Suitable boat for Wednesday night racing and weekend cruising - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-24-2008 Thread Starter
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Suitable boat for Wednesday night racing and weekend cruising

I'm looking for a boat of about 26' in length that has a PHRF rating low enough to allow me to be competitive in my club's beer can Wednesday night races (say around 180 on up to about 220) and which has enough accomodation down below to allow me to sleep on her for a night or two. I sail on western Lake Erie and enjoy cruising the islands for a weekend or 2-3 night cruise now and then. The main focus of my sailing is the Wednesday night races. My wife does not sail with me so that I usually do my weekend cruises singlehanded. The other factor is that I'm a retired teacher on a limited budget and would prefer to not have to pay in excess of about $10,000 for the boat.
Right now I'm considering a San Juan 7.7, but wonder what other boats might fit my needs. Any thoughts on the San Juan 7.7, or suggestions on any others that might meet my needs?
Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
Fair Winds,
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-24-2008
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Have you considered a Catalina 22? Although not 26', it is a great little boat for the beer-can races, easy to singlehand or sail with crew on short cruises of a few days to a week or so. I've cruised mine off the trailor and out of a slip. I've always been competitive in club racing, often beating 30 footers across the line, and have always enjoyed the ease with which she is rigged and sailed. Some folks trick-out their C22s to the max while others go bare-bones (the serious racers). Mine is somewhere in between. And you can find lots of C22s for sail for alot less than $10k. Get the swing-keel model. They are more weatherly than the wing-keel, and easier to free from a grounding.

Hope you find the right boat!

Pat Lindsay
s/v Stargazer, C22
Huntsville, AL
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-24-2008
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For a 26 foot Wednesday nighter that will do well in PHRF it's tough to beat a well sailed Ranger 26... The SJ 7.7 is probably also a good bet. A Kirby 25 is another possibility, but not as well behaved as the other two. Also, in the Lakes area the Viking 28 should be in the same budget range and is a great sailing boat - with adequate accomodation. The C&C 25, 26 & 27 may also be worth looking at.


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post #4 of 16 Old 08-25-2008
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Niagara 26 rates just over 180. Lots of interior room and nice to sail.
C&C25 also a good boat - PHRF216 with outboard.
Tanzer 26 is around 210. Lots of those around.

These are cruisers that can easily be raced and perform decently. Also pretty easy to sail and learn on. The Kirby 25 is more of a race boat but not nearly as comfortable as the others for overnighting.

I will second Ranger 26. Affordable and decent sailing boat.

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post #5 of 16 Old 08-25-2008
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Here's a copy of a boat ad I am selling now PHRF 98 and only $1200.00:

BASICS: This is a 1973 Dynamic 14' sailboat complete with trailer. It weighs roughly 250 lbs, draft of 6", beam aprox 5'. It is a fractional sloop with all newly refinished sails, including spinnaker.

What a great little sailboat "Jacky Paper" has been to our little family! I've learned a lot, from just light air sailing to downright storm sailing in her. I moved up to larger racing dinghies from this one, but it still ranks as #1 in my book for "fun factor" and ease of use. Heck - it rigs, launches and sails in under 20 minutes with just one person! Now that flat-out defines day sailing in my book.

It launches from anywhere - from trailer or hand, I've backed down beaches and ramps with it and it is light enough for you not to get stuck. Unfortunately, the new house we moved to no longer has enough room in the garage to keep this boat and trailer, so it is time to part ways with the three smaller sailboats. I will include in the sale, in addition to the boat and trailer, Sails that just returned from sailcare last fall -- a Jib, Main with partial battens, spinnaker (Asy), battlestick tiller extension, rigging, lines, and a small fortress anchor.

This boat is FAST in the right hands (with so many different tweaks I had to keep a logbook of settings and wind conditions as I went on to sail in heavier air and races), BUT forgiving on new sailors, as it has an easy design and layout. The Jib is set and forget, so your playing can be done with the main or just heading corrections.

The entire boat weighs around 250 lbs. I believe that is more than the trailer. I have carried myself, and two other adults with some extra gear in it for a sail and it handled probably the combined 600 lbs without a hitch. The tiller rotates up for easy beaching, and the centerboard is removeable or just retractable, depending on how you set the line which holds it down. They both float and feature pins or lanyards to keep them in place in the event of a water landing. Speaking of, recovery from a capsize is no issue in this boat. Simply stand on the side, grab the centerboard, and pull, and it comes up and heads into the wind nicely. I've only sent it over once, and it was on purpose.

It does need a few small scratches tended to on the blue trim pieces (I use interlux annually and wax frequently). The paint always wears in the cockpit, and this year I was going to put down driveway anti-skid with epoxy paint, but haven't got around to it yet.

The trailer and boat registrations are good and current. It is insured. All you need to do is supply water and a 4 cylinder car (or larger) to tow it with a 1-7/8" ball.

Trailer lights, bearings, and other items are in good shape as of last testing. The bunks could use new carpet this year if you felt the need for a pretty trailer when it is naked, but not a physical item. If you're interested, I'd be happy to take you out for a sail; if you are new or rusty to sailing, I'd also be happy to throw in lessons and a good book or two to refresh your memory.

Come on by and have a look, or take her out for sail! I can deliver to the Denver area.

I am adding in the option to finance part of the boat to the prospective buyer, since not everyone carts around a ton of cash. Please check the ad and respond to me if you're interested in owning a GREAT sailboat that is easy to rig and use (you can do it with just one person).

**********I have had a lot of questions about the sailboat, so here are the answers entirely:

Draft 3'3" with centerboard down
Beam of 5'
Displacement of 250 lbs.


