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Old 09-11-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
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Ahoy!

After many decades of lusting after various trawlers at the Annapolis Boat Shows, and quite a bit of research, I was able to narrow this choice down to a Ranger Tug R31-S. Since a good bit of my boating will be single or short handed, I wanted something reasonably agile (bow and stern thrusters) with low enough freeboard that I could tie up at fuel docks easily. Also wanted something big enough to live aboard for several weeks at a time. Air conditioning was an absolute necessity.

Given that most boats (at least in my price range) are compromises, this one made the most sense and checked off the most requirements. If money were no object, and I had some extra crew, a Nordhavn would have been a the top of my list. In fact, it was the brand that first started my lust after this genre of boat. Nordic Tugs also fueled the fire. All the others also had their strong points, too.

My first boating experiences were on my grandfather's 25' Pacemaker, back in the 1950s. Several decades of sailing followed that, with a decade or so of racing. FWIW, it would have been cheaper and a heck of a lot easier to buy the darn trophies. Nevertheless, it was great fun and good exercise. A couple of sailboats and several small runabouts and a BRIG RIB were the precursors to the Ranger. Being retired, I have no real need (or desire) to get anywhere fast any more. How's that old saying go? Built for comfort, not for speed? That pretty much describes my intended boating future.

Anyway, I look forward to learning from your collective experience and hopefully contributing something of value as time passes. Fair winds and following seas, my friends.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Always glad to have someone new here.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:15 PM   #3
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Welcome. I think you will enjoy that Ranger Tug.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:31 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Pics are always greatly appreciated....
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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Speed is highly over rated! More than half the fun is in the "gettin there", and not in the "bein' there"!
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:45 PM   #6
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Welcome!

Pics are always greatly appreciated....
Let's see what I can do about that...
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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Mr Ed
Welcome aboard TF
Congratulation are in order... I think you will really enjoy that fine looking craft.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:46 PM   #8
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A talking horse on the forum. Great, welcome.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:58 PM   #9
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Just returned from Newport. 3 Ranger Tugs were on one pier. I want a new boat.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:34 PM   #10
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Welcome sir! I love the name on the bow! She looks like a fine craft. Those of us who aren't liveaboards or retired yet live vicariously through each other's travels and tribulations, so always take pictures of everything, and share them with us! The forum is here and has a deep memory of problems solved and trial encountered if you ever come across something you need help with.

Again, welcome to TF!
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:33 AM   #11
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I don't mean any disrespect but the Ranger Tug in my books is an express cruiser in drag - translation: a fast boat with a "tug" logo as express cruisers aren't as desirable as tugs. I predict you will enjoy the speed of the boat more than you think. When I bought my older boat I convinced myself happiness can come at 8 knots but I have found there are times when I want speed. I would say roughly 20 % of my cruising times is at 16 + knots. When I am cruising to a location that is my final destination, I might gun it for the first hour to get through the same navigational course I have taken often both going and returning. I will do the same returning. So I might gun it for the first hour, cruise over the next days or so at around 8 knots, then gun it the last hour home.

I quite like the Ranger Tug series. Your boat has 300 diesel hp's, enjoy the power at full tilt from time to time. And nice to have when the weather turns nasty and you want to gun it for home or another marina or anchorage.

Sometimes its nice to get up on a plain and get somewhere quickly. I just helped a guy with his Back Cove 33 move his boat from Granville Island in Vancouver to Nanaimo BC. In a sail boat or slower trawler it would have taken roughly 6 or 7 hours, in his boat cruising at 16 knots into a 20 knot wind on the Strait of Georgia, we took three hours and avoided many hours of ocean conditions, though safe, weren't super pleasant.

Enjoy your "slow" boat to China.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:06 AM   #12
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Welcome, and congratulations. I saw a bunch of R31s while looping, and the owners I talked to liked them. One couple trailered theirs from BC to the great lakes and looped. Nice versatile boat.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #13
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Greetings, Mr. Ed.


Glad to see you made it over here.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I don't mean any disrespect but the Ranger Tug in my books is an express cruiser in drag - translation: a fast boat with a "tug" logo as express cruisers aren't as desirable as tugs. I predict you will enjoy the speed of the boat more than you think. When I bought my older boat I convinced myself happiness can come at 8 knots but I have found there are times when I want speed. I would say roughly 20 % of my cruising times is at 16 + knots. When I am cruising to a location that is my final destination, I might gun it for the first hour to get through the same navigational course I have taken often both going and returning. I will do the same returning. So I might gun it for the first hour, cruise over the next days or so at around 8 knots, then gun it the last hour home.

