Ranger (yacht)

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Scale model of Ranger (ship, 1937).JPG
A model of the Ranger
Yacht club New York Yacht Club
Nation United States
ClassJ class
Designer(s)Starling Burgess, Olin Stephens
BuilderBath Iron Works
LaunchedMay 11, 1937
Owner(s)Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
FateScrapped c.1940
Racing career
Notable victories1937 America's Cup
America's Cup1937
Displacement166 tons
Length135 ft 2 in (41.20 m) (LOA)[1]
87 ft (27 m) (LWL)
Beam20 ft 10 in (6.35 m)
Draft15 ft (4.6 m)

Ranger was a J-class racing yacht that successfully defended the 1937 America's Cup, defeating the British challenger Endeavour II 4-0 at Newport, Rhode Island. It was the last time J-class yachts would race for the America's Cup.


Harold Stirling Vanderbilt funded construction of Ranger, and she was launched on May 11, 1937. She was designed by Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens, and constructed by Bath Iron Works. Stephens would credit Burgess with actually designing Ranger, but the radical departure from the heavy displacement sailing yachts was attributal to Stephens himself who had first used the design in Dorade, winner of the 1931 Trans-Atlantic Race.[2] Geerd Hendel, Burgess's chief draftsman, also had a hand in drawing many of the plans.

The hull was all-steel welded by a shielded arc process with a weight-saving aluminum, arc-welded, mast counterbalanced with a 110-ton lead keel supported by an arc-welded steel keel plate.[3]

Ranger was constructed according to the Universal Rule that constrained the various dimensions of racing yachts, such as sail area and length. Often referred to as the "super J",[4] Ranger received a rating of 76, the maximum allowed while still adhering to the Universal Rule.


Ranger raced Endeavour II in the 1937 America's Cup, winning 4–0.

Ranger was scrapped between either 1941[5] or 1946[4] – sources differ.


Ranger replica at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta April 13, 2005

Construction of a replica of Ranger was started at Danish Yacht Boatyard (by Royal Denship) in early 2002 and was completed in late December 2003.[6] The original designs were used as the basis for the new boat but were updated to conform to the latest safety regulations and the requirement of the owner to cross oceans in comfort.


  1. ^ "America's Cup Winner A Marvel in Design". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 68 no. 4. Hearst Magazines. October 1937. pp. 486–487.
  2. ^ Ellsworth American/Sail-World (September 18, 2008). "Vale Olin J. Stephens II". Sail-World. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  3. ^ Pacific American Steamship Association; Shipowners Association of the Pacific Coast (1937). "New Methods of Steel Construction Used on Successful Cup Defender Ranger". Pacific Marine Review. San Francisco: J.S. Hines. 34 (September): 68. Retrieved June 29, 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b "Classic Boat's History of the J Class". Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "J-Class History: 1938 - 1968 : The War Years and Decline of the Class". Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  6. ^ "Specifications & Photos of Ranger - SYT". Retrieved October 15, 2011.

External links[edit]

[[Category:Sailing yachts built in the United States]