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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » C - Boats starting with 'C' » Colgate

 
Colgate 26
Reviews Views Date of last review
4 5734 Tue May 4, 2004
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated None indicated












Description: Colgate 26
Keywords: Colgate 26
 


Author
PatNowak9
Junior Member

Registered: December 2001
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mon August 5, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I took delivery of the Colgate 26 in March of this year in Palmetto, FL where the boats are built by Precision Boatworks. I towed it back to Holland, MI on the custom built trailer that was part of the package. I rigged it with a little help from my friends and had it in the water in early April and have sailed it 3 to 5 times per week since then.

It points high, goes fast, looks good and it is very well built. This boat was designed by Jim Taylor of Sabre fame and its pedigree shows out on the water. We race it every Wednesday night in the spinnaker class and while our highest finish thus far is 3rd in a fleet of 12, we have a competitive boat that the 5 man crew enjoys being on. The cockpit is huge.

When I'm not racing, I'm usually out on Lake Michigan by myself, logging afternoon sails of 15 to 20 miles. This boat reminds me of my first sportscar, a then new 1962 Triumph TR-3B roadster that was exciting to drive and gave me a little shot of adrenelin everytime I started it up. For entertainment, I locate some other sailboat 1/2 mile away and see if I can catch it. Thus far I have always been able to run them down. I recently caught up with a Sabre 36 and the skipper called out that this was good for his humility. He said, "Not only did you catch me, but you're passing me on the leeward side." The next day I caught up with a Beneteau 41.5 and yesterday it was a Morgan 27, an older boat but still pretty fast.

The Colgate 26 comes equipped with all Harken and Garhauer hardware, main, roller furling jib and spinnaker, VHF radio, battery, portopotty, and ice chest. I added some cushions for the large berths below and a 155 Genoa which is nice in winds up to about 12 knots. It also has a solid rail around the cockpit area that is great to lean back against.

The Sailing Magazine, January 2002 issue carries a boat test written by John Kretschmer. He said, " It's safe, affordable, easy to maintain and very handsome. However, its nimble and spirited performance is clearly its best feature."
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rbh1515
Senior Member

Registered: July 2000
Posts: 190
Review Date: Wed August 7, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I just got a new Colgate 26 after owning a much larger sailboat. My main reason for picking this boat is the size of the cockpit: about 13 feet long. I don't know of another boat with a cockpit this long. It has a small cabin with a v bearth and 2 quarter bearths. It comes with all the gear you need to sail(main, jib, spinniker, roller furling, etc etc etc) and topnotch Harken hardware. The quality of construction is very good. The boat handles great. It has minimal weather helm and is easy to sail. Also the price is very reasonable and its a great looking boat! Whenever somebody walks by the boat at the marina they always stop and want to know what kind of boat it is. The web site is www.colgate26.com

After a year, I still love this boat. It continues to sail great and flys past most other boats on the lake.
Rob
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Review Date: Tue May 4, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Best Pocket Cruiser: Colgate 26
(1997 Cruising World)

Drawn by Jim Taylor to specifications developed by Steve and Doris Colgate at the Offshore Sailing School, the Colgate 26 was conceived as a performance trainer with cuddy accommodations for weekend camper cruising. Requirements were that it sail well, impart to learners of all abilities the nuances of trim, offer a sizable training cockpit, be safe and provide minimum shelter. Bill Lee called it "an excellent execution of the objective, with good gear that really works and a nice big rudder for control." In Mark Schrader's eyes, at a price as tested of $24,000 it proved "a good value, something that can really show you how to go cruising." Peter Hogg summed it all up: "It's a good little boat."
********
*Purposeful Trainer

The Colgate 26 is a winning pocket cruiser

By Bill Lee, Cruising World

*When we first stepped aboard the Colgate 26, we were most impressed by the boat's large cockpit. The trade-off involves minimal accommodations, even by pocket-cruiser standards. But consider this: The pocket-cruiser group is unique to our Boat Of The Year lineup in that, while some pocket cruisers are suitable for extended passages and long-term living aboard, others are evaluated also on their ability to serve as building blocks to a sailor's big-picture aspirations. I feel it is extremely important that sailors learn to sail on fine-sailing, well built quality boats in which form follows function. Pocket cruisers often are trainers and we were most impressed with how well this exceptional Jim Taylor design met its objectives.

The forward part of the cockpit is long enough to allow one person at the tiller with room still for three more adults on the weather side between the helmsman and the back of the cabin. Cockpit seats continue aft of the tiller and there is room for an instructor or more guests behind the traveler.

