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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » B - Boats starting with 'B' » Balboa
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Balboa 26
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 7364 Sat September 15, 2012
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 6.0












Description: Balboa 26
Keywords: Balboa 26
 


Author
Review Date: Sun January 26, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The Balboa 26 is a coastal cruiser designed by Lyle Hess and
built by Coastal Recreation in California. This is a fiberglass 26 foot trailerable sailboat. The mast is deck stepped. The boat has a #1250 swing keel that allows a draft of about 18 inches with the keel up, 5 ft with the keel down. It displaces #3600. Overall length is 25'7" with a beam of 7'11". The boat sleeps 5 comfortably. This is a very nice racer/cruiser. The boat is easy to handle. This is a very nice family boat, plenty of room in the cabin, plenty of room in the cockpit. The boat is light and quick. The boat has one small problem. The swing keel at the pivot point, allows for a very small amount of water, normally less than a quart, many times less, occasionally a little more, to seep into the lower bilge. Other less experienced Balboa owners have talked about getting water in the bilge and not sure of the reason. This is the cause. Overall I am quite happy with the boat. I enjoy the trailerable aspect of this boat. I can put the boat in the water, stepping the mast with the boat on the trailer in about 1/2 hour. Less to take the boat out. The boat pulls easily without the need of a large 4 wheel drive vehicle. I pull the boat with my 6 cyl Dodge B150 van. I would like to hear from other Balboa owners.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed April 9, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

(Current review in BoatCheck is adequate)
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cheesey
Junior Member

Registered: March 2000
Review Date: Tue February 10, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


My wife and I are new sailors so this is our starter boat. She has been good to learn on, very forgiving. One of the owners before us added a Volvo 7.5hp diesel. We have added a roller furling and wheel stering. She now looks like a blue water boat. What I don't like is that I am six foot tall therefore I do not have much head room in the cabin.


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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri April 17, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This boat is an excellent starter boat, although the cockpit could afford more room. Tiller steering does interfere with the passenger seating. A great second hand value that is fast as well.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Mon December 14, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


A dog as a racer but a dream as a cruiser. The swing keel does not go to weather as well as a racer would like but the accomodations below are very comfortable for such a small boat.

The rudder being placed, similar to a centerboard, through the bottom of the cockpit is a bit wierd and can be a weak point. I once suffered a major broach while rounding the leeward mark with a spinnaker and the rudder was bent over enough that it could not be extracted.


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pkipp
Junior Member

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 2
Review Date: Thu January 28, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Lyle Hess Design- Swing Keel- Very satisfied- Owned for 23 years.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri April 30, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

A very strong and durable Lyle Hess design if well cared for.
More effective and usable interior accomodations than you can find in any other 26 footer.
A good sailer which will stand up to quite a bit of bad weather if handled properly.
Some original hardware not installed to the best of standards. For example stantions bolted thru deck without backup plates.(easily corrected).
Easy boat to sail singlehanded, but difficult to rig lines aft for hoist & takedown from cockpit.
It's trailerable, but I prefer to call it "transportable".( you wouldn't want to haul it & rig it just for the weekend).
For the price, performance, and very broad range of suitable sailing styles, a 26 in good shape will be hard to beat.
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Review Date: Thu August 3, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The ideal lake boat. Perfect for weekending. Cockpit could be bigger, but boat has a lot of room packed into 26 feet. Solved leaks around keel pivot with 1/8" silicon rubber sheet, large washers, & 3M 5200. It is an easy fix that seems to solve the problem that many owners cite. Will be glad to share specifics. We now have a very dry boat. Boat has very neutral helm. Great light air performance now with new full batten main from Sail Warehouse. A good downwind performer.
Have copies of original sales brochures.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed October 11, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Researched this starter purchase for 6 mos. Chose B26 for: 1)cabintop traveler-keeping lines out of companionway and cockpit 2) 5'6" headroom-more than most 3) enclosed head 4)3600#- heavy enough to handle some weather but still trailerable 5) all 1200# of ballast in a swing keel-good stability and 1'11" shoal draft 6) doubled lower shrouds and split backstay-spread that load!! 7) cabin/cockpit tradeoff gives nice cabin and usable cockpit. 8) retractable rudder-allows centerline motor(9.9hp is plenty) If trailered, this boat is not for day or even weekend trips. Stepping mast is a chore no matter what Len Buchanan says! See Len's post for many specs. Here's some more- PHRF=?225, SA/displ calculates at 19 but doesn't feel that fast, hull speed 6.1 kts. Still learning-will revise after 2001 season.
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duwke
Junior Member

Registered: March 2003
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mon March 10, 2003 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Bought her last year without a motor for $4500. I added a nice 2002 9.9 Honda outboard. Definitely the nicest thing on the boat.

Anyone know the cost of putting a wheel on instead of the tiller? I think a wheel would add more usable room to the cockpit.
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Adminisrudder
Junior Member

Registered: September 2012
Review Date: Sat September 15, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Good price performance; handles well, particularly fixed keel version
Cons: Thin plastic at the water line mid-ship

I saild with a fleet of 26's on the SF Bay. When the 3pm winds picked-up, the swing-keel versions all had issues with weather-helming. I've put my knee into the hull at the water-line, mid-ship and deformed the hull; this seems a bit soft IMHO for a 26' boat.
On a fixed keel version, I also was party to putting up a custom chute in way too much wind while sailing back under the Gate... we broached, and put the top of the mast into the bay. Standing on the side of the hull we easily righted it.; no water entered the cabin. The only person that was looking out into the water, preparing to 'jump' (without a preserver) was a friend that couldn't swim!
In 20 knots or more, it handles and sails very well with just a Genoa.
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