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Memo's Ranger Rebuild Thread


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#1 memopad

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 12:45 AM

I have way too many questions about all kinds of random things, I think i'm in over my head. I'm not sure yet how far i want to take this project. I don't have much money but i want to do things the "right" way. Nothing i've found so far really needs to be done, outside a couple of bigger cracks in the deck. Mostly this is preventative maintenence and making things look almost like new. I'll try and document what happens along the way, and will be looking for lots and lots of advice on how to do procede. I'm new to all this and don't really have anyone in person that can show me the ropes. The updates will hopefully be weekly. The boat is about an hour and a half away so i can only get there during the weekends.

I took some photos of the "progress" from this weekend. My first goal is to strip everything from the deck, patch some old hardware holes, fill some cracks, and repaint. Step one is removing the handrails and everything else. Haven't decided on if the toerail is comming off yet. I'd like to get everything perfect so i think it will eventually. Anyway, here's where i'm at thus far.

After removing the cockpit hatch cover, i was surprised to see non-skid under it. I'm guessing the cover was added after the boat was new? Also thought it was odd that the wood rails the hatch slides on stuck up at the end. Looks like they should be curved to fit the deck, but not sure how the hatch would slide then. I'm guessing again the whole thing was added after-wards, maybe original broke who knows. For now i've got the wood slides and the hatch off, they were just wood-screw looking things stuck in the fiberglass. Hard to back out, had to drill out a couple of them.

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Here are the only cracks on the deck that I think are big enough to let water into the deck. I'll drill some holes to check the core around these areas but so far the boat has been bone dry. I'm not sure how to fill these... grind out slightly and use epoxy filler? Or do i need something more substantial... The second area of cracking is comming from the bow end of the front hatch. It may just be a gelcoat crack but its much larger than any of the other spider cracking/crazing i've seen elsewhere. Though it doesn't look nearly as bad as the cracks around the mast step.

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Here i'm attempting to remove the headliner to get at backing plates and nuts for the deck hardware. Most of the hardware is accessable through the zippered areas, but a few things like the hand-rails don't have zippers. I was hoping the liner would come down in big panels, but after removing some of the wood trip i see its all staples Posted Image. Waaaay too much crap to deal with. Any ideas? Any way to cut a slot and make it look "good" afterward?

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#2 memopad

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 12:48 AM

And here are some random shots of the good 'ole atomic 4 that appears to be in decent shape. I'm an inboard noob, i don't even know if this is raw or fresh water cooled, or where the water inlet/outlet etc. are. I'm guessing that since there is no radiator this is raw water? (boat has never seen salt so i guess it is "fresh" water cooled :lol:). Also, two of the through-hulls are gate valves that i'd like to replace with sea-cocks. Can someone tell me from the photos or tell me how to check if the ball valves in the photos are the real-deal or hardware crap?

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#3 Ishmael

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:24 AM

And here are some random shots of the good 'ole atomic 4 that appears to be in decent shape. I'm an inboard noob, i don't even know if this is raw or fresh water cooled, or where the water inlet/outlet etc. are. I'm guessing that since there is no radiator this is raw water? (boat has never seen salt so i guess it is "fresh" water cooled :lol:). Also, two of the through-hulls are gate valves that i'd like to replace with sea-cocks. Can someone tell me from the photos or tell me how to check if the ball valves in the photos are the real-deal or hardware crap?

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The motor looks good, but it is crammed in there. That's going to make maintenance more fun, in a yoga sort of way.

The plumbing is scary. Your main water intakes have gate valves on the through-hulls, then tees and ball valves on some of the lines going off into the distance. You have a mixture of bronze, brass, what appears to be galvanized iron, PVC, ABS, and several types of rubber hose. Single clamps on everything. One through-hull has a ball valve, which appears to be brass, but I could be wrong. All that plumbing looks relatively new, and has obviously never seen salt water. Put it in salt, and you have a giant battery.

Um, boats don't have radiators...B)

I would take it back to the through-hulls and do it right.

#4 memopad

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:31 AM

Thanks for the input ish. I'll have to look up how fresh water cooling works (i thought it was a closed loop) ;).

I was worried all that plumbing would have to go. Even though the boat will only be in fresh water (lake superior) i was guessing plastic fittings don't have a place below the waterline.

The outer fittings are flush fit, and assuming the backings are still solid can i leave the actual thru-hulls in place and add seacocks to those? Or does eeeeverything need to come out?

And the million dollar question... can i use the bronze ball valves from the hardware store so long as it will always be in fresh water? The $5 dollar price compared with the $100 dollar price is sooo tempting.

#5 stickboy

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:10 AM

Thanks for the input ish. I'll have to look up how fresh water cooling works (i thought it was a closed loop) ;).

I was worried all that plumbing would have to go. Even though the boat will only be in fresh water (lake superior) i was guessing plastic fittings don't have a place below the waterline.

The outer fittings are flush fit, and assuming the backings are still solid can i leave the actual thru-hulls in place and add seacocks to those? Or does eeeeverything need to come out?

And the million dollar question... can i use the bronze ball valves from the hardware store so long as it will always be in fresh water? The $5 dollar price compared with the $100 dollar price is sooo tempting.


Yea, ish is right, start at the through hulls and clean everything from there. Don't cut corners here, this keeps your boat floating. If the through hulls are solid you can get away with good ball valves on them, It actually appears to me that you have no shut off on your raw water feed to the engine. That's the red hose coming out of the galvanized T to the waterpump on the engine. The water goes into the engine through the water pump, circulates through the engine and comes out the red hose at the top of the back of the exhaust manifold.

Everything you ever wanted to know about through hulls here: http://www.pbase.com...acing_thruhulls
and here: http://www.sailnet.c...ow-up-info.html

That's a sweet looking A4. You need to know about Moyer Marine: http://www.moyermarine.com/

#6 memopad

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:18 AM

Sweet thanks stick, good info. The red water intake hose has a gate valve on the fitting so you can shut it off. I'm guessing the T-fitting and the ball-valve side are for running antifreeze through the engine as the end of that hose was just sitting in the bilge.

I'll go read up some more on thru-hulls, and do some more browsing at the moyer forums when i have a chance :).

#7 sailSAK

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:03 AM

Seen worse for sure! Those ball valves look brass, but probably just fine for Lake Sup, not proper but whatever they aren't going to sink your boat. If you are facing sticker shock at the chandlery look up "Banjo" glass reinforced polypropylene. Its really good stuff and a lot less than Forespar.

#8 PNW Matt B

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:44 AM

The plumbing advice is spot on... the headliner, don't sweat it. Go in with leather gloves and in half an hour you'll have all that vinyl out. That'll leave some staples but not as many as you think - most of them will come out with the vinyl and the foam behind it. Then forget all about headliners until you're done with the deck. When it's time to worry about the interior, I'd recommend running stringer/spacers across the boat every few feet and suspend beadboard or flat white paneling. Looks good, easy to maintain, and easy to drop anytime you need to get to your deck hardware. There are a dozen ways to do it, I like short threaded studs embedded in the stringers and acorn nuts under the panels, then cover the nuts with wood fake stringers. Gives it that updated Herreshoff interior look, and the wood's a lot softer on the head than the acorn nuts. ;)

#9 memopad

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:16 PM

Agh i would hate to redo the headliner, especially when whats there looks ok. Maybe putting a new one up isn't as hard as i'm thinking... if there is another way to do it and preserve the old one i'll try that first. Putting in a new zipper slot can't be done with the headliner in place can it? My mom tells me you'd need to run it through a sewing machine for that. Maybe buttons? Anyone ever had to cut a fabric liner and patch it?

#10 Ajax

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:43 PM

The ocean is your "radiator". Raw water in, through the heat exchanger, and the waste heat and water is exhausted back out into the ocean (Great Lakes). It's as simple as that.

There are some cautions regarding inboard systems like this:

1. Once you get past "maintenance mode" and you keep the boat in the water for the winter, close the raw water intake/exhaust seacocks. If the boat gets loaded with snow, you'll push the exhaust under water and it'll flood the boat, putting her on the bottom.

2. Sometimes people forget to open these valves and fry the engine. Hang your engine key from the intake seacock, that way you'll always remember to open it before starting the engine.

Headliner: I can't see the pictures, but don't let vinyl cosmetics stand in the way of important maintenance. Peel it off, and have mom run it through the sewing machine, and add the extra zipper.

Mast step/deck cracks: Any chance you can get access to a moisture meter? Might be better than drilling holes, and more accurate. Once you get a read on how dry the core is, then yes, you grind the cracks out (not too deep) and fill it back in, sand and paint.