The forward end of the double-ended mainsheet leads to a barney post in the center of the cockpit. The aft end leads to a cam cleat on the traveler which is just aft of the tiller and easily accessible to the instructor, giving him emergency access to the mainsheet or the tiller. The other benefit of this mainsheet arrangement is that a student seated just aft of the traveler has a perfect view up the leech of the mainsail while controlling at the same time the traveler in one hand and the mainsheet in the other.

Wire lifelines run aft from the conventional bow pulpit to just behind the mast. There they join solid tubing rails about 18 inches high that run aft and lean well outboard. These are strong and convenient to grab, and they add security when the boat is heeled.

The interior is hardly a palace, but certainly there is enough of one to fit the bill on a camping-style overnighter for four. Of course a boom tent and warm weather are strongly recommended.

When people fly in for a week of sailing instruction, the show must go on whether it is blowing five knots or 25 knots, and this boat sailed really well through a wide range of conditions in our on-the-water testing. The fractional mast has good bend characteristics and there are no runners to worry about. The rudder is extra large to ensure excellent control under the most difficult conditions and in the hands of the most novice sailors.

Our actual sailing bore out these observations. The cockpit design really shows its stuff beating to weather, with good secure foot bracing across to the leeward side. As soon as the boat heels, the rail seating, cambered subtly, assumes the perfect angle to keep you up on the high side without sliding down into the cockpit.

After going to weather for a while, we set a spinnaker and away we went. One of the things that impressed me most about this little boat is the sense of security it offers. Some boats require that you be strong as a gorilla and agile as a cat, but this cockpit is secure and efficient, definitely a user-friendly place to be.

Not only did I find the Colgate 26 to be a good trainer but also I found myself applauding her for being an excellent sailboat in her own right. The vessel appears very indestructible relative to most modern sport boats and I found aboard her excellent glasswork and construction quality with good attention to detail. At approximately $24,000 with a trailer she represents tremendous value on today's market.

Colgate 26
Affordable daysailer that packs a performance punch while offering a stable ride (Reprinted from Sailing Magazine)

When Steve Colgate, Olympic sailor and founder of Offshore Sailing School, decided to update his vast fleet of Solings in 1996, he knew just what he wanted. After 35 years of sailing and teaching, Colgate was looking for a durable, safe boat that could be easily handled by novices but also offered the prospect of great performance. Most importantly, the boat had to be affordable. Colgate was convinced that if properly executed this new boat would not only be successful as a trainer but also appeal to the broader sailing public.

When the industry’s major manufacturers failed to meet his demands, Colgate decided to develop the boat himself. Teaming up with designer Jim Taylor, whose credits include the handsome Sabre lineup, Colgate created an intriguing boat that bridges the gulf between sluggish pocket cruisers and rocket ship sport boats that require a high level of skill to handle. With a sail-away price of less than $30,000, it appears that Colgate’s premise was right on the money. More than 100 of the boats have already been sold.

Few boats have been as carefully conceived as the new Colgate 26. An LOA of 25 feet, 8 inches, for example, means that the Coast Guard classifies the boat as a Class I vessel (Class II is 26 to 40 feet), which limits basic requirements and helps keep the cost down. Also, Colgate notes that many homeowner’s insurance policies give automatic watercraft liability coverage for boats under 26 feet. The beam of 8 feet, 6 inches is the maximum legal width for highway towing. Storing the boat on a trailer in your driveway is another way to lower the cost of sailing.

The details

Practicality aside, the rest of the dimensions add to up to a fine sailing boat that can handle a breeze and keep moving in the lightest airs. The LWL of 20 feet is a bit deceptive, since the counter stern is carried far aft, creating a handy instructor’s perch behind the tiller. Students feel secure in the cockpit with a seat-level, inboard transom supporting the rudder post and tiller, but beyond that an open stern allows for easy access onto the boat in case of a man-overboard emergency. The bow overhang is moderate, and the hull form features a flattish forefoot and firm bilges. The standard keel carries 1,050 pounds of ballast and translates into a draft of 4 feet, 6 inches. A shoal-draft option adds 200 pounds of ballast and slices off a foot of draft. The ballast-to-displacement ratio is 40 percent, which accounts for the 26’s stiffness when sailing upwind, while the displacement-to-length ratio of 145 helps explain its exciting off-the-wind performance.

The hull is solid fiberglass, further demonstrating that practical considerations ruled the day. Any sailing school boat is going to receive a few nicks and scrapes along the way, and a solid hull is much easier to repair. Private owners also appreciate the durability of a solid glass hull. The hull and deck are joined on a flange, bonded chemically and through-bolted before being covered with a rubber bumper. The hull is beefed up in the bow, under the stanchion bases, around mast support area and in the bottom of the boat where the stainless steel keel bolts are attached. The deck is cored with Core-cell foam for rigidity. Positive foam flotation makes the 26 virtually unsinkable.

