Since a child, I’ve raced, cruised, daysailed and done deliveries. Even been convinced that power boats are cool. When cruising and daysailing, I’m very often single-handed. My bride, Hannah, is a farm girl. She “likes to be sailed.” In my world, watching sunsets is just as important as winning races. IMHO: The only thing that makes a GREAT SAILBOAT is sailing ability. That is defined as: “does it all, in all conditions” which means: Single-handed; overloaded with non-sailing friends on an afternoon frolic; great in light air with or without a racing crew and racing sails; easy to handle when it’s blowing 35 TWS; when reefed, or double reefed, sails well and comfortably without frightening the farm girl or our friends; coming home the 50 miles from Cape Cod and the wind howls; easy to get really good speed; rewarding when trimmed very carefully; has great “feel” at the helm; has balance up wind and down; friends friendly. By these standards the Colgate 26 is a GREAT SAILBOAT! Every Sonar and small J owner who has sailed mine has remarked on how great the helm feels. But it doesn’t stop there. While it has a very nice overnight cabin, it doesn’t add things pretending like it’s a week long cruising machine. I sleep on my boat at regular intervals. I’m 6’ and 200 pounds. The quarter berths are very large. On Sunday mornings, before the wind arrives, the cockpit is a great place to daydream or nap. Every costly piece of gear is from the best brands. The lines are an exception, but I’m a rigging nut and knew I would be making changes anyway. Having said that, I sailed and raced the boat for 3 months without touching a thing.
Ted Squire – Marblehead, MA
Note from Steve Colgate: Ted Squire was one of our first owners. He sold his boat and now lives in Ireland. Since his boat was delivered, we have upgraded the running rigging.