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· ASA and PSIA Instructor
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I can't see how you can recommend a J-24 for anything other than one-design racing. The cockpit and deck are not laid out for any form of siting comfort. I sailed a J-24 some 30+ tears ago, and I still remember how sore I was the next day, the helmsperson was the one sailor not required to sit on a block, winch or cleat. The second most comfortable position on the boat was siting on the rail...It's one thing to ignore the dis-comfort for a 2-3 hour race, during which you are pretty busy, but to purposely day-sail on one, forgetaboutit.
 

· ASA and PSIA Instructor
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Anyone here tried a Colgate 26?

I've been a racing as crew on J24s for several seasons and was considering getting one myself, but the prospect of maintenance for the old boat (balsa core, etc) and uncomfortable layout for social daysailing has directed me elsewhere. Most lately I've come up with the Colgate 26. It's substantially more expensive, but it looks like a lower-maintenance boat over long term and plenty of cockpit room for social daysailing on non-race days. There's no one-design racing for C26 that I know of other than collegiate fleets, but it can race against J24s and the like in PHRF at the local yacht club.

Of course once I've saved up enough for a C26, there will surely be yet another, more expensive boat for me to set my sights on...
I taught ASA 101 classes in Colgate and found them a delightful boat to sail. Lots of good seating space even without the extra space after the traveller.
I owned a J24. I think it would be a great boat to start with.
 
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