More on engine plumbing: I hate cobbled together systems comprised of different valves and different materials. What you have may work fine, but it'd drive me nuts. One style of thru-hull, one style or brand of seacock, the minimum amount of hose and tubing to do the job, double up the hose clamps and be done with it.

Budget: You mentioned having a finite amount of cash. Dude, we all do. You've owned a few different boats now, but I say this one is the "keeper". If it takes you longer to get it ready, and you have to store it on the hard for a couple of seasons to get it repaired correctly, then so be it. Just as long as you make continuous progress and avoid the "project boat death spiral". Don't give up on her just because you can't get it fixed in a single off-season or whatever.

I envy you the boat house, that's awesome! I can only imagine the amount of work I'd get done if I had such an environment.

#11 memopad

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 03:56 PM

Haha thanks ajax :) The "boat house" is my friends shop. He has waaay too many boats piled up in there, i have to crawl over/under/around things to get back to my boat. And when i'm walking around on deck i hit my head on the rafter beams... oh, and its not really heated. It doesn't freeze, but i think its too cold for epoxy work :(. It stays slightly warm as it shares some walls with other businesses. Not sure how to tackle that problem, i'd hate to do all the prep and then have to wait until next May to start painting and resetting hardware. I'll have to design an elaborate tarp and plastic hanging system when i start sanding. Oh, and this boat will always be out of the water from oct-may. The lake turns to a solid chunk of ice several feet thick, not to mention 300+ inches of snow.

Money, yes. I started my first "real" career job half-way through this summer. Quadrupled my income and it still feels like i'm living pay-check to pay-check. Too much unforseen crap is taking away my boat bucks.

Excellent idea on hanging the keys from the water-intake valves. I'll file that one way for the future. I will redo the plumbing and make sure its all one material and simplify things a bit. Right now the only unknown is if i'm going to just mount ball valves on the existing thru-hulls, or redo everything so i can get the flanged adaptors on there. Would be nice, but $$$. Just threading the valve onto the thru-hull i'm hoping will still be plenty strong enough. This isn't exactly an off-shore boat.

I still have the folkboat, its tucked away for the winter at my parents house. It is for sale but i have some crazy ideas for it if it doesn't sell next summer. If the Ranger projects take too long i can keep sailing the folkboat next summer. Or, if the Ranger goes in, i'll take the folkboat with me to my rental house and have a summer project boat during the work week. Maybe thats going overboard :lol:. The folkboat in comparison is such a simple boat. With the inboard, more gung-ho electrical system, etc. the ranger is somewhat intimidating at the moment.

#12 Ajax

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 04:07 PM

My neighbor says that when he has to do epoxy work in the winter, he directs heat guns or heat lamps onto the area. If it's an isolated spot, like a deck fixture I mean. Large, spread-out epoxy and paint jobs are much harder.

Re: Career- Welcome to the rat race.:P

#13 memopad

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:51 AM

Ajax i'll give that a try. I think i'll set up one of those electric radiators (the kind that have no exposed hot parts so they're safe) inside the cabin and let that partially heat the deck up, and then put heat lamps up top at the spots i'm working on. Hopefully that gives a more even temperature than one sided heat, and hopefully epoxy is fairly loose heat tolerances.



#14 199.99

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 07:44 AM

Thanks for the input ish. I'll have to look up how fresh water cooling works (i thought it was a closed loop) ;).

I was worried all that plumbing would have to go. Even though the boat will only be in fresh water (lake superior) i was guessing plastic fittings don't have a place below the waterline.

The outer fittings are flush fit, and assuming the backings are still solid can i leave the actual thru-hulls in place and add seacocks to those? Or does eeeeverything need to come out?

And the million dollar question... can i use the bronze ball valves from the hardware store so long as it will always be in fresh water? The $5 dollar price compared with the $100 dollar price is sooo tempting.


your thru hulls may be NPS, the valves you buy at the hardware store will probably be npt. don't thread npt to nps. the seacock installation also needs to be strong enough to support 500 lbs in static load. beware of hardware store valves. defender has proper valves and seacocks for $40 (forespar marelon)

#15 memopad

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:03 PM

The NPS/NPT thread issue is in my head, and i'll check that when i dig into the plumbing. Checking defender, looks like the majority of thru-hulls are NPT. So if you're correct about the hardware store fittings then i'm golden :lol:. Either way, lots to think about. I probably won't get to the plumbing for a while yet.



#16 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:16 PM

Ajax is right except there is no heat exchanger that I see in those photos...therefore your A-4 is raw water cooled (RWC), like mine. Water comes in the green handled gate valve (the "T" is likely for antifreeze or vinegar or acid flushing) and goes right to the water pump. If the hose coming out of the water pump (inboard side of the pump) goes directly in the side plate under the alternator, it is for sure RWC. You'd also need a 2nd pump if it was FWC, mostly commonly mounted on the front or near the alternator..

Since it is a fresh water boat, that isn't too bad...stickboy is right...that is a GREAT looking late model, direct drive A-4.

Those gate valves need to go...DO NOT SKIMP IN THIS AREA. If you don't want to spend buttloads on bronze, get marelon..figure out what size you need and order them from Defender. You can be cheap almost anywhere else, but please spend the $$ on proper seacocks so you have piece of mind about your boat not sinking. "Maine Cruising"'s site that stickboy provided (pbase.com) is the authority (IMO) on this type of stuff. +1 on what 'one cent short of two boat bucks' said.

The other thing I'd check is the condition of the compression post for the mast...how deep are the cracks at the mast step there in those pics? On my Catalina it is common for the plywood (!!) in the bilge to collapse under the mast loads. Not sure how your boat is constructed, but those cracks are an indicator of the need for further investigation.

I'll see you over at the Moyer forum..that place has been a godsend for me. B)

#17 memopad

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:33 PM

Thanks HB. The compression post is an aluminum section, looks great. I was able to take out some of the headliner at the post and see it has a plywood pad at the top between the deck and the post. The plywood is dry but very possible (probable) it has compressed somewhat. I'll have to further investigate the bottom of the post to see what its sitting on. When i looked before i don't remember any wood being down there.

#18 Ajax

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:27 PM

They used plywood? Can't you get a thin block of a harder wood like ash or something to put in there?

Ahh..the nice thing about only having 2 thru-hulls is that I can splurge and get silicone-bronze hardware.

#19 HHudson

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:52 PM

While there are Rangers that do not have moisture issues the three (23,33, and currently 37) that I have owned have all had problems. While you are there I would suggest getting your hands on a moisture meter like the Electrphysics CT33. The screw for the hatch rails and cover are just driven into the core. Stanchion bases, sail tracks etc. have all been problems. My 37 is currently having it's entire deck recored from the bottom. Feel free to ask questions. I did the deck sides and some of the cabin top on the 23 mostly balsa. I did nothing really on the 33 choosing instead to do it one more time on my dream boat. The 33 has a hard headliner and is plywood cored (I think) The 37 has both but had a soft head liner. There are some smart guys out there and a couple of great websites. Those cracks at the mast step look interesting! All said Rangers are great boats from the old school. Here's a pic of a Dutch 37 with a different take on headliners

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#20 DDW

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:06 PM

I know you don't want to waste money, but a newby to boat maintenance ought to own at least this Nigel Calder book. This will cover system, engines, rigging, etc. Another good one to own is Don Casey's. This also covers patching holes and cracks, refurbishment, do-it-yourself add-ons. You can sometimes find these used in older editions, which are just fine.

#21 sam_crocker

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:33 PM

Ajax i'll give that a try. I think i'll set up one of those electric radiators (the kind that have no exposed hot parts so they're safe) inside the cabin and let that partially heat the deck up, and then put heat lamps up top at the spots i'm working on. Hopefully that gives a more even temperature than one sided heat, and hopefully epoxy is fairly loose heat tolerances.



It also helps if the epoxy starts out at room temp when you mix it. Even with the heat lamps it will still have a hard time kicking off if it starts out cold. A box with a 100 watt bulb and your epoxy in it can do the trick.

System Three makes a cold temp epoxy. Read their Epoxy book (it's free online), it's a good book. Buy some metering pumps intended for the epoxy you buy - different epoxies mix at different ratios.