On deck

Although the Colgate 26 is sometimes called a pocket cruiser, most sailors will use the boat for daysailing. The cockpit is well designed and accommodates four adults with ease. The mainsheet traveler runs across the inboard transom, allowing for efficient end-boom sheeting and keeps the cockpit clear. The mainsheet is double-ended, with the forward end leading to a cleat on a barney post on the sole, and the aft end leading to the traveler. This arrangement gives the instructor easy access to the sheet in case of emergencies; much like the passenger-side brake pedal in a driving school car.

The Harken No. 16 self-tailing sheet winches for the small, nonoverlapping roller-furling jib are set on the aft end of the cabintop. While this arrangement is ideal for teaching, it makes it more challenging to tack when singlehanded sailing. The stout wooden tiller is about the only piece of wood on the boat. A bracket for an outboard motor is mounted astern with a cockpit locker specifically designed for engine storage. The cockpit and lockers are self-draining, a vast improvement over the Soling.

The deck features a secure nonskid pattern and oversized, well-supported stanchions. Forward of the cockpit, the lifelines are conventional coated wire rope, terminating at a sensible pulpit that does not extend forward of the bow. Aft, the lifelines convert to solid stainless tubing, offering extra support when seated and a secure handhold when moving about the deck. The hardware is exclusively Harken, including the headsail furling system. The main, jib and spinnaker are by North Sails and are part of the standard package.

Down below *

The interior is small, but like the rest of the boat, it is well thought out. It would be fun to spend a weekend sailing and camping. The V-berths are 7 feet, 3 inches long, making them more than sleepable if the weather prohibits sleeping in the cockpit. A portable head, insulated ice chest, optional sink and alcohol stove make the boat more comfortable for weekend cruising. A VHF radio is standard equipment, and a soft solar panel designed to be left in the cockpit will keep the battery topped off when you’re away from the boat. Once the cushions are removed the interior can be literally hosed down for quick and easy clean up.

Under way

I was quite impressed with the 26’s performance during a recent sail off Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico. While my wife and daughters attended Offshore Sailing School’s weekend learn-to-sail course, instructor Christian Pschorr and I grabbed an empty boat and tacked out through Red Fish Pass. On the wind, the 26 points very high, and we tracked past an ugly shoal and into deep water.

The helm is very light, and even when the afternoon sea breeze finally piped up to a 12-to-15-knot range, it was fingertip control on the tiller. The cockpit offers good leg support, and the stainless railing really lends a sense of security when the boat heels. Falling off the wind, the boat accelerated as we gained sea room on a close reach.

The boat felt powerful in the water, but completely under control and quite stiff. The purchase on the mainsheet was more than adequate, and as my daughter later proved, the small headsail can be trimmed by child, even in a blow. The gulf was choppy, but the 26 sliced through the waves without pounding. The rubrail tended to deflect spray, keeping the cockpit surprisingly dry.

I manned the helm while Pschorr set up the spinnaker. The small chute really turbocharged the boat, and we zipped back toward the inlet, occasionally getting up on top of a wave. Pschorr, who is Offshore’s Captiva Branch Director, told me that he is most impressed with how the boat performs in heavy air, noting that it really has a wind range of 5 to 35 knots. We made our way back through the pass and tacked our way up the narrow channel before easing the boat into the slip under sail.

The Colgate 26 is appeals on many levels. It’s safe, affordable, easy to maintain and very handsome. However, its nimble and spirited performance is clearly its best feature.
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Review Date: Thu May 13, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Best Pocket Cruiser: Colgate 26
(1997 Cruising World)

Drawn by Jim Taylor to specifications developed by Steve and Doris Colgate at the Offshore Sailing School, the Colgate 26 was conceived as a performance trainer with cuddy accommodations for weekend camper cruising. Requirements were that it sail well, impart to learners of all abilities the nuances of trim, offer a sizable training cockpit, be safe and provide minimum shelter. Bill Lee called it "an excellent execution of the objective, with good gear that really works and a nice big rudder for control." In Mark Schrader's eyes, at a price as tested of $24,000 it proved "a good value, something that can really show you how to go cruising." Peter Hogg summed it all up: "It's a good little boat."
********
*Purposeful Trainer

The Colgate 26 is a winning pocket cruiser

By Bill Lee, Cruising World

*When we first stepped aboard the Colgate 26, we were most impressed by the boat's large cockpit. The trade-off involves minimal accommodations, even by pocket-cruiser standards. But consider this: The pocket-cruiser group is unique to our Boat Of The Year lineup in that, while some pocket cruisers are suitable for extended passages and long-term living aboard, others are evaluated also on their ability to serve as building blocks to a sailor's big-picture aspirations. I feel it is extremely important that sailors learn to sail on fine-sailing, well built quality boats in which form follows function. Pocket cruisers often are trainers and we were most impressed with how well this exceptional Jim Taylor design met its objectives.

