Jeff, you should really stop with the anti-IOR rap. There are a couple of old 3/4, 1, and two tonnes in the PNW that are sailed well and actively. I can also think of a particular and well known Farr 1 tonner and a Wiley Hawkfarm that still do well in SF when they're out. They aren't for everyone, but the idea that they can't be competitive in PHRF is your prejudice and certainly not fact. Respectfully said I might add. Your advise in most other things is spot on.
I understand that there are that people disagree with my comments on old IOR designs, considering them to be a personal prejudice of mine. I agree that this may be my opinion, but that opinion comes from decades of owning and racing these boats and continuing to race them side by side MORC and non rule designed boats of the same period let alone with more modern designs. Perhaps it might help if I explain where I am coming from, and by explaining my position the hope is that certainly anyone who disagrees is free to weigh in on the parts of this that they think I have wrong.
But to begin with, I did not say that you can't successfully race an old IOR boat. What I said is "it is extremely hard to be competitive racing old IOR boats under PHRF" and I firmly believe that based on my own personal experience.
But before I explain that statement I do want to address GeorgeB's comments. The Ranger 22 began life as an IOR mini-tonner and was fractionally rigged. These were a prototypical mini-tonners designed to compete with similar Ericson, Creekmore, Holland, Tanton, and Schock mini-tonners of that same era. I think that George may be mistaking the Ranger 22 for the Ranger 23, which was a masthead rig MORC design of the same era. The Ranger 23 is one of my favorite boats of that size and era and a great little PHRF boat from that time frame. The Ranger 23 is a well rounded design that sailed well in a wide cross section of conditions and points of sail. The 23 is a boat that is near and dear to my heart. The Ranger 22 not so much...
But back to my take on racing IOR boats. It is not that these boats are impossible to race, but as a broad generality, they are less forgiving and so require a much higher llevel of skill to sail.
It is most apparent when you sail an IOR boat back to back with a MORC derived design from the same era. Jumping from something like a Schock's Santana 25 (IOR) to Schock's Wavelength 24 (MORC) or Santana 23 (same builder and designer as the 25 but a MORC boat), or from a Contessa 33 or J-34 (IOR) to something like a J-35 (no rule) for example, or from a San Juan 27 (IOR) to an S2 6.9 (MORC), the first thing that you notice is that the IOR boats are much quicker to lose speed and are noticably slower to get it back. As a result they penalize small mistakes more than a less finicky design.
You see this dramatically when you race these boats in a mixed fleet. Hit a wake when you are racing on an IOR boat, (something like the Ranger 22 in question) and you quickly see that the J-22 next to you will slow almost as much as you do, but the J22 will be back to speed much quicker, suddenly picking up several boat lengths. Hit a 5 knot windspeed increase, and the J-22 might need a click in on the jib and mainsheet sheet and more tension on the backstay, where as the mini-tonner would need a jib sheet lead change (and ideally a sail change), as well as everything else the J-22 would need.
In light air, the IOR boats of the Ranger 22 era, were designed to be raced with 170% genoas. My old quarter tonner had a light air 170% and two different weight 150's and there was a huge difference in performance between these sails so you had to pick the right sail; consequently sail changes were the norm, not the exception. Try improving the Ranger 22's light air performance by using a 170% genoa in a fleet that will allow it and the PHRF penalty will kill any chance that the boat had to save her time.
But more to the point, the unforgiving nature of sailing IOR era boats (tender and counting on proportionately large headsails even on fractional riggers) meant that you needed the right sail for the wind condition. These boats counted on comparatively narrow wind range sails in order to have enough drive for the specific condition without being overpowered. The idea that a 22 footer needs a #1, #2 and #3 to be competitive seems crazy to me when compared to something like a J-22 which can sail to its rating with only one headsail. But more to the point it also puts a premium on having the right sail for the condition. I know modern high tech sails offset this a little, but should you really need high tech sails to go club racing.
Old MORC boats like a J-24, Wavelength 24, Capri 25 or S2 6.9's were strictly 4 sail rigs (#1, #3, Spin, and Main). These MORC derived designs had bigger SA/D's and the stability to carry these bigger sail plans across a wider wind range. It meant they could use the same sail plan into lighter winds and still carry them into higher windspeeds. It was simply a matter of getting the sail trim right.
Even if you hung-on upwind, on reaches and downwind in a breeze, IOR boats like the Ranger 22 (as compared to MORC derived boats or later designs) are really at a loss in terms of being able to get above hull speed. These older MORC designs will surf more readily and will shift into semi-planning mode much more readily than the IOR boat. I remember the first time that I sailed a J-24, Capri 25 or a J-29, I was stunned at how forgiving these boats were as compared to my old quarter tonner. When I traded my quarter tonner for a Kirby 25, I could get by with a smaller crew and sail inventory and focus on steering and not have to focus on recovering disappearing boat speed.
And the factors that result in a boat being forgiving do not show up in a PHRF rating. Neither does a PHRF factor in the tactical advantage of being able to sail a little faster than a similar length boat and therefore sail slightly further in order place the boat in a more advantageous position on the course.
So while a skilled crew, with a well prepped IOR boat, can be competitive, especially in a venue where the prevalent conditions are moderate and steady, it is a much tougher battle. The skill level to get to speed and stay at speed on an IOR design needs to be much higher, and there is less room for error.
I also want to comment on my advice to change boats if racing is important to the boat owner. US27's description of the crew suggests that this is a pretty casual and novice bunch. If just getting out on the race course is okay for them, then the Ranger 22 should be okay. There is nothing wrong with not being competitive as long as you don't care. But if being competitive is important, there are a whole range of boats in a similar size and price range that might work better, including boats like the Ranger 23 mentioned above, to a Capri 25, Wavelength 24, J-24, J-22, perhaps a Kirby 25 or something like Santana 23 if trailering is important.
I know this is only my perception, although you used to see this kind of discussion in print back in the day, but hopefully this bit of an explanation will bridge some of the gap.