement engine for the AT4.

No one on this board can offer you an informed opinion on the costs of putting this boat into fully servicable condition, not even the right number of zeros needed in the figure. I''d observe it''d only take a minute to total up a list of possible repairs for items not yet mentioned, totalling 2-3 times the asking price.

If he''s asking $6k, it isn''t worth $6k, and it is reasonably feasible it isn''t worth anthing.

Buyer beware.

Ranger made nice boats. My advice, buy one, but look for a 28 or 30 for $10k-$15k described as "needs nothing", "sail away" and "fully refurished by well-know yard". Then have the surveyor prove them true - you''re much more likely to get what you pay for and to then spend your time sailing, as opposed to become a boatyard wraith...

Think of the purchase price of a "needs work" boat (often not described as such) as just a downpayment on a total figure you wont know for a few years. Butting an old and/or neglected boat back into Bristol condition is simply a financial massacre, the best solution is to buy a "best example" from someone who''s paid with their blood and money. Costs more up front, but reduces risk and pays back in fun and free time, and you''re much more likely to get most of your expenditure back.

Good luck,

Good luck.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-19-2004
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Ranger 28 Purchase?

Unlike most of the advise here, I actually did by a known fixer-upper boat and what is more- I would do so again! (Yes, I know, they have medication for that, nowadays).

Having said that,what you describe feels "wrong" to me. As in, this is the kind of boat I would walk away from. It sounds like stuff has been (and is being) camoflouged on her to facilitate a sale. This means that you will need to rip out all the cosmetic stuff that they are installing right now in order to fix the underlying problems...and then you will have to re-do it on your own money again.

I am not surprised the boat was dry as a bone after sitting still in its slip for a year. It has not sailed and flexed and beaten into the wind in order to actually get all the little gaps and cracks that could leak to actually open up under load.

Basically this looks like someone who wants to spend the minimum to pretty up a neglected boat in order to get rid o it for the best price they can. This is never a good deal for the buyer.

If you really want a boat you can fix up and get to know form the inside out. Look for the UGLY boats. Find a boat that is in very strong condition in its hull and deck and engine, and that has been neglected cosmetically, because the owner''s budget ran to maintaining critical systems instead of paint and varnish. You can add the prettyness, but the bones underneath need to be worth the effort. This boat sounds like it is working the other way.

Just my instincts on the matter.


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post #5 of 6 Old 08-21-2004
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Ranger 28 Purchase?

I don''t know that the seller is hiding anything...but you really need a surveyor with 15-20 years experience with old glass sailboats to check the boat and advise you. It''s money well spent and saved.

Whine is normal in the a4 reverse gear.

Keel bolts have to be removed to verify condition. They can waste (and do)at the hull to ballast joint while the visible head, stud and nut can look perfect. I''ve pulled them and had 50% of the bolt wasted in an hourglass shape in the middle.

Blister repair could easily cost more than the price of that boat...so it needs to be evaluated professionally to decide how bad it is.

Nothing wrong with core replacement as long as the bad was completely removed and the new installation done correctly.

The good thing is being in freshwater. The motor and rigging like it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-10-2004
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Ranger 28 Purchase?

Hey Ed,
I just posted over on Sailboatowners forum regarding the R-28.
I''m in aout the same position as you were, looking at a Ranger to purchase. The one I found looks in very good shape mechanically (yes I will get a survey)but needs some cosmetic work. Not serious though.

So did you buy one in the end or not? Any further thoughts?


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