#22 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:34 PM

DDW - Good link to those books..I own the other Don Casey book, and the Nigel Calder book. Good references. I keep the NC book by the shitter and dream of the all the mechanical & electrical upgrades I'd like to make. :rolleyes:
While you are buying books, Moyer Marine sells an A-4 maintenance manual..It is the A-4 bible..you need it. MMI A-4 manual

They used plywood? Can't you get a thin block of a harder wood like ash or something to put in there?Ahh..the nice thing about only having 2 thru-hulls is that I can splurge and get silicone-bronze hardware.


Ajax, Marelon works great and is LIGHTER! {hint hint} :P

#23 Ishmael

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:37 PM


Ajax i'll give that a try. I think i'll set up one of those electric radiators (the kind that have no exposed hot parts so they're safe) inside the cabin and let that partially heat the deck up, and then put heat lamps up top at the spots i'm working on. Hopefully that gives a more even temperature than one sided heat, and hopefully epoxy is fairly loose heat tolerances.



It also helps if the epoxy starts out at room temp when you mix it. Even with the heat lamps it will still have a hard time kicking off if it starts out cold. A box with a 100 watt bulb and your epoxy in it can do the trick.

System Three makes a cold temp epoxy. Read their Epoxy book (it's free online), it's a good book. Buy some metering pumps intended for the epoxy you buy - different epoxies mix at different ratios.


Cold Cure is pretty easy 2:1 mix, you generally don't need metering pumps for that ratio even if you could find them. Be aware that Cold Cure will not harden the same as the WEST epoxies, it stays rubbery for quite a while until it sets up hard. It will, however, cure at 34F.

#24 crash

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:51 PM

Thanks HB. The compression post is an aluminum section, looks great. I was able to take out some of the headliner at the post and see it has a plywood pad at the top between the deck and the post. The plywood is dry but very possible (probable) it has compressed somewhat. I'll have to further investigate the bottom of the post to see what its sitting on. When i looked before i don't remember any wood being down there.



I'm with HB...you need to look into the cracking under the mast step. It is (or was) caused by something allowing the pressure on the mast to depress the deck enough to crack it. It may already have been repaired...but unlikely that it was repaired and the cracks weren't. So either the core is compressing, or something in the compression post system is. Not sense fixing the cracks on the deck until you are 100% sure that the compression post, the supports for the compression post above and below, and the core are solid and not allowing the deck to depress. Otherwise those cracks will just reappear. I would also have to think that with cracks like that, there is moisture in the core. Having just finished repairing my deck in the areas of the partners (from a crack similar to yours), I speak with some experience :rolleyes:

#25 memopad

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 04:18 PM

I was wrong about the mast step, i took photos but i can't post them until i go back to work on sunday night or monday. The post goes directly to the deck, no plywood spacer. I'm guessing the deck is solid glass around the step area. The post sits on a thick piece of metal (maybe thicker aluminum, looks like the same as the post, definitely isn't coroded). Under the metal plate (maybe 1/8th inch or so thick) is a solid glass layup. The plate is slightly off level, maybe 1/4inch tilted. There is no evidence that i can see of any settling going on. I can't see an obvious way to remove the compression post to get a better look at things but i'll keep looking.

I was able to remove most of the hardware from the coach-roof, i got pretty much everything i can by myself. For the rest of it i need another set of hands, one inside one outside. For the headliner issues i think i'll go ahead and cut the areas i need to get to, and then patch over the top of it when i'm done. Maybe some velcro patches so i can take them off later. Hopefully won't look horrible. Anyway, i need to find some friends to help. Or maybe i can drag my dad out to help. :D

Happy thanksgiving.



#26 sailSAK

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:15 PM

...There is no evidence that i can see of any settling going on. I can't see an obvious way to remove the compression post to get a better look at things but i'll keep looking.
...


Rangers I have seen are a little on the light side as far as layup goes. I wouldn't be surprised if those cracks are simply the result of normal use. Rig could have been a little loose, or too tight at some point that aggravated it enough to crack the gel coat.

#27 memopad

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 03:20 AM

Yeah SC i don't think there is a serious problem going on (outside preventing water getting into the cracks). I'll dig in a little further for better viewing but i'm sure i'll end up just filling the cracks and hope they don't come back. If (when) they do maybe i'll explore other options. Recruited my dad to work on the boat with me tomorrow, hope to get some progress made at clearing the decks.

#28 memopad

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:26 PM

Dad was a huuuuge help!!! We were able to pull headliner staples around the window trim so he could stick his hand up far enough to get to the hand-rail backings. No cutting of the headliner required! Coach roof is completely bare and almost all the wood is ready to be taken home and refinished.

Tried to pull the primary winches off and realized i had no idea how to take apart a self-tailing winch, lol. Took the secondaries off and got a bit of a suprise. My dad was underneath and asked why water was dripping on his head. With the winch base removed we saw it was sitting in a puddle of water. Poor sealing job let water in and then kept it trapped under the base. Glad i caught it, makes this whole project worth it i think.

We were on a roll so i climbed into the cockpit locker (only access to the back of the boat) and got the aft pulpit free. I think the only challenging thing left to remove will be the stanchions. We'll give it a shot tommorrow.

Any hints on taking apart a barient #19 two speed winch?

And... thoughts on removing the toe-rail? Good access just lots and lots of bolts to remove. Since i'm taking the deck back to square one it seems like getting the rail off and resealing it would be the final and best thing to do. Also would make painting easier. Should i do it or paint around it?

#29 Ishmael

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:45 PM

Dad was a huuuuge help!!! We were able to pull headliner staples around the window trim so he could stick his hand up far enough to get to the hand-rail backings. No cutting of the headliner required! Coach roof is completely bare and almost all the wood is ready to be taken home and refinished.

Tried to pull the primary winches off and realized i had no idea how to take apart a self-tailing winch, lol. Took the secondaries off and got a bit of a suprise. My dad was underneath and asked why water was dripping on his head. With the winch base removed we saw it was sitting in a puddle of water. Poor sealing job let water in and then kept it trapped under the base. Glad i caught it, makes this whole project worth it i think.

We were on a roll so i climbed into the cockpit locker (only access to the back of the boat) and got the aft pulpit free. I think the only challenging thing left to remove will be the stanchions. We'll give it a shot tommorrow.

Any hints on taking apart a barient #19 two speed winch?

And... thoughts on removing the toe-rail? Good access just lots and lots of bolts to remove. Since i'm taking the deck back to square one it seems like getting the rail off and resealing it would be the final and best thing to do. Also would make painting easier. Should i do it or paint around it?


For the winch, http://www.cncphotoa...s/bar19_2sp.htm or http://www.cncphotoa...nches/mod19.htm

I would take off the toe rail. You know if you don't you'll find a leak next year...

#30 memopad

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:47 PM

Thanks ish, and you're probably right about that leak ;) Gonna get some power tools involved in that one, waay too many bolts to turn by hand.

I checked those diagrams and don't have the correct tool for the top plate. I'll either find a spanner wrench or, if it works, stick a bolt in one of the holes and use the winch handle to back it off ccw.

#31 sailglobal

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:27 PM

Spend the bucks, get a Makita impact driver (another brand of 18volt will probably suffice) and a socket adapter and you'll amaze yourself.

#32 hard aground

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:51 PM

make sure as you're removing the rails that there are still some fasteners holding the deck to the hull.

#33 memopad

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 01:53 PM

Hah good call on the fasteners :D Looks like there is a wood screw sunk in every couple of feet, that must be what holds the deck while the rail is off. Shouldn't it be glued/epoxied together as well?

Heading to the boat now with dad again. Gonna bring a drill and socket adaptor and see if it fits ok. Will probably save that for next week though. Still have the bow hardware to pull off and some other goodies.

How obvious is it where the hardware goes when its time to put it back on? I plan on drilling out and epoxying everything so the holes wil be filled. And do you re-epoxy and re-drill before or after painting? I'm going to take pictures and measurements but it still won't be fun putting it back on.

#34 hard aground

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:21 PM

I've rebedded toerails on both of my previous boats and was glad to see fasteners under it. Remember talking to guy with an Islander 30 a number of years ago that had for some reason removed the deck from the hull. More than a bit of a pain to get them back together. I would redrill and epoxy and redrill before paint. What bits and pieces are you concerned about not going back in the right place?

#35 sculpin

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 04:00 PM

Hah good call on the fasteners :D Looks like there is a wood screw sunk in every couple of feet, that must be what holds the deck while the rail is off. Shouldn't it be glued/epoxied together as well?

Heading to the boat now with dad again. Gonna bring a drill and socket adaptor and see if it fits ok. Will probably save that for next week though. Still have the bow hardware to pull off and some other goodies.

