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Rhodes Ranger 28
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Hi all
I just acquired 1960 Rhodes Ranger 28 Hull #12 built by de visser in Rotterdam. There’s not a ton of information online about these boats so I’m wondering if anyone out there owns one of these or has spent time on them? I’m trying to find an owners forum but the only one I saw is a now defunct yahoo group. Any intel is appreciated!
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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The Rhodes Ranger (29) was one of the first boats imported by Seafarer. Seafarer did not build its own boats yet. The design was an updated version of a Rhodes wooden boat design. Seafarer was started by Brian Akworth, who was a BOAC Airline pilot. Brian was in and out of the US and Common Market countries and started Seafarer as a side gig. He was able to cherry pick designs and builders and import them to the US.
The Ranger like all of the early Seafarer's came from one of the top design firms in the world at that time. They were built to a very high level of fit and finish, with fiberglass work that was way beyond most of what was being done in the US. These boats benefitted from cost incentives that were still in place at the tail end of the Marshall Plan. The result was that the Ranger 29 were pretty affordable and came very well equipped. The same boat came into the US as a Sailmaster 29 and Henry Walton from Annapolis brought them in as a Walton 29. Somewhere around 1964 the beneficial trade agreements stopped, and Seafarer began building their boats in Huntington, Long Island in the US. At that point, Seafarer tooled up a new set of designs since they could not cost effectively get the tooling out Europe.

In terms of sailing ability, the Ranger was quite heavy compared to its contemporaries and short on sail area. They also sailed on an even shorter waterline than the ridiculously short waterlines found on most CCA boats of that period. That combination meant that they did not perform well in light air or heavy air, and have a pretty uncomfortable motion- tending to pitch and roll a lot. The pitching issue was particularly a problem for the versions with the outboard engine. They also have a comparatively small carrying capacity due to the small waterplane and the fact that much of their weight was in a heavy interior and rig. They originally had wooden masts which gave them a pretty high vertical center of gravity (reducing stability and increasing roll and pitch, albeit slowing the roll and pitch rates.)

I know that this is not much, but hope that this is of some use.

Jeff
 
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