I quite like the Ranger Tug series. Your boat has 300 diesel hp's, enjoy the power at full tilt from time to time. And nice to have when the weather turns nasty and you want to gun it for home or another marina or anchorage.

Sometimes its nice to get up on a plain and get somewhere quickly. I just helped a guy with his Back Cove 33 move his boat from Granville Island in Vancouver to Nanaimo BC. In a sail boat or slower trawler it would have taken roughly 6 or 7 hours, in his boat cruising at 16 knots into a 20 knot wind on the Strait of Georgia, we took three hours and avoided many hours of ocean conditions, though safe, weren't super pleasant.

Enjoy your "slow" boat to China.
You bring up some valid points. Obviously the "Tug" branding is just that, and in no way suggests that these are tugs. My top speed is 18 kts. And yes, it does come in handy. This isn't a planing boat, but will always be in displacement (or semi-displacement) mode. Like many things in life, this is a compromise. Maybe Jack of all trades, and master of none. But I think it'll be just fine for what I intend.

Thanks to BaltimoreLurker for the referral! This looks like it's gong to be a great resource! And thanks to everyone else for the warm welcome.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #15
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Ed,
that's a very handsome craft and I love the green hull, partly because you don't see a lot of that and she looks very well equipped. Looks like you have a solar panel, some Garmin equipment, and if I'm interpreting the photo correctly, looks like you even have an IR scanner up high on the mast. Even if you're not going to do a lot of night cruising, that's a pretty cool toy!
Welcome and crongrats on the tug!
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #16
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My top speed is 18 kts. And yes, it does come in handy. This isn't a planing boat, but will always be in displacement (or semi-displacement) mode.

Don't want to disappoint you but at 18 knots your boat is planing. Even if your boat is planing, you can still hold your head up high and enjoy going slow. Semi-displacement hulls (many of them) can plane. The formula for a displacement hull is 1.34 X square root of length along the water. If your boat's water line (LWL) is 25 feet (it isn't, I'm just being mathematically lazy) then your displacement speed would be 1.34 X 5 = 6.7 knots. Your boats speed would be a tad faster, but just a tad as it is longer than 25 feet, but the Ranger Tug site doesn't list the LWL.

And to make your boat the perfect Washington to Alaska boat, add EFoy as with solar the weather can limit how much the boat is charged. With EFoy you can be at anchorage for a week and not have to put up with the irritating sound of a generator.

By the way, I consider your boat to be just about the perfect boat for coastal cruising in Washington state, BC and Alaska. There are some areas where it is desirable to get through quickly if you can, slowly if you can't. Johnstone Strait is one of them, the Dent Rapids is another. Cruising north of Vancouver Island heading to Alaska has some areas where I'd rather buzz through quickly. And with a boat that is under the 35 foot mark, easier to find marina moorage. As well as Ranger Tugs, I'm a fan of Back Cove's and Cutwater's, again the perfect boats for North West Coastal Cruising.

With your boats trailerable ability, eventually you can spend thousands and have it brought out to the north west coast. This area is where God boats. Often I will see God out on 45 foot catamaran (I'll let you figure out if that is power or sail). I often laugh at God as moorage is sought for the Cat in this area, an area where most marinas are getting long in the tooth, and large boat moorage is at a premium. So then I go up to God as say - "Where's your miracles now, eh?"
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:03 PM   #17
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Let's see what I can do about that...
Very nice, Mr Ed. When you get down this way and are tired of the sun burning up that fore deck, you could consider this idea. I could see under this rig and was thus able to conn from the lower station. It had roll-down sides which could be secured to the handrails to give more coverage when moored.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:22 PM   #18
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Very nice, Mr Ed. When you get down this way and are tired of the sun burning up that fore deck, you could consider this idea. I could see under this rig and was thus able to conn from the lower station. It had roll-down sides which could be secured to the handrails to give more coverage when moored.
That's a very nifty rig! I can see that it would also be great for keeping the forward hatch open in bad weather at the dock for ventilation.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:51 PM   #19
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Welcome aboard, Wilbur! (I know Mr. Ed really can't type on a keyboard...)
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