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1956 Ranger III Rehab Project 11 Feb 2021 02:11 #109725

  • RickG
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Welcome. I'll second what Charlie and John have said about the screws and plywood. Bronze is great for wood boats where it's not in contact with a dissimilar metal. When in contact with aluminum, the galvanic corrosion can be very destructive:

Use good quality stainless fasteners, and if they're threaded, assemble them with anti-seize compound.

2. Steering. You'll find that the tumblehome of the aft end will make the geometry of modern cable type steering a bit challenging, if not downright impossible without cutting the boat. (...DON'T!!). There's nothing wrong with a properly installed wire rope and pulley system. Just be sure that all mount points are through bolted i.e. no wood screws into the inner transom board.

3. Motors... The small 4 stroke will be just fine. Lots of people on here run modern motors, and given your stated goals for the boat, it's a good call. I've owned a few motors in that class, including a Tohatsu. I think the equivalent Suzuki is a much nicer motor all around IMHO.

4. Leak testing can be done from the inside too. Blocked up securely, fill it with a few inches of water and climb under with a Sharpie to mark any leaks you find. There are epoxy based products made just for sealing seams. G/Flex is one brand, Gluvit is another. You can heat the seam and it wicks in, sort of like soldering copper pipes. Leaking rivets can be re-bucked to tighten them up again.

5. There's no rule that says you have to put a windshield on it. ;)
"Kiss my ass, I bought a boat; I'm going out to sea." - Lyle Lovett

'54 Vagabond - '55 Mark 55
Etched Panels & Plates

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Last edit: by RickG.

1956 Ranger III Rehab Project 10 Feb 2021 23:06 #109724

I'll take an image in the daylight showing the transom in place. Also- Thanks on the tip RE: Stainless Steel bolts.
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1956 Ranger III Rehab Project 10 Feb 2021 21:53 #109722

I would stay away from plywood and use 3/4" mahogany or white oak boards on the transom. The grain should run horizontally on the inside and vertically on the outside. leaks should be plugged from the outside of the hull.

1958 Vagabond II & 35 HP Evinrude
1955 PlastiCraft 12 Ft. Delux Runabout
1957 Clipper & twin 35 HP Evinrudes
1957 AlumaCraft 14 Ft. FD

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1956 Ranger III Rehab Project 10 Feb 2021 21:40 #109721

Hello and welcome aboard if it were me I wouldn't use bronze screws anywhere on an aluminum boat aluminum don't play well with many other metals use stainless steel only the bronze will eat the aluminum up and please don't use regular steel bolts either the same thing will happen and always through bolt because wood screws will just pull out can you please post pics of what you have with the transom wood held up to it so we can see better how to help you
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1956 Ranger III Rehab Project 10 Feb 2021 20:51 #109719

Hi all,

First time post here. I am refurbing a neglected 1956 Ranger III. It’s basically a dirty shell with potential. I’ll attach a few images. I have several questions so to make it easier to respond, I have numbered them. My goal is to have a reliable, cool retro boat but with a four-stroke quiet engine so my partner, who has sensitive ears will ride and wine with me as she reads poetry. Weird, but with Covid and all, that’s where we are.

1. I’ve rebuilt the transom using walnut stained okoume marine plywood and all the existing attach points using bronze screws. The aluminum braces that go from the top gunnel to the transom (90 decrees) don’t seem to fit flush to the plywood. I could angle the screws through the aluminum to the corner brace and add some shims on the plywood so I could tighten the screws but not sure this was the original design. A flush fit with the plywood is not possible using the cast aluminum corner braces. Should I shim it? Should I use bronze wood screws from each side and forget about it? Seems that the original design would have been to use one bolt through the aluminum transom to the aluminum corner bracket. Any suggestions?

2. When I bought the ‘shell’ I was awarded with four steering parts. Three are Mercury rack and pinion Ride Guide 45884 single cable helms with questionable cables. I suppose I could build one from the parts but not sure. I originally thought of the pully system as there are two bow pulleys remaining. So the question is: Should I just replace the entire helm and cables with the compatible engine I intend to purchase? Or try to retro fit a 50’s steering with a 2000’s engine.

3. Speaking of engines, I know it’s not true to form but as I mentioned earlier, its about satisfying her so I am leaning to a 30HP Tohatsu EFI 15 inch to power this love boat. I know- shoot me. However, she’s worth it. What’s the down side of this arrangement?

4. I have not floated this shell yet so cannot vouch for its seaworthiness/leaks. I note that there is dried putty/caulk substance on the underside at the seams. Should I scrape that out and replace it? Or test it first? If there’s a leak what do I replace the old caulk/putty with?

5. Windshield. Taylor Systems says they are not making windshields now and gave me a name of a company in Miami, Ocean Dynamics, who said it would be $1250 plus shipping. So I went to UPD plastics and for a $25 inquiry they gave a price of $425 + 175 shipping from Florida. I have an aluminum windshield frame that has a 1/4 inch grove with U shaped inserts that should work for 3/16 plastic. However, UPD does not offer any hardware and I do not have wing-end or other attachment hardware. Any thoughts?

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