The forward part of the cockpit is long enough to allow one person at the tiller with room still for three more adults on the weather side between the helmsman and the back of the cabin. Cockpit seats continue aft of the tiller and there is room for an instructor or more guests behind the traveler.

The forward end of the double-ended mainsheet leads to a barney post in the center of the cockpit. The aft end leads to a cam cleat on the traveler which is just aft of the tiller and easily accessible to the instructor, giving him emergency access to the mainsheet or the tiller. The other benefit of this mainsheet arrangement is that a student seated just aft of the traveler has a perfect view up the leech of the mainsail while controlling at the same time the traveler in one hand and the mainsheet in the other.

Wire lifelines run aft from the conventional bow pulpit to just behind the mast. There they join solid tubing rails about 18 inches high that run aft and lean well outboard. These are strong and convenient to grab, and they add security when the boat is heeled.

The interior is hardly a palace, but certainly there is enough of one to fit the bill on a camping-style overnighter for four. Of course a boom tent and warm weather are strongly recommended.

When people fly in for a week of sailing instruction, the show must go on whether it is blowing five knots or 25 knots, and this boat sailed really well through a wide range of conditions in our on-the-water testing. The fractional mast has good bend characteristics and there are no runners to worry about. The rudder is extra large to ensure excellent control under the most difficult conditions and in the hands of the most novice sailors.

Our actual sailing bore out these observations. The cockpit design really shows its stuff beating to weather, with good secure foot bracing across to the leeward side. As soon as the boat heels, the rail seating, cambered subtly, assumes the perfect angle to keep you up on the high side without sliding down into the cockpit.

After going to weather for a while, we set a spinnaker and away we went. One of the things that impressed me most about this little boat is the sense of security it offers. Some boats require that you be strong as a gorilla and agile as a cat, but this cockpit is secure and efficient, definitely a user-friendly place to be.

Not only did I find the Colgate 26 to be a good trainer but also I found myself applauding her for being an excellent sailboat in her own right. The vessel appears very indestructible relative to most modern sport boats and I found aboard her excellent glasswork and construction quality with good attention to detail. At approximately $24,000 with a trailer she represents tremendous value on today's market.

Colgate 26
Affordable daysailer that packs a performance punch while offering a stable ride (Reprinted from Sailing Magazine)

When Steve Colgate, Olympic sailor and founder of Offshore Sailing School, decided to update his vast fleet of Solings in 1996, he knew just what he wanted. After 35 years of sailing and teaching, Colgate was looking for a durable, safe boat that could be easily handled by novices but also offered the prospect of great performance. Most importantly, the boat had to be affordable. Colgate was convinced that if properly executed this new boat would not only be successful as a trainer but also appeal to the broader sailing public.

When the industry’s major manufacturers failed to meet his demands, Colgate decided to develop the boat himself. Teaming up with designer Jim Taylor, whose credits include the handsome Sabre lineup, Colgate created an intriguing boat that bridges the gulf between sluggish pocket cruisers and rocket ship sport boats that require a high level of skill to handle. With a sail-away price of less than $30,000, it appears that Colgate’s premise was right on the money. More than 100 of the boats have already been sold.

Few boats have been as carefully conceived as the new Colgate 26. An LOA of 25 feet, 8 inches, for example, means that the Coast Guard classifies the boat as a Class I vessel (Class II is 26 to 40 feet), which limits basic requirements and helps keep the cost down. Also, Colgate notes that many homeowner’s insurance policies give automatic watercraft liability coverage for boats under 26 feet. The beam of 8 feet, 6 inches is the maximum legal width for highway towing. Storing the boat on a trailer in your driveway is another way to lower the cost of sailing.