How obvious is it where the hardware goes when its time to put it back on? I plan on drilling out and epoxying everything so the holes wil be filled. And do you re-epoxy and re-drill before or after painting? I'm going to take pictures and measurements but it still won't be fun putting it back on.


Hi Memo
I"m assuming you are looking to avoid masking holes in the deck. After you fill the holes drill a hole part way - just a dimple would be enough that you know where to drill after paint... Doing it by measurement you are likely to miss the filled area.

#36 sailglobal

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 04:56 PM

Memo, trust I'm not interfering with your discussion, I apologise if I am so ignore me if that's the case. The advantage of using the impact driver versus the drill motor is that the impact feature will eliminate the need for a second person preventing the head of the fastener from spinning, (unless they're carriage bolts and then the impact will be good especially in saving you from a sore wrist). Unless the old bedding material is completely gone there will be enough resistance to hold the fastener whilst the impact driver spins the nut off. You may have a problem with an occasional fastener turning, especially if there's glass/epoxy/bedding/paint on the threads, however my experience has detirmined that the impact driver will save you a lot of time in both the removal and refastening process. You can also use it to "thread" the new fasteners into place by drilling a slightly undersize hole and turning the fasteners instead of simply pushing them into oversized holes. Of course this is only appropriate if you significantly over drill the original holes and fill them with thickened epoxy before you drill for the new fasteners.
I reckon you'll get some good advice from the Gougeon Bros book (They're the West Epoxy dudes). Have fun, it'll all be worth it when you're finished and get to look at a fresh paint job and no leaks.

#37 memopad

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:57 PM

The advice you guys are giving is priceless, thanks! I didn't realize impact drivers would help with spinning fasteners, thats cool. The bedding has been sticky enough that most things haven't been spinning anyway. As far as putting things back, i just wanted to make sure if i fill holes with epoxy, that i make the new holes into the new epoxy to take advantage of it. A couple things had tight clearances, such as the turning blocks for the halyards from the mast back to the cockpit. They lead the halyards within a half inch or so of the companion way cover, so setting them a bit off would could make them rub.

Everything is now off the deck aside from a couple of vent covers, lights, etc. Oh and two of the stanchions... i'm going to cut a couple of small access holes in the headliner to get to them, will make life so much easier. And i have to pull the instruments and engine controls. I think next weekend will be alot of organizing and cleaning to make sure i don't lose everything.

The evil toe-rail will be tackled someday.

#38 SpongeDeckSquareFoil

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:06 AM

Regarding the toe-rail, I don't think you'll need epoxy for those holes. I'm pretty sure the Ranger's used an inward flange on the hull with the deck flange on top of that. Then some type of adhesive was used to seal the two together. Both flanges are solid glass, no core, so shooting epoxy in there is of minimal, if any, benefit. The important thing is to re-bed the toe-rail properly.
You're doing a lot of work, but using epoxy on every toe-rail hole would have no return for the effort.
Keep having fun.

#39 Gatekeeper

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:17 AM

I have a suggestion...the single most important piece of info you'll get here. Buy a FEIN MULTIMASTER!!

There is NO task that won't be much easier if you invest $300 in this tool. Forget the knock-off crap, buy the real unit....it will save you hundreds of hours of frustration.

I found out the hard way.

Carry on.

#40 memopad

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:39 AM

Sponge good call on the hole filling. The deck joint is as you described, at least from what i've seen looking up from the bottom. No wood = no epoxy, so simple i didn't think of it :lol:.

Gate i've heard things about the multi-tools before so i've been looking into it. Black friday deals were kind to me, picked one up for $20 bucks. No its not a Fein or other name brand, but for that much i don't care. Not sure what i'll use it for yet, but when the situation comes up i'm sure i'll be glad i have it.

#41 memopad

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 02:06 AM

Not many photos to show from this weekend. I was being lazy with the camera and frankly it was just a big mess...

Have a few of the compression post. Interesting thing, when i first poked around the post it was extremely solid. After removing the mast step from the deck, the post has some play in it. Probably 1/8th inch or so from top to bottom, and i can wobble it side to side silghtly at the bottom. You can see in one of the photos where the bolts came through. Really odd, haven't figured it out yet.

Attached File  Ref15.jpg   136.5K   58 downloads

And here is the bottom: Resting on a metal plate with solid glass under neath. Few of the keel bolts are visible, and yes there is water sitting in there. Not sure if it came in through the deck (some of the plywood backing around the post under the deck was damp) or up through the bolts. The keel joint fairing has a crack in it but no water was weeping out after the boat was hauled.

Attached File  Ref13.jpg   131.24K   64 downloads Attached File  Ref14.jpg   124.76K   64 downloads

Another one of the main crack around the mast step on deck. The mast step has been removed as you can see, and there is a metal plate under that...

Attached File  Ref17.jpg   109.13K   55 downloads

Last is one of the winches, this is the halyard winch. The only one of the winches that had any metal shavings in it.

Attached File  Ref16.jpg   87.62K   48 downloads

#42 jackdaw

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 03:04 AM

I checked those diagrams and don't have the correct tool for the top plate. I'll either find a spanner wrench or, if it works, stick a bolt in one of the holes and use the winch handle to back it off ccw.


That is the approved procedure for opening these babies of you are without the special little tool....

Nice project for the Yooper winter, eh.

#43 Jose Carumba

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 03:54 AM

Yard out those pieces of plywood and replace with a metal plate or G-10. That crack in the deck which runs out from the center of the step looks like it may not be just cosmetic like the smaller ones surrounding the step. Reef out that crack with a sharpened can opener or other tool to create a v groove. If it looks like the crack is not just in the gel coat, ie if it goes into the laminate, you are in for structural repairs.

I would put a grommet in the hole from which the wiring exits the compression post to protect against chafing the wire. I know there isn't much movement down there but it would be cheap insurance.

Oh,and get ghat electrical splice or plug out of the bilge water. :o

#44 memopad

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:56 PM

Thanks jose. The plywood is there for headliner attachment only. Kind of hard to see in the pictures but it is cut out in the middle for the post to fit through and also drilled out for the bolts. I think its just glued to the cabin top. The liner then fit over that, with wood trim screwed into it to hold it all together. I can't see what the post does as it goes into the deck, its kind of recessed in there. I'd like to pry the plywood off anyway to get a better view under the crack and see what the post is doing. Any ideas how to rip it off there without destroying the cabin top?

The crack is for sure into the laminate, its at least 1/4in deep that i can see. I was under the impression that i'd just have to open up the crack and then fill it with epoxy. Is there a better way to do it?

Good idea on the grommet, and yeah electrical connections under water... :blink:



#45 Gatekeeper

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:39 PM

Gate i've heard things about the multi-tools before so i've been looking into it. Black friday deals were kind to me, picked one up for $20 bucks. No its not a Fein or other name brand, but for that much i don't care. Not sure what i'll use it for yet, but when the situation comes up i'm sure i'll be glad i have it.


You will find a thousand uses for it...and when it packs it in, and it will soon...you'll gladly by a FEIN AND their blades. On boats I find I need the extra "grunt" and RPM of a good tool.

I can see 4-5 uses for the MM in your photos Posted Image

Did I miss this...this is a Ranger ?? foot.




#46 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 02:16 PM

The crack is for sure into the laminate, its at least 1/4in deep that i can see. I was under the impression that i'd just have to open up the crack and then fill it with epoxy. Is there a better way to do it?


Yes, you basically rebuild the laminate by grinding out an area and layering in glass pieces of increasing size. The bigger the area, the stronger the repair. Opening and filling the crack will make it watertight (unless it cracks again) but not strong.

#47 memopad

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:27 PM

Sounds like a plan Tom. Really dumb question here but i'll ask it anyway; do you lay the smallest layer of glass and finish with the largest area covering the previous areas? I swear i've read just the contrary but it doesn't make sense.

Gate this is a 1978 Ranger 28 tall rig, hull # 181.

Had a crazy thought about the compression post... if you look closely in the photo of the underside of the cabin top, the fiberglass is cut away where the post fits into it. That, combined with the way it got loose when i unbolted the deck plate from above makes me think this goes all the way through the deck. As in, the mast step plate is sleeved into the post. Maybe flanged on deck with a skinny part going below, the post fits over the skinny part and butts up against the flange. The lack of beefy structure and the cut away fiberglass, and also the water in the bilge drives me to this conclusion. Can't investigate further for another week, argh! Would be an odd way of doing things though right?

#48 Jose Carumba

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:57 PM


The crack is for sure into the laminate, its at least 1/4in deep that i can see. I was under the impression that i'd just have to open up the crack and then fill it with epoxy. Is there a better way to do it?


