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  #1  
Old 08-02-2007
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Luger Tradewinds 26

Hi all,

What can anybody tell me, mainly pros and cons, about a 1981 Luger Tradewinds 26 footer? Is this a passage-capable boat or strictly a coastal cruiser? Anyone have sites for more information on them? Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old 04-11-2008
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Didn't they end production in 1980?
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Old 04-12-2008
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I am slmost certain that Lugers were all sold as kits. I can remember looking at the catalogue when I was about 7 or 8 years old and telling my father that he had to be nicer to me when were sailing or I was going to get my own boat and go without him.

I don't think that the boat comes anywhere near "offshore" capable - particularly as the hull and deck were joined by whoever bought the kits.
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Old 04-12-2008
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Well, the calendar says it's after April 1st, so I'll post an answer.

Someone has an old brochure at The Luger Sailboat Mooring - The Tradewinds 26

Here's what jumps out at me:

Quote:
Ballast: 750 lbs outside hull in swing keel, including 335 lbs lead. Weight: Complete boat, ready to sail, including swing keel, 2,600 lbs.
In comparison, the Catalina Capri-26 had displacement of 5250 lbs and ballast of 1900 lbs.

A while ago I found an old Luger Boats catalog. The recurring theme was that their boats (all kits) were designed and built as cheap as possible. Given that they sold a 26 foot boat that weighed half as much as an inexpensive production boat, you know it's not going to be a very strong, or stable sailboat.

The Catalina might qualify as a coastal cruiser. The Luger 26 is probably OK for sheltered water day sailing.

Cheers,

Tim
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramp34 View Post
...A while ago I found an old Luger Boats catalog. The recurring theme was that their boats (all kits) were designed and built as cheap as possible. Given that they sold a 26 foot boat that weighed half as much as an inexpensive production boat, you know it's not going to be a very strong, or stable sailboat.... Tim

Tim, saying something is built as cheaply as possible because it's a kit or weighs half what another boat does is foolish.

The Luger seems to sail great from what I've heard. When you have people trying to sail around the world in homemade 10 foot boats it's probably wise not to dismiss kit craft as being cheaply made junk.

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Old 04-14-2008
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Originally Posted by gyrfalcon View Post
Tim, saying something is built as cheaply as possible because it's a kit or weighs half what another boat does is foolish.
The 'cheaply as possible' theme came from the catalog -- Luger was very proud that their boats were so inexpensive. Every page seemed to emphasize this 'feature'.

For instance, the first paragraph in that old brochure says:
"The Tradewinds compares with like-sized sailing craft priced up to $25,000, yet your Tradewinds saves you about half their cost."
In general, you're right that a boat weighing half that of another isn't necessarily a more cheaply built boat. For example, a fancy carbon-fiber/kevlar epoxy cored hull that is half the weight of a standard fiberglass polyester solid laminate hull is much more expensive to build -- but Luger wasn't using high-tech materials. Luger used the same materials as Catalina: polyester resin, E-glass and plywood. If their boat weighed half as much as a similar sized Catalina, it only used half the material. That means much less strength.

And being a kit doesn't necessarily mean a poor boat -- half the Westsail boats were sold as kits and their resale values are considerably above many contemporary factory built boats. However, a kit builder can't create something better than the underlying components he's working with, but he can certainly make something a lot worse.

Quote:
The Luger seems to sail great from what I've heard. When you have people trying to sail around the world in homemade 10 foot boats it's probably wise not to dismiss kit craft as being cheaply made junk.
The Luger 26 being half the weight of the Catalina 26 with similar waterplane area is going to give much quicker, 'corkier' motion. When you consider how little ballast the Luger has and how high it is mounted, the center of gravity of the boat is quite high which gives little stability. I expect the Luger is at the edge of the design envelope for this size of sailboat, and not on the good edge.

I'm afraid I don't quite get the connection between people who want to sail around the world in a 10 foot boat and whether Luger kit boats are cheaply made or not. Sorry.

Cheers,

Tim
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Old 04-14-2008
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Luger boats of this size were built to be trailered! That explains the weight. I was looking at one to buy 20 years ago to be used on a fresh water lake in Indiana. Would had been a good boat for that purpose.
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramp34 View Post
The Luger 26 being half the weight of the Catalina 26 with similar waterplane area is going to give much quicker, 'corkier' motion. When you consider how little ballast the Luger has and how high it is mounted, the center of gravity of the boat is quite high which gives little stability. I expect the Luger is at the edge of the design envelope for this size of sailboat, and not on the good edge....Tim

The Luger 26, being half the weight of the Catalina 26 also makes it easily trailerable. The weight comparisons concerning the fiberglass are also unfair to the luger for a number of reasons... For example, the Luger doesn't have an inboard diesel engine.

I just purchased a 26' Luger yesterday and it seems to be very well constructed. Does it have the frills, features and amenities of the Catalina? Nope... I'll have to work on adding those.

The ballast ratio of the two boats is only 5 to 6% different if you compare the keel weight to total weight anyhow.
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Old 04-14-2008
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It sounds like most of you folks have never actually seen or sailed one of these turkeys. Well I have. The design was mediocre even for a trailerable, and the glass work was pathetic. The details contained in the assembly manual were a perfect storm of crude and moderately ill-concieved if built as shown, and of course the Lugers that I have seen have been victims of ad-hoc redesigns, some of which make sense, and some of which are simply dangerous (like one I saw with chainplates made from an aluminum door frame). They sailed you like you would expect an underballasted, undercanvassed, high wetted surface boat to sail. That said, the Luger 26 was the better sailing of the various Luger offerings. Having gotten caught in a short chop and winds in the high teens and found the boat positively scarry, the kind of boat that skilled sailers had difficulty getting back to the dock.

Jeff
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
...That said I did a sea trial on one that had an absolutely beautifully finished interior built by a former cabinet maker. In contrast to the beautiful casework, the 12 volt electrical system used regular 110 v solid type residential wire, a residential screw in fuse box for the 110 v system, and 110 volt style switches on the 12 volt system. Clear water line was used for the head. You get the idea...Jeff
You seem to post a lot of replies about Lugers being bad.
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