A good safe boat ?
I actually had the chance to see a Colgate 26 up close this weekend in Annapolis. I know lots of people like it for racing and learning to sail. The boat I saw was on the hard after what must have been a serious crash on the rocks. It was broken, practically in two. A total loss. I could see that the glass was very thin, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick (and not very cohesive) and the hull to deck joint was held together with what appeared to be 1/4 bolts with no bonding or bedding compound (but then I did not really probe much).
The Colgate 26 is a very light boat and to be sure, its likely that any small light boat is built to much the same standards. I would say that probably older 25-26ft boats like Catalina''s and Columbia''s are built closer to the standards of Pearson''s and Bristol''s than the Colgate 26.
No doubt many Colgate 26 owners will chime in here. I am sure its a great sailboat, however, I would not recommend it to someone interested in cruising in Canada (besides, I think they would want a boat with a true cabin in her). And after seeing this one, I personally would not chose it other than for some light racing.
Just my personal opinion, not an expert by any means. Not bashing the boat or Colgate owners. Just saying it is a light racing and learning boat, no doubt fun to sail, but not built for cruising and not built to take a beating.
The boat is at Jabin''s for any locals who want to see first hand.