Yes, you basically rebuild the laminate by grinding out an area and layering in glass pieces of increasing size. The bigger the area, the stronger the repair. Opening and filling the crack will make it watertight (unless it cracks again) but not strong.


Tom is right. You need to bevel the laminate back at about a 14:1 ( the more the better) of glass so the repair layers have some area to bond to. Use epoxy resin and glass. If the core is wet you will need to replace it of course. If the core is really wet over a wide area you should probably replace it from below to avoid having to rebuild the good gelcoated and non skidded areas.

I did notice that the plywood surrounding the mast step on the cabin top was split in two and probably non structural but I also noticed some bolts (from the mast step?) digging into the ply. You may want to fashion a ring of G-10 to capture those bolts and then surround that with ply to staple the headliner to.

There may be better information than I can give in Fix-It Anarchy and if you haven't already, you should download the West System repair manual found here: http://www.westsyste...Maintenance.pdf.

Good luck. Your efforts will be worth it. Those Ranger 28s are neat little boats.

EDIT: Lay the repair layers in from largest to smallest.

#49 memopad

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

Thanks jose, i'll reglass that crack. The plywood is only there to give trim boards something to bite into, it is completely separate from the compression post. The bolts are sitting in holes cut all the way through the plywood, they make no connection to it. Each bolt has its own washer as a backing. Those photos are more confusing than helpful it seems :lol:.

So largest to smallest it is... seems backwards to me but thats what i've been reading in all the manuals.

#50 Jose Carumba

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:58 PM

Thanks jose, i'll reglass that crack. The plywood is only there to give trim boards something to bite into, it is completely separate from the compression post. The bolts are sitting in holes cut all the way through the plywood, they make no connection to it. Each bolt has its own washer as a backing. Those photos are more confusing than helpful it seems :lol:.

So largest to smallest it is... seems backwards to me but thats what i've been reading in all the manuals.


I would still put a backing ring around the mast. It spreads the load better than washers.

The larger piece of fabric first allows each original layer to connect without the possibility of any edge to edge connections. It doesn't seem to make sense at first but in practice it works.

I have been wondering what might have caused the crack to begin with. There may be an underlying problem which needs to be addressed. I forgot, was this boat surveyed? If so did the surveyor mention what might have caused it? From the pics it looks like it happened evenly around the mast base. Perhaps the slop you found in the base/compression post is the culprit. When the mast is in compression the deck may have been pushed down to the point of damaging the laminate.

#51 Gatekeeper

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:10 PM

JC

I was thinking the same thing (I was...honest!!)...even a slack or overtightened rig shouldn't do that type damage. And I don't think you want to do any repairs until this is sorted out.

My best guess, the foot of the compression post, is, well, compressing and the load is being transfered to the deck.

Just my guess.

#52 hard aground

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:33 PM

memo, don't know what may be causing the crack at your mast base, but it is quite probable that the water in your bilge is from the stuffing box.

#53 Tom Ray

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:38 PM

Sounds like a plan Tom. Really dumb question here but i'll ask it anyway; do you lay the smallest layer of glass and finish with the largest area covering the previous areas? I swear i've read just the contrary but it doesn't make sense.


Jose answered your question better than I could have, but I should point out that I only addressed your crack at all because you said it was in the laminate. In the initial pics, I thought "gelcoat crack = who cares?" A crack in the laminate is not a "who cares" kind of thing, and the others are right that you need to find out why it cracked. Compression is the likely culprit, but masts also wobble and pump, and your boat is old. There are a lot of possible reasons.

#54 HHudson

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:54 AM

Time to call Boomer as he has a R28. The small Rangers usually have a alum. beam spanning the forward opening. Call Boomer!

#55 memopad

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:15 AM

Yep boomer may need to be brought into this discussion!

Jose, the post was under compression when i started this project, even with the mast off. It had no play in it at all. It wasn't until i unbolted the metal plates above the deck that the play showed up. I agree something caused the cracking and it would be logical to assume the deck is compressing. Under the compression post is solid glass. I mean SOLID, like 2+ inches of solid glass. On top of this glass is a metal plate that the post sits on. The plate isn't perfectly level but pretty close. I don't think the problem is on the bottom end, but can't be sure until i take the post out. I think/hope the problem is at the deck end of the post, but i don't know whats going on there yet. Until i can get back to the boat and do some further dismantling/destruction i can't do anything but guess ;). Boomer do you know how the compression post is fit? Oh and no, this boat was not surveyed. I made a bunch of mistakes during the purchasing process, but thats for another thread. I've put it all behind me and am really excited to own this boat.

Hudson, from what i've read the R28 doesn't have the so called iron cross that some of the other Rangers had.

HG, this part of the bilge is pretty much removed from the engine bilge. If there was a LOT of water, it could flow back to the deeper bilge under the cockpit, but it is mostly contained and has its own bilge pump connection you can see behind the compression post. The stuffing box drains into a separate bilge behind the engine.

Sorry to bring up a question like this and not be able to investigate sooner. I really want to get to the bottom of this mystery!!!! :ph34r:

#56 HHudson

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:47 AM

Memo, the iron cross is usually the mast step. Here's the 37's out of Jim Snow's boat. It requires a big swath of FRP to be removed. Have you seen the Gilded Lily site or Henderson's book Choice Yacht Designs? Both have good 28 stuff.

Attached Files



#57 memopad

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:36 PM

Thanks HH, i have read the gilded lily article before. I'll see if my library can get a copy of henderson's book to read.

#58 boomer

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:35 PM

Henderson's writeup of the 28 was more a nod to what was in vogue at the time.The Ranger 26 review was far more entertaining,especially the comments about preparation and sailing in a windy Bermuda single-handed race by the skipper.

Didn't get the measurements for the rail a couple weeks ago...got back in after dark...probably go down a check the boats this weekend and get a diagram then.

The connections for the metal compression post may be different from East to West Coast Builds...I'll take pictures of our top and bottom connections to see if they are similar.

The mast step...I'd grind out the crack til good core was found in the deck area,then replace the bad core,bevel the edges 8/1 up the mast-step on the upper solid layup and down to the deck area and laminate with a bottom couple layers of cloth,middle layers of mat and top layers of cloth (the alternative if the core is bad,cut out the top laminate in the deck area,replace the bad core and grind out the crack in the solid layup of the step to a 8/1 bevel...then laminate with epoxy and fiberglass cloth)...(the most involved replacement,is cutting out the whole step area,use as a mold and fab a new step and use a 12/1 bevel on either side of the cut,both top and bottom for laminating.

Some pics on Arvel Gentry's site of a typical Ranger total rebuild both Arvel Gentry's and Bob Perkins(Bob Perkins repair,detailing with pictures zip cutting the bottom laminate in the cabin,is good alternative way to go to minimize cutting out sections of deck from the top.Unfortunately his detailed rebuild isn't available on the web...perhaps the Wayback Machine has it)

Kitttiwake is Reborn

Kittiwake Restoration Photos

The Restoration of Friends

Ranger 23 Newsletters has more Ranger rebuilds/restorations

Ramger 23 Newsletters

Ranger Brochures

#59 memopad

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:57 AM

Thanks a bunch boomer, hope things are good in your neck of the woods.

I see they spent $28k fixing that R23 up... DAMN. And here i'm hoping to get the same results on a $2-3k budget :P.

#60 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:28 PM

memopad....every dollar you spend is for your own satisfaction and piece of mind....either resign yourself to that or dump the boat off to someone else now.

I am averaging about $2.5K per year (OK, maybe $3.5K, I forgot about the new winches at the boat show :P) on my boat currently, and some may have a hard time noticing if I've actually bought anything...if you don't count the $300 worth of Raymarine instruments (that is only the beginning of my plan) or the $1,600 mainsail which sits under a sunbrella cover 95% of the time. <_< - Pretty things like $5,000 worth of new cushions (at last count there are thirteen or so on a Catalina 30) or new carpet to cover up the cabin sole down below, or freshly cleaned and varnished teak, or $500 worth of Interlux paint to cover the 30 years of deck & hull abuse are LOW on my priority list. Good sails, a reliable engine, fresh standing rigging & $50 worth of epoxy in the wet deck & another $50 of Smith's penetrating epoxy in the bulkheads to stabilize them have been my priorities..no one sees that stuff but you. However, having the confidence in your boat to do an evening passage with only you & the Mrs. on board with 20 knots forward of the beam with no one else crazy enough to head out on a Friday night is worth every penny.

