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Old 06-10-2019, 03:29 PM   #1
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Question Query: Anyone switched trawler to Ranger Tug?

I have Ranger Tug envy.

We have a great 34' trawler. It's a Europa knockoff, solidly-built, well equipped vessel. Single screw, about 13 ton, pretty stable etc. We really love it and have fun with it.

As we get ready to sell our house and downsize, I am starting to think about downsizing the boat too, and getting into a Ranger Tug. They seem more agile, lighter, well-laid out and well-equipped. We'd lose some capacity (fuel, water etc) but we'd also lose the BRIGHTWORK and its maintenance. Plus I think a lighter boat would be easier on the person who ends up horsing the boat around at the dock to get it tied up...because I'll be honest, no-one is going to pay us to dock boats professionally

Has anyone here made such a move and if so can you share your thoughts? We're interested in handling/stability, cabin comfort, etc. Anything that you learned when you transitioned.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:05 PM   #2
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Plus I think a lighter boat would be easier on the person who ends up horsing the boat around at the dock to get it tied up...because I'll be honest, no-one is going to pay us to dock boats professionally

There's a nice looking Ranger 29 at our marina now, arrived late last year and spent the winter in the water... but I've only seen it from the outside, haven't met the folks yet.

Who horses? If you, switch roles. You can maybe opine that your docking skills might be better anyway.



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Old 06-10-2019, 07:31 PM   #3
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First I really like Ranger Tugs and have recommended one to a friend. But check out Cutwater boats as well. In my humble estimation, the "tug" line of boats are really express cruisers in drag. Notice the seating arrangement in the cockpit of the Cutwater linked below. Also there are different engine configurations and there is a command bridge model as well.

You can go to Alaska on the Ranger Tugs and Cutwaters, both are decent boats. I plan to go with my 29 foot older express cruiser, planning on next spring/summer.

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:37 PM   #4
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First I really like Ranger Tugs and have recommended one to a friend. But check out Cutwater boats as well. In my humble estimation, the "tug" line of boats are really express cruisers in drag. Notice the seating arrangement in the cockpit of the Cutwater linked below. Also there are different engine configurations and there is a command bridge model as well.

You can go to Alaska on the Ranger Tugs and Cutwaters, both are decent boats. I plan to go with my 29 foot older express cruiser, planning on next spring/summer.


Isn't the hull form the same? My understanding is that the Ranger Tugs are simply a Cutwater with a cute design.


Lots of both product lines in this area and all the owners seem euphorically happy.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:53 PM   #5
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Anacortes Yacht Charters has a R-27 and two R-29's in their rental fleet.

We considered chartering one of these when Ranger were on our short list.

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:59 PM   #6
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Anacortes Yacht Charters has a R-27 and two R-29's in their rental fleet.

We considered chartering one of these when Ranger were on our short list.

Excellent suggestion!
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:01 PM   #7
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Unless you are a smaller person, trading from a roomy 34' trawler to a trailerable boat will be really downsizing.

I like Ranger and Cutwater boats, they are built well. I think they would be great boats if trailering is the goal. I have many friends that own them.

When I board their Rangers, I have to be careful walking around insde the boat since the spaces are small compared to my Trawler. I am 6' 175# and it is a bit confining inside. The beam of a 34' trawler is at least 12' and the trailerable Ranger 8 1/2' to 10' depending on model, so not only are you giving up length, but beam too. Additionally, after getting used to your trawlers 13 tons, walking around the Ranger as it heels from your weight is disconcerting.

Positives are trailering capability, well designed and built, speed, reliability and the cute factor. There is also a large owners group, Tug Nuts and fantastic factory support.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:09 PM   #8
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Cutwater and Ranger Tug merged (I don't know who bought whom). Since then the Rangers have taken on a lot of the Cutwater design features, some with a Ranger spin on them. The biggest difference is that the Cutwaters are more raked and the Rangers are more upright.

The Ranger models with the outboards are pretty much Cutwaters in drag.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:48 PM   #9
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We went from a 44, 30+ ton, 7.5 kt trawler with lots of teak to a 36, 8 ton, 30 kt express cruiser with zero exterior woodwork. In theory I can take this new boat to AK, in reality I never got further north than Desolation Sound with the trawler.

Im not particularly a Ranger fan, but I used to have a C-Dory 22 to get to our cabin in the San Juans and subscribe to the smallest boat that gets the job done school of thought.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:05 AM   #10
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Thinking a smaller lighter boat will be easy to maneuver in tight places will only apply till the wind comes up.

I had such thoughts when I bought our Willard that weighed 4 times as much. The Willard is far far more stable in winds. The wake of other boats hardly exists w a heavier boat. Admittedly though when you finally hit something it will be of greater consequence. And w/o much power it will take a lot longer to bring her down in reverse gear.

But the essence will be much more like getting off a big road bike onto a motor scooter. And you may not like the snap roll and slamming into headsea.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:38 AM   #11
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Here are the specs of a Cutwater 30, mine is an older express cruiser and interestingly especially in side winds the lower profile of a e. cruiser is much less so it doesn't rock and roll as much as many trawlers. And with speed, you cut down the effect even more.

