Sea Ranger
27ft Fairey Dell Quay Ranger Twin engine Motor Boat

1989 Sea Ranger in Portsmouth Harbour

Note:- To view any image in a higher resolution just click on that image.
Also, there are many other photographs on this subject held on file

Years 1989 to 1990

  Sea Ranger was thought to have been built in the 1960s or early 1970s.  With an LOA of 27 ft, a beam of 9 ft and depth of 3 ft there were around 55 (possibly 65) built.  Built by Dell Quay Productions Ltd and a hull from Fairey Marine she was designed to do 25 to 42 knots with extremely good sea-keeping qualities winning the Round Island Power Boat race for several years and even today being used as Marshal boats.  A previous owner changed both original engines for 6 cylinder Ford York diesels producing a mere 90 Bhp each.  This proved to be a poor decision as she could only reach around 14 knots and barely on the plane but that didn't stop me getting some theoretical and practical experience.

  This was the vessel I could say I cut my teeth on albeit for about 2 years.   Power not sail but definitely Sea going.  After rebuilding one engine with allot of assistance from friends including my son Michael and of course his friends, and restructuring most of the Cockpit wiring and fuzes (at Winnersh and in a barn) and generally making her ready for sea we launched at Wicormarine and navigated our way for the first time around the Solent.  It was soon realized that the other engine also required rebuilding.   Engine removal this time was at Wicormarine with Sea Ranger afloat and rebuilding again at Winnersh.  With the new engine installed and sea trials done we set off for Cherbourg and Alderney where we anchored for several days learning our first lesson "Do not anchor in strong Easterly winds in Bray Harbour".   We got off lightly with only a bent Pulpit.   Navigation was another lesson put into serious practice but although it was a steep learning curve, learn I did and enjoying every minute.   We spent much time cycling around the Island and getting to know the locals.  We motored around 1,000 Nmiles over some 80 days with 30+ night hours undertaking all our own maintenance (some serious) giving me a very broad, intense and enjoyable experience.  Of course I had none of the appropriate clothing but that was to come.   I had started.  I was hooked and wanted more.   And perhaps I should be gaining some qualifications?

Once purchased 'Sea Ranger' was towed to a Farm in Winnersh

The wiring behind the Wheel and later more wiring was exposed

Scaffolding used to raise an engine (Me on left, my son Michael 2nd left)

Refurbishing one engine (in an open barn)

June 1989, Anchored in Portsmouth Harbour for a photo-shoot

July 1989, Some weekend motoring, this moored on the outside of Ancaster Marina (West Cowes)

July 1990, We planned a week in Alderney. This is Full power from both engines on route to Braye Harbour.  Looks great but in reality very slow for this type of vessel

July 1990, Returning from Alderney to Wicormarine. My first real passage and with so little knowledge of Navigation and Safety etc