The list goes on and on, but hopefully you get the drift. B)

#61 HHudson

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:58 PM

HB is right. Kittiwake was done almost 10 yrs. ago at 28K. If you look at that work you will see that even someone like Mr. Gentry, who certainly qualifies as a knowledgable owner had problems with core damage. I recommend strongly that you evaluate the boats deck with a moisture meter before formulating a budget.

#62 memopad

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 04:15 PM

I wouldn't call it a budget, just a # i had in my head. I don't have a wife or gf to suck all my money away, just the boat :lol:. Really don't care about cost, just want something that will last and that i will enjoy. Luckily the interior goodies like cushions look great, and most (if not all) the hardware will be reused, and the sails are excellent. I'm gonna put the time into a good prep and spend some money to get the good paint. Will do awlgrip on the deck for the shiny bits. Something a little cheaper like brightside for the non-skid or use kiwigrip, haven't decided there.

I've tapped the entire deck with a screwdriver handle and found one area that has a slightly duller rap than the rest. That is around the starboard chainplate. I'll drill some holes to investigate and dry it out if i need to, area is not soft or squishy in any way.

Unrelated question: Anyone have experience with rail-mounted stanchions? I like the idea of opening the deck up a little, and reducing the # of holes in the deck. If possible i'd seriously consider switching over to the rail mount unless there is some huge disadvantage i'm missing... also can't find anything like that on defender.

#63 Ishmael

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 04:48 PM

I wouldn't call it a budget, just a # i had in my head. I don't have a wife or gf to suck all my money away, just the boat :lol:. Really don't care about cost, just want something that will last and that i will enjoy. Luckily the interior goodies like cushions look great, and most (if not all) the hardware will be reused, and the sails are excellent. I'm gonna put the time into a good prep and spend some money to get the good paint. Will do awlgrip on the deck for the shiny bits. Something a little cheaper like brightside for the non-skid or use kiwigrip, haven't decided there.

I've tapped the entire deck with a screwdriver handle and found one area that has a slightly duller rap than the rest. That is around the starboard chainplate. I'll drill some holes to investigate and dry it out if i need to, area is not soft or squishy in any way.

Unrelated question: Anyone have experience with rail-mounted stanchions? I like the idea of opening the deck up a little, and reducing the # of holes in the deck. If possible i'd seriously consider switching over to the rail mount unless there is some huge disadvantage i'm missing... also can't find anything like that on defender.


Most later-model C&C's came with the rail-mounted stanchions, and they work well. Some earlier owners have gone from the deck-mounted to the rail-mounted ones and they seem happy with the change. It's going to bloat your budget something fierce, and you still need a compatible toerail. Here's a selection:

http://www.niagara.c...stanchions.html

#64 longy

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 05:00 PM

That crack at the mast step is definitely structural. Possibly the compression post is not properly square to the deck? It could be contacting the aft edge of that area & leaving the forward edges floating. Under spar compression the forward edge would then flex down until it sat on the post. You'll need to remove that deck plate anyway to do a repair.

#65 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 05:02 PM

Aluminum toe rail, correct? Shouldn't be too hard...I have a 1" track, so I'd really screw the pooch if I did that. Later on, they moved the track inboard, and removed the hull/deck joint mounted track, and were able to move the stanchions out.

On my step-father's Tartan 3000, the outside of the stanchion base is bolted thru the toe rail but I think the inboard two holes are still thru the deck. Still better than 4 holes thru the deck. You may need to dig around and find another boat with similar set up and adapt to the Ranger...the toerails are often pretty similar, so that may make things a little easier.

#66 Jose Carumba

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 06:27 PM

That crack at the mast step is definitely structural. Possibly the compression post is not properly square to the deck? It could be contacting the aft edge of that area & leaving the forward edges floating. Under spar compression the forward edge would then flex down until it sat on the post. You'll need to remove that deck plate anyway to do a repair.


I see at least 3 structural looking cracks in the picture in Post #1. There may be another in the shadows, don't know (Memo?). If there are 4 cracks evenly distributed around the base I would say the load was nearly straight down and there was a fairly even gap all around, possibly between the post and the mast step ( the post might be bit short). If there are only the 3 cracks as in the picture then there may have been a gap in the stbd aft quadrant of the step. I think this could have happened much as you have described. In any case I would at the very least grind away the gelcoat all around the step and check for more cracks in the laminate.

Another thought is that the failure may have occured at the intersection of the solid glass under the step and the cored area surrounding it. You might want to call in a surveyor. He/she should have the means to tell you what might be wrong. Make sure the surveyor has forensic experience.

#67 memopad

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 07:10 PM

Jose i think you're correct, there are four cracks comming out of each corner of the step. I'm also guessing that the post is slightly short allowing the deck to compress and that is where the cracks came from. Why the post is short is the real question. Again, i have a feeling the problem is at the joint between the post and the deck, i'll look into it.

No surveyor within a few hundred miles. Best i can do is take lots of pictures, show you guys for advice, and then do it myself. :)

#68 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:20 PM

Why the post is short is the real question.


Not really. Ever been to a production boat factory? They're not all the same. Close, but not quite.

#69 Jose Carumba

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:30 PM

Why the post is short is the real question.


Not really. Ever been to a production boat factory? They're not all the same. Close, but not quite.


Yep. "It's Friday afternoon, This last piece of pipe is almost the right length. I don't want to go get a new piece of pipe to cut. Who'll know the difference?"

Sadly this type of thng happens.

#70 memopad

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:32 PM

Well, i'd rather have a short post than the correct post and a compression problem :D We'll seeeeee!

#71 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:47 PM

Surgery may reveal the rotted remains of a shim that made it "right" at the time, and for a while thereafter...

#72 HHudson

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:50 PM

Another possibility is balsa core that has washed away with the years. Oh those missing 1/2 inches.

#73 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:07 AM

No surveyor within a few hundred miles.


You won't need one, and this is an old boat and not that large anyway. It's pretty clear that some material must be removed to find out what's really going on, but it's not rocket surgery. It's old boat surgery, and sawzalls are allowed. ;)

You need a post with a solid base and top, wet core (or other stuff, if any) has to go, laminates have to be ground out and rebuilt. People here and in fixit anarchy can help you through, just take lots of pics.

#74 SpongeDeckSquareFoil

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:12 AM

As I recall, the local surveyor in the sellers area excused himself from surveying the boat because he knew the owner. Could you contact him now after the purchase and get his input? Maybe send him a case of local beer or tickets to a coed broomball tournament or something. Maybe contact the previous owner also, get some input. Maybe he has been sailing this boat with these cracks for 20 years and they haven't shown any change.
Not saying that the cracks aren't a problem, but doing some research as to when they appeared might help determine your corrective actions.
The joys of a nearly 40 year old boat.

#75 HHudson

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:39 AM

I spent today removing dead core from my boat in front of the mast. I have been doing this for about a year. Our Ranger has a terminal case of core rot if not for the intervention of the crazed. Water runs from the high side down and from the stem to the stern. The Ranger factory did a hit or miss job with the core out to the toe rail edge and it made a highway for water. Water that enters from Memo's location will find it's way down there carving a path of rot as it goes. I have encouraged him to quantify moisture in the core. I have had lots of places where the tap test says it's good but the meter says 30. When you open it up sometimes it's black and wet or black and dry and sometimes blonde but the moisture is there meaning the fungus is there. I would suggest reading the article online at Professional Boatbuilder and come to your own conclusion. What I have seen on the current boat is that as time went on and core was compromised the fasteners became seemingly loose so they got tightened, It pulled the top down and the bottom up which sounds a lot like this case. It's an easy fix but labor intensive. Without a labor cost it's cheap and the end result will be a great boat. Wishing and hoping however is a waste of time, you have to know. If it's your intention to keep the young lady you have to be proactive in protecting the good core.

#76 boomer

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:15 AM

The base of the compression post sits on the forward tip of the keel.Just forward of the compression post there is attachment eye for a high-field lever,large turnbuckle with a short section of stainless wire & eye under the baby-stay and a connection directly below on the bulkhead(an on center-line internal chainplate),which helps keep the baby stay tensioned.

On some forums of the old forums...some owners have reported the same problems with the mast step developing cracks,if the high-field lever wasn't attached and the turnbuckle tensioned...others reported a small separation at the leading edge of the keel,if this wasn't left installed or tensioned properly.More then a few also had de-lamination problems on the inside deck... the angled deck of the head on either side of the compression post/leading edge of keel area out to the vanity and the locker,if this tackle wasn't tensioned properly or installed.

