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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-29-2000
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Niagara 26

I bought a Niagara 26 last summer and really enjoyed sailing it on Lake Ontario.

I have been able to find more out about the other Hinterhoeller designed Niagaras such as the 31, 35 and 42 than the 26. I''d love to hear from anyone who has owned one or is familiar with them.
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Old 12-30-2000
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Niagara 26

I sailed a Hinterhoeller shark for 8 years and was completely impressed by the quality that went into building the boat. We are presently looking to purchase a Niagara 35.
We want to use it extensively on lake ontario but have the ability to take it south in a few years. Enjoy your Niagara 26
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Old 01-02-2001
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Niagara 26

I now own a Niagara 35 Classic interior and previously had a Niagara 31. They are both excellent boats but more different than they might seem and different from the Shark and 26. The latter were designed by George Hinterhoeller I think and have considerable similarities in design concept. The 31 was designed by Frers and performs extremely well particularly in light air (I am also on Lake Ontario and this is a plus in july/august). It carries a lot of sail and must be reefed early. The interior has good and bad points.Having a nav station on a boat that size is great but I am not a fan of dinettes, so ...

The 35 and 42 are designed by Mark Ellis who also designed the Nonsuches. They sail well and are very comfortable. Construction seems very good for a large production builder. Don''t know the 42 other than by reputation but I can recommend the 35 although they are hard to find at a reasonable price/quality level.I finally found one in Nova Scotia that was not cheap but was little used and had had some money spent on it (eg new engine and electronics).

Another boat you might consideris the Aloha 32 which has is also Ellis designed and has the same interior arrangement as the 35 Classic. Not as well-built and smaller but should be much cheaper.
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Old 01-07-2001
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Niagara 26

Thanks for the response,

I''m kind of amazed to hear from two Niagara 35 owners on Lake Ontario. I think the 35 is very well suited to the kind of conditions we get from time to time--particularly last summer.

I plan to continue sailing out of Bluffer''s Park with an eye on moving up to that size range in a few years or less. I hope when the time comes there''ll still be a few around that are in reasonable shape and not too pricey.

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Old 01-16-2001
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Niagara 26

My two cents worth....

Several years ago I fell in love with a Niagra 35 and took it to survey. The 35 has a balsa cored hull and the surveyor found some moisture around the chain plates inside the hull.

When I was pressed to finalize the deal, I contacted the surveyor for his thoughts... he said, "I would never buy a boat with a cored hull."

I didn''t.
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Old 01-16-2001
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Niagara 26

I''d get another surveyor. I wouldn''t get a boat that did not have a core. Did your surveyor explain to you that fatigue results from flexure in a fiberglass laminate? Did he explain to you that uncored (or unframed hulls) felx more than cored hulls? Dis he explain that the only way to produce a hull that is uncored hulls and unframed but does not flex to the point of inducing fatigue is to produce a hull of sufficient weight that it increases stress on all other parts of the boat and reduces stability? Dis he explain to you that Niagara 35''s are very venerable cruisers that have survived tremendous abuse in real life circumstances? Or did he simply fire off an unthinking comment that kept you from buying an otherwise highly regarded boat?
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Old 01-16-2001
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Niagara 26

I''d get another surveyor. I wouldn''t get a boat that did not have a core. Did your surveyor explain to you that fatigue results from flexure in a fiberglass laminate? Did he explain to you that uncored (or unframed hulls) felx more than cored hulls? Dis he explain that the only way to produce a hull that is uncored hulls and unframed but does not flex to the point of inducing fatigue is to produce a hull of sufficient weight that it increases stress on all other parts of the boat and reduces stability? Dis he explain to you that Niagara 35''s are very venerable cruisers that have survived tremendous abuse in real life circumstances? Or did he simply fire off an unthinking comment that kept you from buying an otherwise highly regarded boat?
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Old 01-18-2001
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Niagara 26

Since there are a lot of cored hulls around we have to deal with them. I looked at a C&C 38 and did not know what would be found later. (I rejected the boat as the draft was too deep for me). It was discovered that the C&C 38 had a HULL CORE full of water.

The Niagra 35 is a nice looking boat and a fair sailor in a breeze. If I wanted one I would not pay a lot and get one with small repairable defects.

I like solid hull boats. But cored hulls are faster, stiffer and don''t sweat in cold water.

Lot''s of popular boats made today are solid hulls below the waterline like Catalina.
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Old 01-19-2001
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Niagara 26

Another two cents worth....

I agree that all things being equal, a balsa cored hull is stronger pound for pound than an uncored hull.. as long as there has been no water intrusion. If there is any area that water may be allowed to enter and come in contact with the balsa that area will be prone to wood rot and subsequent weakening, delamination, or in the extreme, hull failure.

Flexing of a solid glass hull can be reduced or eliminated through proper design of structural members that support the hull (bulkheads, stringers, etc.).

My surveyor reminded me of what I already knew. The disadvantages and potential for significant structual problems of a balsa cored hull far outweigh the advantages of strength and insulation.

The issue of having a core of synthetic material may be another issue worthy of discussion, however.
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Old 01-19-2001
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Niagara 26

Here''s a link to info regarding balsa and a successful method to repair failed cores: http://www.geocities.com/duke_of_ur1/Lenox/balsa_core_rep.html

Duke
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