The details

Practicality aside, the rest of the dimensions add to up to a fine sailing boat that can handle a breeze and keep moving in the lightest airs. The LWL of 20 feet is a bit deceptive, since the counter stern is carried far aft, creating a handy instructor’s perch behind the tiller. Students feel secure in the cockpit with a seat-level, inboard transom supporting the rudder post and tiller, but beyond that an open stern allows for easy access onto the boat in case of a man-overboard emergency. The bow overhang is moderate, and the hull form features a flattish forefoot and firm bilges. The standard keel carries 1,050 pounds of ballast and translates into a draft of 4 feet, 6 inches. A shoal-draft option adds 200 pounds of ballast and slices off a foot of draft. The ballast-to-displacement ratio is 40 percent, which accounts for the 26’s stiffness when sailing upwind, while the displacement-to-length ratio of 145 helps explain its exciting off-the-wind performance.

The hull is solid fiberglass, further demonstrating that practical considerations ruled the day. Any sailing school boat is going to receive a few nicks and scrapes along the way, and a solid hull is much easier to repair. Private owners also appreciate the durability of a solid glass hull. The hull and deck are joined on a flange, bonded chemically and through-bolted before being covered with a rubber bumper. The hull is beefed up in the bow, under the stanchion bases, around mast support area and in the bottom of the boat where the stainless steel keel bolts are attached. The deck is cored with Core-cell foam for rigidity. Positive foam flotation makes the 26 virtually unsinkable.

On deck

Although the Colgate 26 is sometimes called a pocket cruiser, most sailors will use the boat for daysailing. The cockpit is well designed and accommodates four adults with ease. The mainsheet traveler runs across the inboard transom, allowing for efficient end-boom sheeting and keeps the cockpit clear. The mainsheet is double-ended, with the forward end leading to a cleat on a barney post on the sole, and the aft end leading to the traveler. This arrangement gives the instructor easy access to the sheet in case of emergencies; much like the passenger-side brake pedal in a driving school car.

The Harken No. 16 self-tailing sheet winches for the small, nonoverlapping roller-furling jib are set on the aft end of the cabintop. While this arrangement is ideal for teaching, it makes it more challenging to tack when singlehanded sailing. The stout wooden tiller is about the only piece of wood on the boat. A bracket for an outboard motor is mounted astern with a cockpit locker specifically designed for engine storage. The cockpit and lockers are self-draining, a vast improvement over the Soling.

The deck features a secure nonskid pattern and oversized, well-supported stanchions. Forward of the cockpit, the lifelines are conventional coated wire rope, terminating at a sensible pulpit that does not extend forward of the bow. Aft, the lifelines convert to solid stainless tubing, offering extra support when seated and a secure handhold when moving about the deck. The hardware is exclusively Harken, including the headsail furling system. The main, jib and spinnaker are by North Sails and are part of the standard package.

Down below *

The interior is small, but like the rest of the boat, it is well thought out. It would be fun to spend a weekend sailing and camping. The V-berths are 7 feet, 3 inches long, making them more than sleepable if the weather prohibits sleeping in the cockpit. A portable head, insulated ice chest, optional sink and alcohol stove make the boat more comfortable for weekend cruising. A VHF radio is standard equipment, and a soft solar panel designed to be left in the cockpit will keep the battery topped off when you’re away from the boat. Once the cushions are removed the interior can be literally hosed down for quick and easy clean up.

Under way

I was quite impressed with the 26’s performance during a recent sail off Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico. While my wife and daughters attended Offshore Sailing School’s weekend learn-to-sail course, instructor Christian Pschorr and I grabbed an empty boat and tacked out through Red Fish Pass. On the wind, the 26 points very high, and we tracked past an ugly shoal and into deep water.

The helm is very light, and even when the afternoon sea breeze finally piped up to a 12-to-15-knot range, it was fingertip control on the tiller. The cockpit offers good leg support, and the stainless railing really lends a sense of security when the boat heels. Falling off the wind, the boat accelerated as we gained sea room on a close reach.

The boat felt powerful in the water, but completely under control and quite stiff. The purchase on the mainsheet was more than adequate, and as my daughter later proved, the small headsail can be trimmed by child, even in a blow. The gulf was choppy, but the 26 sliced through the waves without pounding. The rubrail tended to deflect spray, keeping the cockpit surprisingly dry.

I manned the helm while Pschorr set up the spinnaker. The small chute really turbocharged the boat, and we zipped back toward the inlet, occasionally getting up on top of a wave. Pschorr, who is Offshore’s Captiva Branch Director, told me that he is most impressed with how the boat performs in heavy air, noting that it really has a wind range of 5 to 35 knots. We made our way back through the pass and tacked our way up the narrow channel before easing the boat into the slip under sail.

The Colgate 26 is appeals on many levels. It’s safe, affordable, easy to maintain and very handsome. However, its nimble and spirited performance is clearly its best feature.
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