I was thinking about buying a Ranger 32 to PHRH Club race. I want some opinions and thoughts about the boat. Anything that I should look for as problems wiith the boat?
These Gary Mull designed early IOR raceboats were a minature version of the Ranger 37. They were available in two versions, one a completely stripped out raceboat and the other with a simple, workable interior.
Like many race boats of this era, the Ranger was designed just before some big break throughs in yacht design. These boats were very light for their era but comparatively heavy by any objective standard. They were not all that well engineered compared to the boats that shortly after them.
Like most early IOR boat these boats had comparatively short waterlines which made them quite slow in an absolute sense when compared to boats that came shortly after them. They were also a little bit tender being designed to be sailed by very big crews sitting out on the rail.
IOR boats of that era depended on huge genoas and had tiny mainsails. This set up required a very big sail inventory and lots of sail changes to be race competitive and made for hard boats to sail short handed.
I think the Ranger 32 will have some hurdles if used as a PHRF race boat. Boats like the Ranger 32 sail at their best in a narrow range of conditions. In the case of the Ranger 32, they sail best in 8 to 12 knots of air and in flat water. They are not so hot in lighter or heavier conditions. The problem is that PHRF really rewards boats that are well rounded and so can sail fast in a wide range of conditions and which can shift gears quickly. A good example of an ideal PHRF race boat in your general size and price range would be the Soverel 33. These boats are quite fast in all conditions and with their 10 newer deck layouts are also much easier to race. At over a minute a mile faster, boat for boat the Soverel is a much faster boat but what is really singificant is that the Soverel 33''s can generally sail to that rating in a wide range of conditions and very quickly shift up and down.
If you own a Ranger 32 you''ll know that they are great PHRF racers. When Gary Mull was asked to design the 32 he wanted to make it and all around racer. (Roundup 1976) If you look at the design it is somewhat different than the 37. It was designed for both light and heavy air. The waterline is about 26 feet and with the trailing edge of the rutter at 28. You don''t need many on the rail because of the Tumblehome design. It heals to 20 degree''s quickly and than stays there forever. There are several 32 owners that have been very sucessful with their boats. This year we raced our Ranger 32 in our clubs class A summer around cans. We were first place boat. Boats that were in the class include Metal Mast 37, C&C 35, Ben 40, Stevens 37, new 36.7, ben 32, etc. We were first in the 20 hundred club Block Island race, First in the West Bay ladies Regatta, first in the Dickerson Regatta, first in the AHYC ladies race, third in the RIYC ladies race, First in the Fantastic Plastic regatta, and considered it a light year for racing. We have never not placed in the first thre posistions this year. We were racing jib and main, have fulling, and limited new sail''s (i.e. new main and jib). We get credits that include 9 secs for rf and sail size. The rig has oversized wire and every thing on this boat was over built.
With all the good things comes the bad. With the set up you do need 4 people or more to race. Five is a good number.
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