Call For a Tow

Lets Dance!


This is our R27 just out of the mold and ready for the assembly process.

   Ever since I can remember, way back when (as the saying goes), I can recall my father saying “Let’s Dance.” He’d make this announcement whenever he felt it was time to move off into a different direction. It didn’t matter if it was time to cut the Thanksgiving turkey, go water skiing, or send us kids off to college; it was my Dads way of saying it was time to get things in gear. More importantly what he was actually saying was that he was all in, ready to go and not interested in waiting any more, in other words – let the action begin.

This is exactly how Lisa and I feel about heading out west; it’s time to get our Ranger Tug boating adventures started. My father’s sentiment of “Lets Dance” seems to be dead on – appropriate for us as we’re all in and ready to go boating again.

   For us, my Dad’s favorite saying is a euphemism for getting back onto the water. We’ve been off “the water” for 1.5 years, so it’s more than time for die-hard water rats like us to return to some of our favorite cruising grounds or exploring new waterways. To make this all happen was akin to piecing together a large puzzle, one where we had to maneuver all the pieces so they’d fall neatly into place so our boating adventures could resume.

This is how things look on the inside of the hull before the mechanicals are installed.

The process included settling into a land based house (May 2010), selling our 40’ trawler (November 2010), selling an old truck and buying our GMC HD tow truck (April 2011), selling an investment rental home (July 2011) and finally buying a trailerable trawler and trailer. With our concentrated efforts and laser like focus it’s finally come to fruition.

    The very last piece of our puzzle is the construction of our American made Ranger Tugs R27, which is currently mid-way through the construction process. Jeff, at Ranger Tugs, (Kent, Washington), has informed us that our boat will be completed by the third week of August, just before this log is posted. In the mean time I’ve been in contact with Andrew Custis, Ranger Tug’s Customer Service Manager, he’ll be keeping us up to speed as to our boat’s progress. Linda, Ranger Tug’s Office Manager, has made arrangements to have photos taken during the construction and has been emailing them to us. This added touch makes us feel more involved in our boats evolution, almost as if we’re there in person. We would have liked to be present for the whole construction process, but our land-based activities just didn’t allow us to escape until the very last hour. 

With the hull liner now married to the inside of the hull the mechanical items are being installed.

    As our focus migrates to the construction of Kismet our anticipation of getting back out onto the water, and cruising once again, is becoming overwhelming. The reason for this feeling of excitement is not only because of our love of boating, but the anticipation of meeting people from all over the country and sometimes, the world. There’s camaraderie in the boating community that’s hard to describe and once you’ve experienced it, you just want more. The boating community, in our opinion, seems to be blind to where you live, work, what size your boat is, what part of the country you’re from or what your standing is on some imaginary social ladder. It’s all about boating, sharing a passion, and being helpful to one another. It’s this camaraderie and the element of adventure we’re so looking forward to getting back to. Lets Dance!

Here you’re looking towards the transom. From left to right is the water heater, Yanmar diesel engine and Mase diesel generator.

    In the meantime, with our new Ranger Tugs R27 under construction there are immeasurable items to be learned during this process. Sure, it would be nice to be close to the factory so we could physically stop in to inspect the progress every week or two but with the help of Andrew, Linda and modern technology there’s no need for us to be there. When I receive photos from Linda, I can see what the current construction status is. From one week to the next, I can evaluate the progress being made and while reviewing the emailed photos, I can make notes and a list of questions to ask Andrew about. In the latest batch of photos, I was unsure of what tank was the black water waste tank, so the next time I spoke with Andrew he straightened me out. Using the waste tank, as an example, and knowing where it is located for future reference, will make trouble shooting something like a loose fitting or bad sending unit easier to address. We’ll also archive the photos for future reference, making most future servicing less time consuming, frustrating and costly.

Here you see the mold for the interior component.

    When I look at the component sections, before they are married to the hull, I’m looking for where the electric wiring is run, water lines and connectors and what will be the best way to access them when needed. In addition, it’s important to have an understanding of how you might run a wire through the boat after it’s finished. I remember having to run a coaxial cable through the cavities of a previously owned boat and I was at a loss because we had no construction knowledge of the guts of the boat. I had half the interior disassembled with my body contorted into various positions, flashlight in hand, trying to snake this cable from one part of the boat to the other. It took the better part of three days, bloody knuckles, some fowl language, and lots of beer. My point is this… if I had prior photo knowledge of how that boat was constructed I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration.

The same day I began writing this piece, Lisa and I took a break from our work/writing chores and went for walk – something we do on a regular basis. Lisa soon asked what I was writing about. When I explained that I was writing about “Lets Dance” and how it related to a fond memory of my father and also to us returning to our cruising lifestyle, she smiled. Intrigued by this, I asked her what was on her mind. Lisa made a statement that was so very true and profound in so many ways – the real reason we are so ready to get this “dance” under way finally hit home like a heat seeking missile.


This major interior section, when complete, gets inserted into the finished hull.

Lisa stated that early on in our marriage our mode of relaxation formed and centered around being on a boat either cruising or just sitting at dock. During northern Michigan’s warmer months, our time off work meant we’d head to our boat to “relax.” Even when we started to live on our boat after we retired, we always felt that relaxing vibe just floating on the water. Lisa went on to comment that since we’d returned to a land based life, with no boat, not even a dinghy, to escape to, we seemed to be having a hard time relaxing on land, not really knowing what to do to fill that void. I agreed, that we almost don’t know how to relax on land, feeling like something deep down inside is missing. In the year and a half we’ve been away from boating, we’ve been busy writing, fixing up the house we bought, and reconnecting with family and friends. All of this has been wonderful and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. However, we do miss our time to chill, very much.

This is how the interior of the cabin component looks before the windows and roof hatches are installed.

    After stopping to think of Lisa’s comments of how relaxing being on the water is for us it dawned on me that our current relaxing water time boils down to sitting on our front porch where we can see the water as we play cards or discuss the days events. We’ve also had the occasional boat ride invitation and those are wonderful but it’s not quite the same as an overnight on our own boat. I read a blog recently where a boater summed up what we’re experiencing in just a few wise words. In paraphrasing what was written, the blogger stated that he “Boated to Live” vs. “Living to Boat.” So the bottom line for us is that it’s time to get back to cruising so we can live a full life in a more relaxed state of being. My Dad was so right, time to get back out on the dance floor.


I’m really not taking a nap; I’m attempting to run coaxial cable in a prior boat.

I wonder what progress they’ve made on Kismet this week?