On the old Sailnet site....two owners didn't know what this piece of rigging was for,laying on the shelf in the forward v-berth area and had never attached it...other owners could see where the connections were,but the previous owner either didn't have the tackle or it had been lost...there were also some boats sold without tackle,since it may have been up to the dealer whether the boat was ordered with this set-up or the owner requested it.

Though the boat was built with substantial keel-bolts,some owners have added more keel-bolts....our 28's keel-bolts were doubled up BTW.

Wished I had more time to talk,but as you know we're a bit busy here til about June...but am making a point to follow this thread now that I've seen it.

Got to drive off this ferry and home now.

#77 memopad

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:44 AM

Awesome info boomer, thanks man! There is a big bolt forward of the compression post that i assumed was the forward most keel bolt. No eye visible in the bilge or below the deck. No baby-stay was on the boat when i saw it with the mast up, no mention of it by previous owner. If there is no baby-stay there is no need for the below decks wire correct?

Previous owner only had the boat for two years. Owner before that was in missouri. I believe i am the 3rd owner of this boat.

Instead of just opening up the cracks, i'll go ahead and cut the skin off the surrounding area to see where the core starts and make sure water isn't in there. I'm already going to be laying new glass aynway right? If the core is rotten i guess i'll open up the deck until the rot stops :( If the core is wet but not rotten can i leave it open to try? I think these cracks are pretty recent (from this year). The big one that goes to the non-skid area doesn't look like it was painted over, and the non-skid was painted this spring. So the crack that formed there had to be after that. I really really really really hope this doesn't turn into a deck-recore project.

Whatever happens i'm not going to cover a problem area with fresh paint and call it good. I may put some stuff off until next year if i have to, but i'll stick by doing this the "right" way.

#78 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:59 AM

hang in there memopad....re-core projects suck...but the cosmetic part of re-glassing the deck and painting is just the finishing work.

It's a little overwhelming, but you generally don't have to fix 100% of the problems while still enjoying the boat. Just keep track of the issues and prioritize them.

#79 memopad

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:19 PM

Its hard for me to be away from the boat all week thinking about all the crap i want to do and not being able to do it. I also keep thinking about how the shop is un-heated and i won't be able to do half the work until its warm outside again and then i'll be cutting into sailing season. AAAaaah :lol:

#80 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:23 PM

Awesome info boomer, thanks man! There is a big bolt forward of the compression post that i assumed was the forward most keel bolt. No eye visible in the bilge or below the deck. No baby-stay was on the boat when i saw it with the mast up, no mention of it by previous owner. If there is no baby-stay there is no need for the below decks wire correct?

Previous owner only had the boat for two years. Owner before that was in missouri. I believe i am the 3rd owner of this boat.
Instead of just opening up the cracks, i'll go ahead and cut the skin off the surrounding area to see where the core starts and make sure water isn't in there. I'm already going to be laying new glass aynway right? If the core is rotten i guess i'll open up the deck until the rot stops :( If the core is wet but not rotten can i leave it open to try?


It will dry slowly, but yes, you can. If you can seal it and apply a vacuum pump, that will speed the process a lot. Once it's dry, I think you're supposed to treat the wood to kill anything that might still be alive in there, but if it's dry and sealed I don't see the point.

#81 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

MP,

The other thing you have to decide is if you are going to have the boat down for an extended period and do a full re-fit, or sail it while you work on it. I chose the latter.

I just don't have the patience for a 100% refit, and the deal I made with Mrs. Bitches when we 'acquired' our boat was that I wouldn't let its need for constant repair consume me/us. Well, the first winter I was just like you...thinking about it at work, scanning forums, and Yahoo groups of fellow owners, filling up and emptying my shopping cart at Jamestown Distributors & Defender constantly! :lol: - My boat was outside, no heat, in the boat yard at a nearby marina. If it was too cold, I did something else...i.e., took everything from the Atomic 4 off except the manifold & head and cleaned it up, painted and rebuilt it (water pump, carb, fuel pump, alternator & starter(well, I took those to the alt. shop). Even if you drive up to the alt. shop one day after work with the starter or alternator to drop them off, you are making progress.

So, I'd recommend sitting in the boat where you can see everything and make a 'project list' - then prioritize it. Then, come back here and let us hack it to pieces. :P

#82 memopad

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:34 PM

HB i think you had far more work to do on your boat than i do, hopefully. I won't have to get into an engine rebuild or tankage or any of those fun things. I don't even have a holding tank, just a porta poty. Aside from what i've mentioned and shown so far in this thread there shouldn't be anything else that needs to get done before i go sailing. But you're right about doing what you can. I've already brought home all the exterior wood trim that needs to be refinished.

Oh, except for the keel issue. I haven't mentioned it in here yet because i don't want to deal with it yet. One thing at a time :lol:.


And if things get really bad and the boat doesn't go in the water on time, i still have the folkboat to get my sailing fix in.

#83 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 06:40 PM

Oh yeah...inside wood refinishing..I have about half the compartment doors varnished, and half the drawers varnished..the others are still the ugly reddish oiled teak that I suspect was never re-oiled.

Eventually I'll get it all done. one drawer face at a time! That is also a great 'too cold to work on the boat itself' project.

#84 boomer

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:10 AM

Used to do a boat a year for 19 years...if you layout a total restoration project...structural first....rigging,sails and power next.....followed by electrical...followed by cosmetic...tackle it like a job...if the boat were closer to you(preferably on your property so it was convenient)...and your wise about your dollars...for your price and then the same again next year you would have a pretty nice ride...make that main cabin cozy...customize it......while your doing your structural repairs,you all can come up with ideas to make that main cabin nice and comfy.

As to the baby stay...You'll notice a forward tang on your mast at the spreaders...I'd hook it up for a few reasons,#1 to induce bend in that light pole of a mast...#2 to keep the mast from inverting in high wind(there is not sufficient sweep to the spreader to keep the mast even in column).#3 keeping it tensioned probably does much to hold that section of the boat up...it should have had an iron cross like the 32 and 37.

Thought more then once of adding a substantial integral frame or three through the head,and substantial floor frames,probably two fore and aft...install a proper mast step through at least three to five frames and floors...move the mast forward about a foot and a half...install a tapered section stick and a 3/4 forward rig.

There were three different keels configurations/weights from 2275 lbs. to 2975 lbs,obviously the lighter keels are crew weight dependent and faster off the wind or in light air...Thought more then once about replacing the keel with a more modern design....

The rudder...if you have a early model it should be modified to a deeper high aspect(BTW what are your numbers so we can identify the rig,keel,rudder configuration.)....preferable to have the final high aspect rudder configuration,for a bit better control...though some Ranger 28 owners have used deep semi-eliptical shape rudders successfully and liked them better then the high aspect rudders,for sailing in all conditions from light to heavy.

There were four different rudder configurations with each succeeding generation being a deeper rudder with more area,once the boat became headsail dependent...

The early Ranger 28's had a much longer boom then the later versions(a larger main with a smaller headsail,unfortunately few of these early versions were built....

#85 Jose Carumba

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:50 AM

Wow, I didn't realize the 28 had so many changes over its production run. Memo is lucky to have you to help him sort things out Boomer.

#86 HHudson

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:02 AM

Boomer, is there an alternative to the Iron cross or is direct (or exact) replacement the surest answer?. I will have to replace the one on our boat in the spring. The keel on this boat has been swung forward with a 16" wedge to sharpen it's leading edge and add a foot plus to draft (7'2") The mast has been bumped up as well. Sorry for the highjack MP but Boomer's here and he knows as much about Rangers as anyone I've read.

#87 memopad

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:28 PM

Thanks as usual boomer.

I'd read elsewhere that the 28 did not have the iron cross of the bigger rangers, and i see no evidence of any kind of metal support under the compression post on this boat. Unless its part of the hull itself anyway, And if thats the case it is well beyond my abilities to get to :P. Looks like maybe a 10 inch long part of the keel sump has been built up several inches above the rest in solid glass or epoxy, and that is what the post is sitting on. The sump has some cross-support (stringers?) in a few areas but nothing substantial.

This is one of the later R28's, 1978 model. Tall rig, deep keel, 2975lb ballast, deep rudder with the bottom part extended forward of the post for counter balance. I think it is hull #181 (thats what all the sail #'s say anyway) i'll get a hull id# this weekend. Has the shorter boom (though i think they extended it slightly again in the last year or two of production, so its not as short as some) high aspect main.

