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post #1 of 5 Old 03-26-2003 Thread Starter
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?

Hi, dear All,

still looking fot that perfect first boat, with your kind help. This weekend me and my wife want to look at a few boats, one of them is Ranger 33. Can anybody kindly share "insider information" on what to look (any known weak spots, prone to blistering, etc)? Also, any general opinions on the Ranger 33 will be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-26-2003
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?

My wife and I just bought a CR Hunt / Ranger30 this past Sept. We had a pre-buy survey done, as we fell in love with her.
The survey came back very positive.. strong solid boat.
She is clean, well cared for. 30hp westebake deisle. No issues on blistering or
other problems.
From what I have been given to understand, the Ranger boats generally have a good reputation. Spend the money on a survey.
Good luck and happy sailing.

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-27-2003
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?

The boat in question is a very different boat in almost all ways than the Ray Hunt designed near clone of the Oday 30 that was marketed as the Ranger 30.

The Ranger 33 was a Gary Mull design and was part of a series that included the smaller Ranger 23, 26, 29 line of performance cruisers. As much as I am a big fan of Gary Mull''s work, and really like the smaller Rangers in this series, and think that the Ranger 23 is the near perfect first boat for a new sailor and my favorite 23 footer of its era, I have never really liked the Ranger 33.

In stretching the design brief, the design of 33 somehow seems to lack the sophistication of the smaller boats in this series. It was almost as if Ranger was trying to stuff more volume into this boat that was easily doable within its length. What came out was a boat whose bow and stern sections seem a lot fuller than the smaller boats and whose cabin structure seems too large for the hull.

In general Rangers of there era were not all that well built but the issues were pretty minor in the smaller boats. Talking to a long term owner of the Ranger 33 several years back, he described having to add more remedial structure than should be required on what was then a pretty new boat. In the Ranger 33''s defense he was racing his 33 hard in San Francisco Bay which is a pretty harsh environment.

But these boats are now substantially older and his desciption of flexing problems, mast support problems and structural issues in the keel area while not extreme for a coastal cruiser of this era, were certainly less than ideal. I have not experienced this first hand so I am relying on what may be too small a sampling here to say if this was the case of all 33''s.

These were pretty fast boats for their day fairing comparably well with other performance boats like the Cal 34 or Ericson 32 of that era. They fair especially well on reaches and dead runs and less so when beating.

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post #4 of 5 Old 03-27-2003
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?

Practical Sailor''s Used Boat Buyer''s handbook has a very detailed section on the Ranger 33. They seem to be nice enough boats, (There have been two in our area that I''ve seen.) with most of the features one would look for in a cruising boat/PHRF racer. They might not have as much room below or on deck as more modern designs because of the relatively narrow beam. As I recall, Practical Sailor called for paying particular attention to the main bulkhead/mast step area because of the deck-stepped mast. (I loaned out my copy of the book and haven''t gotten it back yet.) PS also raised most of the issues suggested by JeffH.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-31-2003
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Ranger 33 1977 - any opinions?

I have owned a 73 tall rig for the past 18 years which we''ve raced and cruised extensively. My first Ranger was the last 23 tall rig built -hull number 739.

Our 33 has been extensively upgraded through the years, including adjustable jib leads, self tailing winches, backstay adjuster, inboard blade track,coarse and fine mainsheet system on modern traveler track, and a complete inventory of purpose built sails as I hate roller furlers. We also have a modified rudder. All thru hulls were replaced and the bottom is burnished VC ofshore

The boat is a pleasure to sail, and will usually be in the hunt, if not the ''Alpha'' boat in the local PHRF fleet. I am not allowed to bring home any more trophies as there is no more room in the den. We have enjoyed alot of success on the race course -not because I''m a good sailor, but because the boat sails well under the rating in a variety of conditions. It is very important when racing this boat to keep her under control, and change jibs as required. We rarely need the extra sail area of the 150 and typically race with our 140% headsail.

Unlike Jeff, I find the boat goes upwind faster and higher than any other similarly rated boat. We doextremly well upwind and reaching in all condiions. Again, the right jib is critical, as the mast is stiff and not really suited to depowering as with a fractional rig. Our main is cut a little flat and it pays off as the wind builds.

We have not had any structural problems, refered to, but did lose the boom in an offshore race in 60kts of wind. The original boom section was undersized.

I have great confidence in our boat (one competed and won its division in the trans pac) and love the sailing qualities. .. Not the greatest for cruising due to the 9.7 beam. I would highly recommend the R33.
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