The beam is 10 feet:

LOA molded - 30' 0"
LOA rigged - 34' 4"
Bridge clr. (mast dn) 9' 9"
Beam - 10' 0"
Draft - 29"
Weight, dry - 10,200 lbs
Fuel cap. - 180 gal
Water cap. - 80 gal
Holding cap. - 40 gal
Height on trailer - 13' 2"
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:02 AM   #12
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There's a nice looking Ranger 29 at our marina now, arrived late last year and spent the winter in the water... but I've only seen it from the outside, haven't met the folks yet.

I forgot to mention... there's a significant length of unprotected side deck on that one... and it doesn't look very wide... so I think the drill would be hands-on the grab rails on top of the cabin while traversing that area toward the bow or back...

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Old 06-11-2019, 11:10 AM   #13
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When we were looking for a trawler we spent considerable time looking at Rangers in the 29 and 31 sizes. We liked the looks, construction, fit and finish. As has been said, they're a bit tighter than a traditional trawler I think due to the narrowness of the design which I believe is driven by trailerability. The deal breaker for us was how tender they were even at moderate speeds. I'm guessing this is also a product of the narrowness.



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Old 06-11-2019, 03:07 PM   #14
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When we were looking for a trawler we spent considerable time looking at Rangers in the 29 and 31 sizes. We liked the looks, construction, fit and finish. As has been said, they're a bit tighter than a traditional trawler I think due to the narrowness of the design which I believe is driven by trailerability. The deal breaker for us was how tender they were even at moderate speeds. I'm guessing this is also a product of the narrowness.



Ken


I too liked the looks of the Rangers and Cutwaters. I bought both a 28 and a 30cb new in the same year. Disappointed in the quality control on both. They are cranking them out like widgets. In retrospect Id only consider them if trailering was important. Much better choices would be American Tugs or Nordic Tugs.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:29 PM   #15
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A guy in our marina with an 80 plus foot boat recently brought in a CW 302 with dual 300Hp Yamahas. Looks like a fun boat, very utilitarian.

Regarding trawlers that are like EC’s. You could say that about a lot of brands. Whatever works.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:44 PM   #16
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Don't know if you are thinking about wet slipping or trailering a smaller boat?

Fully loaded with tanks full, sitting on a trailer, a R-27 is probably about 11,000 lbs. Probably best towed with a 250/2500 series (3/4 ton) truck. With a beam of 8 1/2 feet should not be difficult to tow.

Moving up to a R-29, with the 10' beam, I'm guessing an all in weight with fluids, gear, trailer of probably 14,500 lbs. May be possible to tow with a 250/2500 series truck depending on how the truck is spec'd. I'm thinking the 10' beam while easy to get permitted is a difficult tow for some folks with the extra wide length.

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Old 06-14-2019, 06:36 AM   #17
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No way would I downsize (and I love Ranger Tugs and C Dorys; had several C Dorys). For me they were too small. The smaller beam means less comfort, seakeeping and interior volume.


You also said that a Ranger will have less maintenance? Brightwork, yes. But it will still have all the other systems. It's not a magical boat that will give you a pass on performing maintenance duties!


Don't give up on your current docking prowess!!! You can improve with instruction and repetition. I was getting frustrated with docking when my bought my new boat but now I'm solo docking her!!! I'm so proud of myself (and my remote control for my bow/stern thrusters helps!).

If you're really struggling then hire a captain for a few hours again. Go in and out of the dock like 20 times. Who cares what your neighbors think?? That's what I did last month. There is no substitute for repetition. Some people suggested dropping fenders in the harbor and try backing maneuvers around them.....forget that. You need to go in and out of YOUR OWN SLIP many times. If you're still having problems then maybe you could talk to your marina and change your slip. Sometimes a certain slip may be much harder for a particular boat. Especially if it walks a certain way in reverse (usually for a single screw).

Good luck! If all else fails buy the Ranger! Lol. They are great boats! BUT I WOULD NOT BUY ONE BECAUSE MY DOCKING SKILLS NEED IMPROVEMENT. Buy it because you love the boat....
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:03 AM   #18
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Ranger being a lighter boat will be more difficult to dock. The wind will blow you around.

The Trawler will be less difficult to dock because of it's weight and keel, if yours has one. The Trawler will not be moved as much by the wind so you will have a little more time to dock.

On a lighter boat, you have to come in a little faster, get up to the dock and get a line down before being blown away.

Even with bow and stern thruster, docking against the wind is a challenge.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:22 PM   #19
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dibbiet you can't downsize much below 34ft, that's already quite small for a boat for extended cruising, whether it's coastal, river or ocean. Unless you require your boat to be trailerable or wish to travel faster than 8 knots.

Your current Europa-style, at 13 tons, has a good amount of mass, but it's still small and doesn't need a thruster. Stop "horsing" but instead practice warping with your wife and install a 12V capstan. If the brightwork is an issue, you could always paint over it.

IMO heavier is much, much better when it comes to cruising boats.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:09 PM   #20
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syjos you can't downsize much below 34ft, that's already quite small for a boat for extended cruising, whether it's coastal, river or ocean. Unless you require your boat to be trailerable or wish to travel faster than 8 knots.

Your current Europa-style, at 13 tons, has a good amount of mass, but it's still small and doesn't need a thruster. Stop "horsing" but instead practice warping with your wife and install a 12V capstan. If the brightwork is an issue, you could always paint over it.

IMO heavier is much, much better when it comes to cruising boats.
Huh?

Wrong recipient.
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