Interesting about the baby-stay. I'll definitely look into adding that back on. I don't think i'll be flying the chute outside lighter winds anytime soon so hopefully the mast won't invert on me this summer. Sounds like a good project for next year or somethin. Does the babystay affect tacking at all or not too much?





#88 Tom Ray

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:34 PM

Baby stays all come with invisible jib sheet velcro on them, and the mast has managed to stay up all these years. Somebody must have sailed it hard at some point, yet it stands... Just sayin.

#89 Rossta

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:06 PM

Hey Memo;

Just another lurker here after all these years, but also an R28 owner ( hull # in the 170's i recall ). I have been rebuilding my 28 for far too long, currently a hollow shell, no bulkheads, no interior, and getting ready to re-core the deck. Have you removed the compression post yet? the mast shoe on deck is sleeved into the post, and the entire piece will lift out from above the deck after removing a few positioning screws. When I rescued my boat from a donation charity there had been standing water in the fwd bilge which had caused corrosion between the aluminum compression post and a mild steel foot screwed into the keel step.
The post had slowly shortened causing deck compression and the same cracking that you have in your pics. I cut the corroded segment ( about 3.5 inches ) and had an aluminum block made up as a step to make up the difference in length, and it has served very well for many many years. The bad side was that I did not realize the severity of the cracking on deck, and just did a cosmetic repair, thus over the years water damage to the core has taken its toll. Have a look at that and let me know what you find.

She's a great old boat, and worth the effort to rebuild. I got mine in California, shipped it to Florida for a few years, and now live in the Bahamas. The only problem I have is that I work on other peoples boats, and have no time to finish my own project.

Keep at it!

#90 boomer

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:12 PM

Memo...Your correct,the 28's didn't have an iron cross...but the boat should have been built with one to carry the load over front of the keel...Gary Mull had in his preliminary drawings a few alternatives,ie an iron cross was one,frames and substantial floor frames with a longitudinal member step spanning these frames on top as the other alternative...Ranger Yachts didn't prefer this since it reduced the headroom in the head and main cabin...so a heavier layup in the sole of the main cabin and head was used.Even with the iron cross,the 32 and the 37's keels would develop a slight crack in this leading edge at the keel root to hull connection after a decade or so of hard sailing if the keel bolts weren't periodically re-torqued with a very large torque wrench and cheater pipe.

Hull #181 would mean this was one of the last if not the last Ranger 28 built...I was aware of 177 of the boats built...though a few years back another sailor in Florida reported hull # 178,before the demise of the Ranger forum on Sailnet.

The baby-stay doesn't effect tacking to much...but when using genoas over 135% it's advisable to have someone help the sail around on tacks,especially when racing.With so many strings to pull on the 28,it is annoying to have to adjust the 4/1 gun tackle leading to the baby-stay topside(I talked about the high-field lever/turnbuckle below,but didn't mention this tackle topside)We just leave it tensioned for normal sailing on the wind,and tension it up fairly hard on the wind in over 18 knots or through severe chop to keep the mast from pumping.(I would recommend you sight up the mast hard on the wind in chop,once you see this pumping from inversion to column,you'll be very inclined to add the baby-stay.

You can see the 4/1 gun-tackle on the house to starboard of the mast when the boat is put to bed in the top pic...this is rove through the blocks and on to the winch when sailing as seen in the bottom pic.

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#91 boomer

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:14 PM

HHudson...Ranger 37 owners have either rebuilt or replaced the iron cross at this stage of their life...the alternative would be substantial frames and floor frames...Jim Snow who you contacted had the original drawings and specs for building a replacement iron cross that Gary Mull sent to him before his untimely passing...Gary Mull's widow,Shelly is still alive,but charges a considerable fee for any copies of the original drawings.

BTW the keel on our Ranger 28 was moved aft 8" with Gary Mull advising against this change.

Below is a link to pics of an iron cross replacement on a Ranger 32...

Ranger 32 iron cross replacement

#92 boomer

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:58 PM

BTW I've got the tall rig and about 19 bags of Ranger 28 sails...with have to look through them and see if any have any useful life...if any are really serviceable and in decent shape,I'm willing to send them your way if your interested...you pay shipping.

Sail now with a fairly new North Inventory ,max RHRF roach main with full length top batten and considerable longer lower battens then original,max PHRF (PNW-PHRF)153%,110%,heavy dacron blade,and three kites from heavy to light.

#93 Hike, Bitches!

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:02 PM

boomer...get a hold of yourself, man. :unsure:

#94 memopad

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:15 PM

I think i have a man-crush on boomer. Seriously you are the man! Don't kill yourself over work ;) I may seriously take you up on the used sails offer. I need to get a better look at what came with the boat, but I think if you have anything smaller than the 150's i could really use them. For the windier days and short handing sails in the 135 and smaller range would be great (i think, i haven't even sailed this damn boat yet :P).

Rossta, you're awesome too. A) because you're a fellow R28 owner and B) because you've confirmed the compression post/deck plate attachment AND put forth a possible explanation for the compression, AWESOME! Post some pics of your boat, i wanna see it!



I'll go ahead an put out an open invitation to all you guys to stop by my place anytime and we'll go sailing. Not that there is any possible reason for you to be in Marquette, MI (except for how awesome it is) but whatever. If you're here we'll go sailing, i'll supply beer.



#95 memopad

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:18 PM

Anyway, time for me to drive back up to my parents place for the weekend and get back to the boat!

#96 HHudson

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:41 PM

Boomer,
Thanks. I'll be speaking with Jim soon so I'll discuss this.
Our keel hasn't changed its location fore and aft at the canoe body but rather at the nose of the foot. Dick Disbrow and Mr. Mull worked through the details and if anything there is more wetted surface than originally constructed. He did mention they did it at a bar after a weekend of racing.
I talked today to the son of the man who bought our boat when it was new. He had seen the sail number I had posted on another thread. 37 yrs later and he still remembers the number. Rangers leave lasting impressions which makes it worth the time to fix them. SA is amazing too. Being able to talk to guys who know their boats inside and out and who know more people who know more stuff is (you know) priceless. I have been helped tremendously.
Good thread MP!

#97 boomer

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 05:03 AM

Memo & HHudson....No problem,glad to help...Rangers do leave a lasting impression.

Youngest son crossing the Straits of Juan de Fuca....and the old man after a race...and put to bed...

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#98 memopad

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 11:24 PM

Got more junk off the deck and did some organizing so i don't lose everything. Pulled the deck plate off and the post came with it. It's actually one piece, the outer part that you see on deck is just a big flange that the post is attached to. Got some good photos of this set-up and also of the cracks. The cracks go all the way through the solid laminate surrounding the step, about an inch and a half thick. So this is going to be a pretty serious repair job, small area, but thiiiiiick build up. I'll post all the photos sunday night when i get back to my apartment. Unfortunately nothing jumped out as far as why the cracks showed up, more investigating to do there.

Used the multi-tool for the first time and its probably my new favorite tool. Had to cut away some of the plywood that the headliner attaches to in order to get at backing nuts. Nothing else fit so i got out the multi-thingy and it cut through it like butter, sweet! I'm warming to the idea of ripping out the liner thats in there. I don't have much left to access to remove anything, but when it comes time to put it all back on its going to be a nightmare. Having the liner off would make it sooooo much easier. I also like the way the panel boards with wood trim look, also very functional. Would add another big project to the list, but at least that isn't something that would need to get done right away. The quality of the fiberglass work under the deck looks really good, wouldn't bother me to look at that while waiting to put in a new liner.

Oh, i wrote down the ID# that was on the transom: RAYHO181M780. Anyone know what the codes mean? I'm guessing the 181 (matches the sail #'s) is the hull #. So if boomer is right this is one of the last built, if not the last. Kind of cool :)

#99 boomer

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:31 AM

The original vin code was RAY28 ### ####

### is the build sequence number

#### is the build month and year built

It looks like after Ranger Yachts(Bangor Punta) had a shakeup in management and the lawyers took over the RAY28 was changed to RAYHO

By the last three #'s yours was built in July of 1980 and probably one of the last Rangers before they closed shop in early 1981.

Still didn't get the measurements...the wife wanted to go someplace else,like an art show(and she wanted an escort)...I'll be checking the boats out in the morning...get the measurements then.

For those who haven't read it...a Gary Mull interview by Sailor editor at the time,Steve Henkel ...

Gary Mull in Retrospect

#100 boomer

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:07 AM

Ranger 28,26,33,37 and two more 33's rafted up Echo Bay,Sucia Island,San Jauns

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