The Colgate 26 – For Performance Sailing and Sailboat Racing

A Super-Exciting Sailboat for Round-the-Buoy Racing

Steve Colgate designed the Colgate 26 to be a fun small racing sailboat, with built-in features for maximum racing efficiency as well as day sailing comfort. With experience in one-design keelboats, center boarders and ocean racers, Steve thought a lot about sailboat design features that would make the Colgate 26 such a great boat for sailboat racing.

There are Colgate 26s in many PHRF fleets across the country. We could go on and on, but why don’t you give Steve Colgate a call, set up a test sail, and find out yourself why the Colgate 26 is so much fun in round-the-buoy sailboat racing competition.

A Great Boat for Teaching and Coaching Sailors to Race Better

The Colgate 26 has superb handling characteristics for seasoned racing sailors and sailors who want to learn to race. Rather than just go for a test sail, sign up to participate in one of Offshore Sailing School’s sailboat racing classes, with expert coaches on the school’s Colgate 26 fleets. The Colgate 26 is the boat of choice for the 20th Anniversary of the annual North U/Offshore Sailing School Performance Race Week held in April in Southwest Florida.

A Favorite for Collegiate Sailboat Racing

The U.S. Naval Academy took delivery of 12 identical Colgate 26s for Collegiate Racing in December 2015, adding to their existing fleet of 30 Colgate 26 trainers. Those 12 “Navy 26s” had to be built with less than one pound difference between the boats! The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Maine Maritime and other institutions have chosen the Colgate 26 for training and racing too.

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The Perfect Boat for Leukemia Cup Regattas

The Colgate 26 is such a great boat for racing, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has conducted its Leukemia Cup Regatta Fantasy Sail Weekends four times in the past on a fleet of Colgate 26 sailboats provided by Offshore Sailing School. For the fifth time, top LLS fundraisers will be sailing Colgate 26 sailboats donated by Offshore Sailing School at the Fantasy Sail Weekend at Pink Shell Resort & Marina on Ft. Myers Beach, Florida in December 2019.

Excellent Handling Characteristics for Match Racing

The Colgate 26 has also been the boat of choice for the Knickerbocker Cup – an international match racing event held on Long Island Sound. For three years, sailors from all over the world sailed the Colgate 26 – some donated by Offshore Sailing School for use in this event, others privately owned. The sailors all commented on how forgiving the Colgate 26 is, how easy it is to roll tack and spin on a dime, how few breakdowns occurred in wild winds with so many stresses put on the rig by such avid racing sailors. The quote below is from Dave Perry, who skippered a Colgate 26 in these events and is the author of numerous books on The Racing Rules.

  • Adjustable backstay
  • Adjustable outhaul
  • Traveler
  • Cunningham
  • Full spinnaker gear – pole, topping lift, foreguy, guy, sheet, Harken ratchet blocks
  • Twings for spinnaker guy and sheet with cam cleats
  • Adjustable jib fairlead cars
  • Windex masthead fly
  • Bulkhead compass
  • Tiller extension

Colgate 26 Design Features That Augment Efficient Sailboat Racing

  • Non-overlapping jib allows spinnaker pole to be set to leeward
  • Rigid cockpit railings make it safe and comfortable to position crew with legs over the side
  • The deck is clean and uncluttered
  • Backstay and traveler lines lead to port and to starboard and are adjustable when hiking out
  • Trimming the spinnaker guy is much more efficient with self-tailing winches

Colgate 26 Sample Ratings for Performance Handicap Fleet Racing (PHRF)

In addition to the features above, the Colgate 26 comes in very well when rated for Performance Handicap Fleet Racing. Here are some examples of PHRF Ratings. Please check with your local race officials for more information and PHRF updates.

Charleston Racing Association OD 168 173
Chesapeake Bay 155% 162 162
Eastern CT Sailing Association 151-155% 162 177
Eastern CT Sailing Association OD 169 193
New England 150% 162 168
Northern California OD 159 --
PHRF – Narragansett Bay OD 168 183
PHRF – Narragansett Bay 151-155% 162 177
YRA of Long Island Sound 133% 156 171

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