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. The America’s Cup, affectionately known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America’s Cup match races between two sailing yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America’s Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging for the cup. The timing of each match is determined by an agreement between the defender and the challenger. The America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy.
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. 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.
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”, Ranger received a rating of 76, the maximum allowed while still adhering to the Universal Rule.
- 100% hand built by artisans from scratch using “plank on frame” construction method
- Hull handmade from Mahogany wood, hollow inside
- Highly polished finish with multi-layered micro-sanded varnish to match the real boat
- Flags and solid wood base included