Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank" - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

I looked at a Tanzer that seemed like a good deal - $5000 for an 85' that's in good shape with new equipment. I've read everything I can find about the boat but I'm still having trouble putting it in perspective. I've seen some owners say "it's built like a tank" while others have said the opposite and called it a "starter" boat.

Any other opinions? It's a solid fiberglass (no balsa or plywood) boat that struck me as being pretty solid, what details would say otherwise? Lead keel? I'm buying a first boat but I want to buy something thats worth the time and money I'll have to put into keeping it up.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-18-2010
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Why should the two characteristics be exclusive? The Ensenada20 is a starter boat; so is the Flying Scot. Both are tanklike and practically indestructible. Indestructible is a good quality in a starter boat. 'Starter boat' can mean 'forgiving, simple, inexpensive to own, gateway to larger boats and voyages.' Needn't connote 'badly made' or 'disposable.'

All Tanzers are tanks. The T22 weighs 2.5x as much as our SJ21. Tanzers were designed for the Great Lakes, where the chop is square and the storms come fierce. Their spars, rigging and hardware are larger than you would find on a comparable-sized Hunter or Catalina. They have medium to high ballast ratios. Yet for all that, they generally sail pretty well. You do need a good breeze to get em rolling.

The T26 is ... funky. Looks like the love child of a running shoe and a quanset hut.

Plenty of headroom tho, & I bet it tracks like a train. The lifeline stanchions seem dodgy (just a visual impression, not based on personal knowledge.) You might grab hold of a couple and see how solid they feel. A family friend has a T26 on Lake Ontario and loves it.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-07-2016
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

I am also looking at a Tanzer 26 although it looks a bit different than that one. Looks good and is well within my price range. From the looks of it it is a stable and comfortable cruiser.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-07-2016
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

Try the sleeping areas out by actually laying down on each place before you spend your money. I once spent the night on one of those and being 6'2" had to sleep on the cabin sole.

They do have a reputation for having a lot of heavy resin in their layup. They are "solid" but their engineering is no more advanced than any other smaller sailboat of their era. Thicker is not always better, sometimes it's just thicker.

Mr. Tanzer designed a wicked-awful rudder for the T-22, and the owners' assoc. had a much better one designed later. Not sure about the T-26 (aka the Tanzer 7.5). We used to have several of these racing in evening club races in the early 80's around here.

Having said all that, I recall that the owners liked their boats, and that the boats were solid enough that stuff was not breaking all the time like some cheaper-built boats we could all name. (!)

For a while, we had five 22's racing OD, and 4 or 5 of the 26's racing OD. Best way to race a sailboat, by far. (Not like I have a strong opinion of course.)

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post #5 of 6 Old 07-07-2016
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

Thanks for the advice! Me being very short-sighted didn't even think about that at the time. Might just have to go take another look especially since they just pulled it out for a yearly inspection.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-24-2016
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

Most people reading this thread will already know, but just to be clear, the Tanzer 26 is NOT "a.k.a. the Tanzer 7.5". They are similar but significantly different in size; the 7.5 is ~24.5' LOA.
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