Response to Practical Sailor Review of the P26
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Practical Sailor reviewed the P26 in the April 1, 1999 issue. The review is 4 pages and includes some interesting Pearson history and comments from P26 owners. I think it was a pretty good review of the boat. I found a few minor factual errors in the article but nothing that was too signifigant. This photo appeared on the PS cover. I scanned it from an original P26 sales brochure.

PS said the Renegade was introduced in 1996, should be 1967? Typo.

PS said the main bulkhead was tabbed to the hull with 3" overlapping layers. Maybe the fiberglass part of the bulkhead (where the chainplates attach) has a plywood core, but my P26 main bulkhead is not glassed in. In fact I have had it out of the boat (photo). It is screwed to the compression posts, the seat moldings in the floor pan, and the fiberglass part of the bulkheads outboard.

PS quoted Bill Shaw saying the hull/deck joint is an "inward" turning flange. It is outward(drawing). I think that was just a typo.

PS said the keel is secured by four keel bolts, there are eight(more info).

PS said there were 2 fixed ports in the forward sleeping compartment. They are in the head compartment (drawing). Funny they missed that since it's clear from the drawing on the same page that the ports are not in the v-berth.

PS said the boat tacks through 90 deg apparent wind. I think they meant true wind because 90 deg apparent would be pretty poor. And I question that - 95 to 100 would be more likely when you add the leeway angle.

And they said a few things I wouldn't agree with . . .

PS said the P26 "sails well with a 150% genoa in 16-18 knots of breeze" - I think we would be well past overpowered with that much sail in 16-18 knots, especially on the wind. We would likely be flying the working jib and making 6+ knots on a close reach in 16-18 knots true.

PS said the D/L and SAD were 17.1 and 228. That's for the OD. For the standard P26 I get 16.7 and 237. Not that the difference means anything. But they could have been more clear (more info on design ratios).

PS quoted Bill Shaw saying the rudder bearing wear is the result of the effects of long term use and silt. The rudder shaft is aluminum. If Pearson had switched to stainless as they did on the P30 (See PS P30 Review) the problem would have been much less severe. The aluminum shaft itself wears and corrodes. Several have failed resulting in rudder loss at sea (more info). I think the primary reason for this may be found in another quote from Mr. Shaw, "the other design target was price." I think the P26 is a wonderful and very well designed boat, but I think given the choice, Pearson would rather have used a stainless rudder shaft. Price probably did not allow that.

Overall it was a pretty good review and I agree with what they said about aesthetics, handling, accommodations and construction.

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