Outboard vs. Inboard
How big is the 26? Some 26 footers are heavy and beamy and push the limits of the size boat that should have an outboard. Consider Paceship PY26 (also marketed as Tanzer27?) as an example of close to too much boat for an outboard.
Cost of purchase/cost of maintenance.
A 10hp 4stroke outboard costs approx $3K canadian. New saildrives are closer to $10K and I don''t have a clue what true inboards (shafts) cost.
When an outboard dies a used one can be picked up usually under $1000. There are lots of them available. When inboard or saildrive dies you are extremely limited on the used motor market and most have problems.
A friend boaught a used Catalina with an inboard. 6 hours after purchase it died. $7000 later he was back in the water. He now swears by outboards.
Ease of maintenance:
Already mentioned by someone else. Outboards are portable.
Speed under sail:
If you are racing an outboard is much faster since it is not dragging in the water.
The inboard has the propellor
under water at all times (if it is not you are really in trouble). The outboard can have the propellor
come out in heavy weather or the motor can get swamped. The inboard is usually a much better method of propulsion.
In my own opinion a clean stern on an inboard vessel is much prettier than an outboard stuck on the back. Especially if there is not a big mess of deisel residue on the transom!
An outboard is nice on race day and an inboard is nice while cruising. Decide what you are doing with your boat and then make your decision.