The sail area for the main is 52.5 sq ft., jib/genny is another 40 I think and Spinnaker is just a hair under 48 sq. ft. There is no lack of sail here. It will plane up on reaches and leave a wake like a powerboat on close hauls!

The only other things I could tell you about the boat would include its history back to the day it was made.

The company (Dynamic) changed over from making boat hulls to something else, and then went out of business to be resurrected by H&H sailcraft not too long ago:

Uus van Essen of Holland designed the International Flying Junior in 1958. The designer was already known for his Flying Dutchman one design. Listed as co¬designer was Conrad Gulcher, Dutch Olympic sailor. It is estimated that over 10,000 Flying Juniors have been built. The original Flying junior first appeared in 1955 and was built of cold molded wood. The hull shape had not changed over the years but the mast is now shorter than in the original version even though the jib and main remain the same. The original Junior also had no trapeze.

The Junior is capable boat sailed by persons of all ages even thought the boat was originally meant for "Junior racers" (hence the name!). With the addition of a trapeze and larger spinnaker the boat continues to be a real competitor. The boat is both maneuverable and safe even though things can happen quickly in a regatta, the double hull and open transom make it safe for inland and open waters.

The class enjoys popularity in clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Japan along with the USA.

The Original builder was 'Jachtwerf van Düsseldorf' at Loosdrecht, Holland. About 1960, Advance Sailboat Corporation, of Parkville, Missouri began to build FJ's out of fiberglass. This was the first U. S. builder. Advance later moved to Independence, MO, where the boats were built in limestone caves, which provided perfect temperature and humidity control for using the then new fiberglass material. About 1980 the business was sold, where it operated for a short time as Dolphin Sailboats, before closing. The molds are now owned by Jeff Moses (Moses Ark Sailboats).

However, the design has enjoyed such popularity that is was built by many fine boat builders including:

Paceship (Canada)
Galletti (Italy)
Tiptree (Great Britain)
Doesburg (Germany)
Botterill (Australia).
Advance Sailboat Corporation (USA)
Dynamic Plastics (now H&H Sailcraft) (USA)
Southern Ohio Sailcraft (USA)
Sailnetics (USA)
Cabellero (USA)

The only current builder is H&H Sailcraft.

Ours, hull number 3534, was delivered to my dad new and we've had it ever since, upgrading and refitting as needed. The title and registration were given to me a few years ago, since I was the one who sailed it. The hull is GREAT, it is a foam core with fiberglass shell and it is built like a tank. The sails are beautiful and in great shape.

She will plane up on moderate wind with a goose-wing or with the spinnaker.

Racing aside, I frequently sail her just to go adventuring places. Sometimes we throw backpacks in the bow and sail across Flaming Gorge or some other large lake and hike into places people usually don't have access to. My wife likes to picnic on it with me as well, but is not a fan of heeling over and going fast.

H&H has covered the NADA values on this boat. It lists:

Low Retail Average Retail
Base Price
$1,600 $1,770
Racing Sails - Per Sail $315 $360
Spinnaker w/Bag $390 $445
TOTAL PRICE $2,305 $2,575

If you have the patience to sell the boat, you could make some money according to NADA. I just thought pricing at $1200 would be fair to sell her fast. We moved to a house where our three smaller boats just don’t fit. We are only keeping our 30’.

******This boat needs NOTHING. No work, no upgrades, you can just take it straight to the water and sail away.

My terms are flexible, I have several options in mind; one of which is $450 down and $250.00 a month for 3 months or something similar.



307-514-1131 (please leave a message if we don't answer, we will return your call right away)


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post #6 of 16 Old 08-25-2008
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I owned a Pearson 26 from 1979 to 1989. I raced her in jib-and-main club races pretty sucessfully and my wife and I cruised her for as much as 3 weeks at a time. They rate around 216 in Long Island Sound. Many other boats from Cal, Ranger, C&C, etc. of the 1970s would fit your requirements.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-25-2008
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Locally we have a bunch of Cal T2's that do very well in our fleet. Also, while I like SJ personally, there is birdie going off in my brain, that that particular SJ is not one of the fastest SJ's out there. I will also point out, I may be wrong on the model of SJ that I am recalling to. Another SJ if you can go a bit longer is the 28.

As mentioned, any of those, Beneteau has a First 28.5 IIRC the model number, a few of those floating around. Jeanneau Arcadia, while listed as a 30, reality is, it is more like most 28-29' other brand models. Even a Catilina 27/270 would work for your needs, if you want a big nicer interior, look at the C28, or smaller the C25/250 could be a good choice too.


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post #8 of 16 Old 08-25-2008
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Try something from S2. They've got a few boats in your size and price range that should be competitive and cruisable. Plus, you should be able to find several on Lake Erie.

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post #9 of 16 Old 08-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Just wanted to post a quick "thanks" to all of you who took the time to send me a response. I have a number of ideas now, and should be able to find a decent racing boat from the list you've given me.
Thanks again and Fair Winds,
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-27-2008
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I just bought a Niagara 26 this season and can attest that they are a great balance of quickness and comfort. Not quite standing headroom (unless you are under 5'7" or 5'5", but there's no comparison to the almost non-existent "accomodations" on, say, the Kirby 25s that I was considering.

An N26 will probably run you more than the $10k budget you set, but I felt it was worth it. For less money, you might also consider a Grampian 26 - I know they don't have a great reputation as a racer, but they are more numerous, more affordable and if sailed well, they regularly beat their PHRF rating in my experience.
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