/ / 1974 Ranger 23

1974 Ranger 23

1974 Ranger

  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Ranger
  • Type: Racer
  • Year: 1974
  • Location: Flowery Branch, Georgia, United States


I picked up this boat while I was in California as a means to reach better and deeper dive sites. She sailed beautifully, still under her original sails. Whomever named this boat Sandra Sue surely made the real Sandra Sue a proud lady.
Then I took a closer look at the bulkheads... the previous owner had covered up some rot with a sheet of veneer... I felt compelled to fix this before something terrible happened.
Well, I was that something terrible. I peeled away the veneers and took a gander at the plywood bulkheads. They definitely were in need of replacing, on that count I was correct. So I set to work cutting replacements and getting them ready to fit. I did a great job, if I do say so myself, even added a 1" strip of fiberglass along the uppermost edge to prevent it from ever wicking up water and de-laminating. I pulled one of the old bulkheads out and then realized that swapping out bulkheads would be so much easier if I first unstepped the mast. It is heavy, and it is stepped directly on the deck immediately above the bulkheads. So I prepared to take down the mast... by myself.
During the process of unstepping the mast, a process made spectacular by a system of pulleys and ropes that I rigged up on the rails, I managed to drop the mast straight onto my head. After collecting my senses I immediately noticed that I needed new spreader bars for the mast... because I broke them off in the fall. Oh well. I was eventually going to install new standing rigging, anyway, and it turns out there was an awful lot of decomposition in the old spreaders after all, so, not entirely a wasteful mistake.
SO I install one of the bulkheads, it fits like a glove. The other bulkhead sits in my garage. It sits in my garage alongside a beautiful array of solid mahogany support framework that I cut and finished myself, refinished and oiled wooden drawers, a mahogany mount for a brand-new faucet, and some other odds and ends that were going to go into the completed restoration (which, mind you, began as a small fix before it became a full restoration), like a bilge pump and electrical switchboard.
I even had my wife's wonderfully talented grandmother sew brand new cushion covers from top-of-the-line Sunbrella fabric. It's beautiful.
But I was out of time. I had to move back to Georgia, and instead of giving away my project or selling it for gas money, I clung to the notion that I would again one day have my own little sailboat, my own little taste of freedom. I had a custom trailer built for it, I had it hauled out of the water, and I towed it 3,000 miles back home. And then I parked it in my yard, where it began its second life as an enormous birdbath and perpetual reminder of my failure.
Fast forward a year (or more) until now. My wife and I bought a house. This house needs more than a few bulkheads replaced, so I will be spending the foreseeable future and the entirety of my disposable income fixing up the new digs. My boat, she is just a lawn ornament. Instead of riding atop the waves, she collects them. As anyone who has stored a boat inland can tell you, acorns and leaves have a way of clogging through-hull ports with ease. In the Spring and Summer she nurtures mosquitoes, in the colder months she is just depressing.
Also of note- most of the original teak is still in great shape. The teak running the length of the seam where the deck meets the hull needs to be sanded and oiled, and the screw-holes, once plugged again, will stop the slow steady leak of rainwater from the deck into the cabin lickety-split. There is one board that holds the cabin portal in place that split, but I will be applying a fix to that before letting her go. Once sanded and oiled and glued back together it'll shine like the sun.
Someone, anyone, give this boat a forever home.
I would appreciate, it isn't necessary but it would great, if this could be sort of an open-adoption scenario. I don't need to actually sail her, but photos of her back in the water someday would really warm my heart a bit.
Included: main sail with original serial (R100), and forward Jib (with a tear repaired along the bottom seam); sails have been described as 'tired,' much to my own chagrin. Tired is relative.
- Old standing and running rigging. Probably don't want to reuse these.
- All of the custom solid mahogany woodwork for the cabin, new wires, switch panel, battery box, battery (probably needs to be replaced)
- fuel can and line with bulb primer
- One quart of above-the-waterline topside paint, white
- a free pressure washing of the deck and underside
- all of my broken hopes and dreams
- about 50' of never-used sheeting
- the promise of freedom, fueled by wind and your imagination
- my wife's eternal gratitude
- shiny brass ship's bell with Turk's head knotted cord
- like-new custom trailer.
- your very own composting toilet
- whatever is left on my Chick-Fil-A gift card
Shipping: it's already on a trailer, so you can probably arrange for shipping through something like Ubid and find someone with a hitch willing to transport it at a reasonable price. IF, however, you live in Georgia, Florida, or the Carolinas, I will rent a truck and bring it to you (after we arrange some kind of deposit scenario agreeable to both parties) for the cost of fuel one-way and the vehicle rental fee. I can make a little mini-vacation out of it, you get a
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