Boat Review

June 2007 Issue

Balboa 26 Used Boat Test

Designed by Lyle Hess, this unsung, affordable pocket cruiser offers a big bang for the buck. Capable of trailering to windward and skimming through shallow water, it offers all the versatility of today’s trailer sailers at one-tenth of the price. The swing-keel hinge pin and rigging deserve a close look, however, and a cosmetic makeover can require some serious sweat equity.

As with all of Lyle Hess designs, the Balboa 26 statistics reveal the underpinnings of a seaworthy coastal cruiser. The Balboa's 3,600-pound displacement includes 1,200 pounds of ballast, by no means a lead mine, but the B26's 8-foot beam was carried well aft, and its reasonably full sections contributed form stability and helped make the little sloop a seakindly performer. With 293 square feet of working sail area, the B26 is close in potential performance to the Excalibur 26, Cal 25, and Columbia 26, all vaunted designs of the same era.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Practical Sailor

Get the next 7 issues of PRACTICAL SAILOR for just $19.97. And access all of our online content - more than 1,500 evaluations, reviews and articles on sailing gear, equipment and boats - free of charge. That's a savings of more than $14 off the regular rate. Or double your savings and subscribe for 14 issues for just $39.94.

Get Practical Sailor Digital

Get 12 months of PRACTICAL SAILOR DIGITAL for just $34. You get unlimited access to everything on the site including each monthly issue as a PDF.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Related Items