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jtrask 03-17-2013 11:11 AM

Construction questions for a Ranger 26
Morning all,

I looked at a Ranger 26 project yesterday and I have many questions!

(If this thread needs to be moved or split, please let me know.)

The lines on the boat are very nice and the majority of the deck was in surprisingly good condition from an visual standpoint, the rubber moved freely, the standing rigging was in fair shape, and the main sail was in fair to good shape.

1.All the lockers had water
2.the winch was frozen
3.the head was straight piped to a through-hull
4.the main hatch didn't seal
5.the port lights were plastic
6.the interior bulk-heads were previously removed and replaced incorrectly (there's a two inch gap around the entire perimeter of both bulk-heads, and 7.the mast appears to be flexing the deck due to no support
8.keel bolts were corroded and in need of replacement
9.a stanchion was pushed through the deck and glassed over with no deck support
10. interior lining was stripped out to the fiberglass and the glass was translucent in places
11.the finish was peeling inside all the lockers

I'm thinking that this is more of a project than I'm willing to undertake, but in the spirit of informed decisions and learning for future projects....

Is it possible to add a holding tank to this boat?
Are main hatches usually/supposed to be weather-tight?
Can you put a port light that will open on a Ranger 26?
Is it reasonable to replace bulkheads on a Ranger 26 and add a steel mast plate? If so, how would you do it?
What do you do to restore a boat that is stripped down to the interior glass?
How do you replace keel bolts on a bolt-on keel? (They actually look more like they are integral studs in the keel.)
Is there a DIY fix for restoring locker interiors so that they are smooth and able to be cleaned?
Are cockpit lockers usually weather-tight?
If a rectangle has been cut out around a stanchion plate, what needs to be done to restore the deck to where it will support the loads placed on a stanchion?

Thanks in advance!

killarney_sailor 03-17-2013 11:26 AM

Re: Construction questions for a Ranger 26
My first reaction is that it sounds like a tremendous amount of work and quite a bit of expense. Some of the stuff is trival, but some not. The bulkheads would be a big issue and I wonder if the deck and hull have been compromised by the bulkhead problems. Also corroded keel bolts could be nothing (cosmetic only) or quite serious and very difficult to fix. You could find a knowledgeable person to look at the boat with you, but my reaction from your description is that free would be too high a price for this boat.

hellosailor 03-17-2013 11:40 AM

Re: Construction questions for a Ranger 26
The Ragner26 had a good reputation, but it sounds like what you are buying is a fiberglass hull which will need complete refitting. The bulkheads, etc. are plywood, and once they take moisture damage the only fix is to toally remove them and replace them, and that's a bigger carpentry project than most folks want to get into. If you really enjoy large cabinet-grade structural all means. Of course, first you have to send away for marine grade plywood because it just isn't commonly found.

Corroded keel bolts? IIRC the R26 has conventional "cast in the lead" J-bolts. If the nuts on top are corroded they can be replaced. If the bolts themselves are corroded, now you have to drill into the lead keel and sink new ones--another non-trivial task. And possibly jack the boat, lower the keel, rebed the whole thing.

The deck is probably cored, with a wood core of some type between the exterior layers of fiberglass. If that's damp, the typical fix is to slice off one side, install a whole new core, rebuild the deck...You may be getting the idea this is not quick or cheap.

Sounds like a boat that was neglected and abused, bought by some poor soul who had no idea what he was getting into, who is now looking to dump it on someone else. The general advice in this situation is, as Monty Python said:


Unless you want to start a ships' carpentry school with some apprentices and spend a year of your free time and ten or twelve grand on the repairs.

SloopJonB 03-17-2013 12:41 PM

Re: Construction questions for a Ranger 26
Unless you're looking for a father/son project type of thing, forget it. You can buy a nice R-26 for very few $thousand.

Faster 03-17-2013 06:49 PM

Re: Construction questions for a Ranger 26
The R26 is a wonderful boat, but this one sounds a mess... don't bother with it - keep looking.

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