Anyone have experience with Essex sailboats in the 26 foot range, built in the 1970's

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by kalalaukind, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. kalalaukind
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Asheville, NC

    kalalaukind New Member

    I am looking into taking over a project boat and can't find anything on the net regarding the vessel's design history. It is a 26 foot Essex with a fore and aft cabin and a fixed keel.

    http://www.sailingtexas.com/sessex26a.html

    Link is to the only other example I can find of this boat on the net.

    Any input/help from the forums would be huge!
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    John Cherubini designed the boat just before he started working at Hunter yachts (1972). It was available for only a few years, I don't think they made very many and it was rigged as a ketch or sloop. I'm fairly sure they used a modified Venture 25 mold. They look a little weird, but Cherubini drew up some nice stuff in his day, which could be a saving grace. I know where two of them are, both in lousy condition.

    Is there something specific you need to know?
     
  3. kalalaukind
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    kalalaukind New Member

    Thank you for the response and information. I am looking to acquire a 26' Essex Sloop from south Florida and was wondering if the design had any inherit flaws, lousy designer, or if they were known to be poor sailing performers. I know there were a couple of power boat builders who also built small sailboats in the 1970's that really were not so great and certainly not worth rebuilding. I wasn't sure if this Essex fell into that category. But, it sounds as though you have respect for this particular designer.

    Here is a link to the actual boat I am looking at and waiting for the owner to send me an equipment list and better photos before I make the drive to go see it. What do you think?

    http://tampa.craigslist.org/hdo/boa/1947505446.html

    boatdesign forums rock!
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Venture 25 wasn't the greatest boat in the world, but it wasn't any worse then the usual lot in that era. The Essex looks to have a bit more weight in the ends and possible more windage, but the majority of the "numbers" are available. Also John Cherubini was quite skilled and designed some very fine yachts in his career. Yep, that's the boat I rmember. There's one about 4 miles from me and a derelict, but in some guy's driveway. To me it's a 5 pound tit in a 2 pound bra, but to each his own I guess. A 26' ketch is silly, an aft cabin on a 23' LWL is silly.

    My recollection of these is they where fairly heavily built, though not especially well. They had cheap hardware and the usual "issues" can be found on a nearly half a century old, low end production boat. Check the chain plate landings and bulkhead/liner/hull shell interface for broken and delaminated tabbing.

    A little about John (> http://www.cherubiniyachts.com/john-cherubini.html <)

    A little about the Essex 26 (> http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3812 <)
     

  5. farmerjohn
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: japan

    farmerjohn New Member

    Essex 26

    My friend and I owned a 75? Essex 26 from 1986-88 or so. It was a great , fun boat.

    Flaws were it is underpowered by sail area, the mast is a good 10 feet shorter than anything else its size, the shoal keel does not work well to windward. Woodwork was cheap plywood. The main hatch configuration was strange.

    All that said, it was still a great boat. Think of it as the Oldsmobile of sailboats- big, comfy, forgiving. Where else can you get two cabins, wheel steering, and inboard engine well for 26 feet? Plenty of room inside, cockpit benches big enough to lay on. I still think it is more of a motorsailor and would even be suited to that purpose- drop the boom, keep the jib only, build a hardtop, put in a 9.9 or 15hp and it'll boogie.

    Have fun,

    john
     
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