Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank" - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 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 8 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 8 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.
The attached file is an image of an identical boat.
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post #4 of 8 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 8 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 8 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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post #7 of 8 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

Originally Posted by cat's cradle View Post
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.
Just purchased a 1980 Tanzer 26, Hull 355 for $8600. Why did I pay so much?
1. $4000 was spent the month before on a complete redo of the hull below the waterline. Keel was power sanded to bare metal, two coats of metal primer and a 3rd coat of an epoxy. Bow edge was restored then two coats of bottom paint.
2. She came with a low hour 2014 20 HP Yamaha four stroke. Sounds overpowered but because the boat is heavy to begin with, the 100 lb engine doesn't change the way she lies a bit. She can do 10 knots+ at full power
3. All wood work was restored in 2017 and 2018 interior and exterior
4. Three jibs. Roller Furler Jib, Storm Jib, Original working Jib
5. ST1000 Auto Tiller (this is a must have for single handling)
6. All safety equipment (flares, extinguishers,VHF,Life Jackets) except life ring
7. Interior cushions new about 10 years ago
8. Exterior cushions very good condition
9. New Depth Meter Transducer with hull redo
10. Local Chart
11. Two shakedown cruises
12. Only had to move the boat 100 yards from slip to slip
13. Marine head and waste bladder removed (cant use in coastal waters), New powered porta potty still in packaging included
14. New West Marine Battery
15. Boat rewired in 2012

What was missing/needed.
A. Genoa
B. Stove (I added two burner coleman propane camp stove that fits nicely)
C. 50 ft Shore Power cable
D. Swim Ladder (improvised a four step temporary out of thick wall PVC and 3/8 mooring line)
E. Mast head light OOC (circuit good, bulb out)

All things considered Very Happy.
Looking for a Tanzer 26 owners manual. Have the T22 Manual.
Working on a Bimini of my own design. Don't like the high above boom versions.
Going with 46" H from the mounts,67"W. Still deciding on length.
Looking for a low cost dodger.

Sailor Fred
Hilton Head South Carolina
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-05-2018
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Re: Tanzer 26 - "Starter" or "Build like a tank"

I have no experience of the Taner 26 but I owned a Tanzer 22 on Grand Traverse Bay for several years and participated in the Tanzer forums. I can tell you, they ARE built like tanks. I had her on Lake Michigan, Traverse Bay, Lake Charlevoix, at one time in waves that were 10 ft. She always managed. Once when I was singlehanding, with everyting strapped down, I put the mast down to the water; as soon as I released the sheets, she came right back up. No damage, except to my pride. Sounds like you both got a great boat!

Jim & Jacquelyn Eaton
s/v Pendragon
Anchorage Marina
Baltimore, MD
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