Here you’ll find every scrap of info I can find on your boat. How she is built, how to fix her up and how to improve on what is already great. Thanks to the generous efforts of Ken Wheeler, the former production manager on the Ranger 26 at the Kent factory, who has opened his archive of knowledge, I have many technical drawings, sketches, descriptions and suggestions to help us keep the fleet “together” as it were.
Ranger 26 Specifications
|Boat Model:||Ranger 26|
|Length on Deck (LoD):||24.75 ft|
|Length at Waterline (LWL):||22 ft|
|Sail Area (SA):||320 ft2|
|Displacement (Weight):||4750 lbs|
Mast Raising & Lowering Instructions
Several skippers that have purchased a used Ranger 26’s have asked about the proper steps for raising and lowering the mast. Below are the manufacturer provided instructions.
Personally, I’ve never done it quite this way, but it does work and is probably a bit safer than my “approved” method of putting a snap block on the bowsprit attachment point (the one furthest back from the bow) and then running a long line from the bow stay (tied with a bowline through the turnbuckle), through the block and back to the cockpit wench. I then have a couple of conscripted sailors dead lift the mast by brute force (much grunting and complaining is often heard) into the upright position on the house top mast step, while a higher ranking officer mans the wench to keep tension on the line and act as a safety in case one or more of the sailers gets distracted by a pint of grog mid lift! Once the the mast is up, I secure the bow stay with a clevis pin and then proceed to tighten the stays and tune the rigging while the sailers lay prostrate on the deck, dock or just float off with the current.
Jiffy Reefing Diagram
The Ranger 26 Doesn’t come with a Jiffy Reefing option, but many skippers have added Jiffy Reefing to their boats, and for good reason. Jiffy Reefing lets you drop your sail and keep it all tidy and easy to bungee up for storage on the boom. No more epic sail verses man battles on the high sea!
Probably the one Achilles heel of the Ranger 26 is the centerboard design. What is great about it is that you can pull it up when in 28″ of water, lower it part way when reaching, and put it all the way down to assist when pointing. This humble little swing board turns the ranger from a wallowing sow into a reasonable performer when sailing or even close quarters maneuvering. It also has been know to fall out and disappear. Not many, but a couple times Ranger skippers have found themselves dragging their board, or even losing it altogether. Not fun, but not insurmountable to repair or replace. Here age drawings that will help you do so if you ever find your self up the creek without a centerboard.
NOTE: Below is part of another owners solution to the centerboard drop out problem in case anyone finds it useful. There might be more information and photos on the Yahoo Groups thread.
From: KentRanger26Boats@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KentRanger26Boats@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pantybuncher
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 3:07 PM
Subject: [KentRanger26Boats] Re: Another Question – Stuck Centerboard
My board has one other modification that may be of interest. It is permanently pinned in place. A half inch stainless pin has been drilled through keel and board at the pivot point, and sealed in place. At first I worried about this modification (done 7 or more years ago by a previous owner). Would it allow water into the hull or board? Would bottom painting be more difficult? But I have found it easy to live with, noticed no problems arising from it, and the sense of security, that the board simply is not going to be lost, is very nice. I recommend it.>>
looks like i need to make some repairs to my swing keel as well. the pivot points on the keel are worn/broken. i have not managed to look up the keel-slot yet. it seems that a pin as above is a potential option…or in my case, perhaps not pinning the entire centerboard, only use a pin to replace the fiberglass pivot points. if I did go with a complete pin all the way through….it does seem somewhat attractive(and secure), I wonder how they centered the drill location.
I also need to order a swing keel cable. is there someone you could recommend that can easily sell me the exact part I need, or will i have to make a detailed drawing to get it exactly right ?
My Response on the thread…
Wow! I’ve never heard of that modification! I do remember hearing of people who have lost their center boards though, which would not be a good thing, but not a danger to the boat. Sounds like that would fix that… I wonder how they figured out exactly where to drill the hole… I guess you could create some sort of jig to line things up.
I can imagine a full day of futzing to figure that out! 😉
Personally, I think I would pin the board with a bronze pipe filled with marine text or epoxy… drilling through the keel sounds like more work than it’s worth with lots of opportunity to screw up where you put the hole! Plus, you’ll lose a good 50 lbs. or more of lead down low in your keel with down there will affect your boats stiffness so then you’ll have to add some sacks of shot in the bilge to help compensate, probably 100 or more lbs. (guessing) We added 200lbs of shot to our bilge area (before it gets deep) and it helped stiffen the boat nicely.
The cable is just a standard stainless steel cable with a swaged loop on one end, any rigging shop can look at the one you take out and make one up for you just like it.
Its best to have it either swaged on the house top after installation so you can attach a line to it, for going through the jam cleat on the house top back my the cockpit, along with your pull handle. Or, you could maybe have someone do that cool braid/weave together of the SS cable into the rope… with no SS lope on the upper end…
In any case, you can’t have them put the loops on both ends because they you’ll never get the cable through the pipe, around the pulley in the sheave, and up the ¾” CPVC pile that goes up to the house top and out from under the mast step.
If you drill through the keel… take a lot of pictures and do a video explaining your process to post on youtube! It will get at least 2 views (one by you and one by me! 😉