Original lines: Starling Burgess, Olin Stephens / Modified design: Dykstra
As the first of the modern 'replica' boats to be built, Ranger was very much the catalyst for the new generation of J Class yachts. A passionate American owner fell in love with the J Class after racing the chartered Endeavour in Antigua in 1997, and the next year, after reaching an agreement with the newly formed J Class Association, commissioned a replica of Harold Venderbilt's so-called 'Mighty Ranger'. One fundamental stipulation of the JClass Association was that the new J Class be built in steel. She was launched in August 2003 after 24 months building at Danish Yacht Shipyard in Skagen, Denmark. Her interior was built in modules in Sardinia.
The owner loved the idea of building a replica big American flagged 'Super J'. The original Starling Burgess/Olin Stephens Ranger was from the first design family to be properly tank tested and was built to the maximum waterline length at 87ft. She built an unsurpassed record of 32 wins from 34 starts after winning her first two America’s Cup races against Endeavour II by 17 and 18 minutes and going on to win 4-0.
Ranger’s lines are very true to the original with the iconic snub nosed barrel bow, though like other modern replica boats, 100mm was added to the freeboard and a big deckhouse was incorporated.
Raced successfully with a highly experienced crew under Captain Dan Jackson with helm Erle Williams, tactician Murray Jones and a core of fellow Kiwis, in the early days Ranger’s most regular rival was Velsheda in the Caribbean and Europe. Among Ranger’s big wins were the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup in Sardinia in 2008, the Newport J Class regatta in 2011 and the J Class Falmouth regatta in 2012.
Being immaculately built in steel, Ranger is heavier than some of her newer rivals. She is at her best in flat water, especially in bigger breezes and correspondingly is weaker in waves and lighter airs.
She was refitted the year before the 2017 J Class World Championships in Newport.
In April 2018 the owner sadly passed away and in due course Ranger was sold on to a new American owner. After a major refit with Dykstra Naval Architects which included further weight being removed from the boat, Ranger raced in Spring 2022 for the first time with the new owner and a new team which now includes America’s Cup winning helm Ed Baird, tactician John Kostecki and navigator Jules Salter. Ranger won the first regatta of the season, the Saint Barth’s Bucket and went on to win the overall season title.
2012 Falmouth Regatta
Overall winner Ranger
2013 Superyacht Cup Palma Superyacht Cup
2013 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
2014 Menorca Maxi
2014 Superyacht Cup Palma
2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
2014 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
2015 J Class Falmouth Regatta
2015 RYS Bicentenary Regatta Cowes
2015 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Ranger wins IRC A
2016 Saint Barths Bucket
2017 America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, Bermuda
2017 J Class World Championships, Newport
2022 Saint Barths Bucket
2022 Superyacht Cup Palma