Practical Sailor 2016 Index
This 26-footer is totally unlike familiar racer/cruisers from Pearson, Catalina or Hunter. For openers, it looks like a hot rod. The fine entry of its plumb bow and reverse transom give it a grand prix look, as does its 8' 8" beam. The boat displaces only 2,900 pounds on a 22' 0" waterline. It has a 7/8 rig supported by a pair of swept-back spreaders. Standing rigging is 3/16" wire on the uppers, forestay and lowers, 5/32" on the intermediates and running backstays. Ease of movement along wide decks is assisted by inboard shrouds.
The Alberg 35 dates back to the dawn of big-time fiberglass sailboat building. Its production began in 1961, just a year after Hinckley stopped building production wooden sailboats. Two years earlier, in 1959, Pearson built the first Triton, the boat that was the prototype of the inexpensive, small family, fiberglass cruising sailboat. The Tritons big selling point was a low-maintenance hull that Mom and Pop and the kids didn't have to spend all spring in the boatyard, getting it ready for the summer.
The Catalina 27 has been in production since 1971, and well over 6,000 of them have been built. This is undoubtedly the largest production run of any 27' sailboat in US history, and probably the biggest anywhere. The flip side of the coin is that Catalinas are known as cheaply built boats, with lots of corners cut in places they shouldn't be cut.
We spoke with several owners of Cheoy Lee 42s and 36s for this article, and among the most seasoned was Kieron OConnell, a two-time owner of Cheoy Lee boats-first an Offshore 31, now a Cheoy Lee Clipper 42. OConnell sailed the 42 from California to Australia. He had this to say about the Cheoy Lee Clipper 42.
Designed by Peter Schmitt, the CSY 37 is the mid-sized boat in the CSY line. Eighty-seven of these raised-deck cutters were built, primarily for the Caribbean bareboat charter trade. Schmitt has combined some features most often found in traditional boats-the oval stem, raised deck, and semi-clipper bow-with a relatively modern underbody featuring a fairly long fin keel and a skeg-mounted rudder. On paper, the boat looks pretty good. In person, she is rather tubby and high-sided, but that tubbiness means added buoyancy-not such a bad thing to have in a blow.
While not the best boat for light-air sailing, the Union 36 is a good sailboat for the bluewater cruiser. It won't get you there fast, but it will get you there comfortably and in one piece. The boats teak decks and lavish use of interior wood is attractive but requires much upkeep and maintenance. A product of the Taiwan-U.S. boatbuilding industry, the Union 36 is a heavy-displacement, full-keel, cutter-rigged double-ender designed for ocean sailing. The Union 36 is nearly identical to several other boats built during the same period: the Hans Christian 36, Mariner Polaris 36, and the EO36. According to well-known naval architect Bob Perry, the Union 36 and its cousins are all based on the design of a 34-footer that Perry was commissioned to create back in the early 70s.
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.
As is typical of C&Cs, owners give the boat high marks for quality of construction, and in general, their enthusiasm is justified. The boat does, however, have a potential weak point. Hull: Like most C&Cs, the 40 was built with a balsa-cored hull. The result is a hull that is extremely stiff for its weight, but balsa coring is not without its potential for problems. In the event of delamination or rupture of the hull skin, the balsa coring can absorb moisture. Moisture penetration of the outer laminate could ultimately reach the balsa coring. It is imperative that a balsa-cored hull be carefully examined by a knowledgeable surveyor before purchasing a used boat.
Derived from C&C's Redline 41, this design had a long and successful production run. It lacks some of the amenities of 'full-volume'modern boats belowdecks, but is a tough, fast, seakindly boat offshore.