Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Corpus Christi
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Narrowing down the selection. Merit 25 VS Ranger R23
Hello all, Clayton here. I am %100 new to sailing and I am considering purchase of my first boat to learn on and spend a few nights a week aboard.
Well after tons of reading and viewing some boats in my local area
(Grampian 28, Pearson 26, Dolphin 24, Merit 25, and lastly a Ranger 23)
I have now narrowed down my choices to a 1983 Merit 25 and a 1975 Ranger R23 (short mast)
The thing is.. I fell in love with the Ranger 23 Immediately!!!
I am trying to avoid being impulsive and making a regretful buy.
the owner of the r23 has agreed to sail it with me across the bay to more affordable boat yard have it hauled and pressure washed. if i can determine the condition of the hull below the water to be free of any significant moisture, water intrusion or blistering I have agreed to pay for haul out and cleaning as well as purchase of the boat if not the owner wished to keep it for another year or two.
she will obviously need a full bottom job. the spars on the mast need repainting at minimum if not a full replacement as they are original and made of wood. aluminum mast could use a repainting. all chainplate backing is good but is of marine grade ply wood and i think i would like to change them to oak or solid hard wood.
The Merit 25 on the other hand is a boat with gorgeous lines that is still regularly raced today!! its a tad cheaper but demands a bit more elbow grease above and below deck, a good power washing and some time with a dehumidifier running. The owner is not so attached to the boat and lives 8 hours away so i feel he is ready to sell and therefore WAY more flexible on the price. problem here is getting the boat out of the water as I have noone to help me in this case.
a marine survey was not out of the question but i would still have to at bare minimum have either boat hauled cleaned inside and out before a surveyor would come and I THINK long before i called them that if i would know if i indeed want the boat.
i have read of cases of both boats developing a wobbly keel.
in both cases the bilges are clean and no corrosion of the bolts. I have not checked the torque on either.
My requirements are minimal aside from a stable, sound vessel both are cozy enough on the inside for me.
I am currently very partial to the Ranger but my mean streak loves the sleek lines of the Merit. I need some serious input of the plus and minuses you have experienced from the boats in question. maybe someone has sailed both who can chime in? I have read reviews of both boats individually and both have a nice crowd of people who stand behind them. I've seen both compared to a j24 but have yet to see either compared side by side.
Hoping to hearing some of yalls personal experience with these two boats.
Until then I will be here browsing post