The Eventide 26 Sailboat

Many of the plywood-hulled, clinker-built, twin-keeled Eventide 26 sailboats were completed by home builders in the 1950s and 60s. 

An Eventide 26 sailboatMany thanks to George Wenman for submitting this pic of his Eventide 26 'Valerie' alongside in Port Owen, South Africa.

Published Specification for the Eventide 26

Underwater Profile: Twin keel

Hull Material:  Plywood

Length Overall: 26' 0" / 8.4m

Waterline Length: 22' 0" / 6.7m

Beam: 8' 0" / 2.5m

Draft: 3' 10" / 1.2m. A fin keeled version was also produced which drew 4'6".

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 11,023lb / 5,000kg

Designer: Maurice Griffiths

Builder: Various, designed for home builders

Year First Built: 1957

Year Last Built: ?

Number Built: not known

Owners Association: The Eventide Owners' Group

Published Design Ratios for the Eventide 26

Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: ?

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 25.6

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

Displacement/Length Ratio: 273

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

Comfort Ratio: 27.1

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Sailboat-Cruising.com says...

The Eventide 26 is a wooden or fiberglass sailboat that was designed by Maurice Griffiths in 1961. Griffiths was a famous British yacht designer and editor of Yachting Monthly magazine. He wanted to create a boat that was seaworthy, spacious and affordable for the average sailor. He based his design on the traditional Essex oyster smack, a type of fishing boat that had a shallow draft, a long keel and a gaff rig.

The Eventide 26 can carry up to 400 square feet (37.16 square meters) of sail area on its gaff rig, which consists of a mainsail, a topsail, a staysail and a jib. It can also be fitted with a Bermudan rig, which has a triangular mainsail and a genoa.

The Eventide 26 has a spacious cockpit that can accommodate up to six people. It also has a cozy cabin that can sleep up to four people. The cabin has a galley, a chart table, a toilet and plenty of storage space. The interior layout can vary depending on the builder's preference, but it usually follows the original design by Griffiths.

What are the strengths of the Eventide 26?

One of the main strengths of the Eventide 26 is its seaworthiness. The boat has a sturdy hull that can withstand rough seas and strong winds. It has a long keel that provides stability and directional control. It has a high freeboard that keeps the deck dry and safe. It has a gaff rig that is easy to handle and reef in changing conditions.

Another strength of the Eventide 26 is its spaciousness. The boat has a generous beam that gives it plenty of room inside and outside. The cockpit is large enough for socializing and sailing. The cabin is comfortable enough for living and sleeping. The boat can carry enough supplies and equipment for long voyages.

A third strength of the Eventide 26 is its affordability. The boat is relatively cheap to buy and maintain compared to other sailboats of its size and class. It can be built from wood or fiberglass using simple tools and materials. It can be sailed by one or two people without requiring expensive or complicated systems.

What are the weaknesses of the Eventide 26?

One of the main weaknesses of the Eventide 26 is its speed. The boat is not very fast compared to other sailboats of its size and class. It has a low aspect ratio rig that limits its windward performance. It has a shallow draft that reduces its waterline length and hull speed. It has a heavy displacement that increases its drag and inertia.

Another weakness of the Eventide 26 is its maneuverability. It has a long keel that makes it hard to turn and tack. It has a gaff rig that creates more windage and heel than a Bermudan rig. It has a large rudder that requires more effort to steer.

A third weakness of the Eventide 26 is its outdatedness. The boat is based on an old design that does not reflect the latest developments in yacht design and technology. It does not have modern features such as self-tailing winches, roller furling sails, autopilot, GPS or solar panels. It does not have contemporary aesthetics such as sleek lines, bright colors or stylish fittings.

What are the limitations of the Eventide 26?

One of the main limitations of the Eventide 26 is its light wind performance. It has a low sail area to displacement ratio that reduces its power and acceleration. It has a heavy hull that requires more wind to move. 

Another limitation of the Eventide 26 is its offshore capability. It does not have a self-righting hull that can recover quickly from a knockdown or capsize. It does not have a watertight bulkhead that can isolate a leak or a collision.

A third limitation of the Eventide 26 is its availability. The boat is not widely available compared to other sailboats of its size and class. It is not mass-produced by a major manufacturer, but rather custom-built by individual builders or owners. It is not easy to find on the market, especially in good condition and at a reasonable price. 

Why should you choose the Eventide 26?

Despite its weaknesses and limitations, the Eventide 26 is still a great sailboat for the recreational sailor and the sailing enthusiast. It is a boat that offers tradition, beauty and performance in a simple and affordable package. It is a boat that can take you on memorable adventures, whether you want to sail along the coast, explore distant islands or cross the ocean. It is a boat that can give you joy, satisfaction and pride.

If you are looking for a sailboat that has character, history and charm, you might want to choose the Eventide 26. This classic design has been around for over 60 years, but it still has a lot to offer to the modern sailor. Whether you want to cruise, explore or adventure, the Eventide 26 can be your reliable and comfortable companion.

This additional info was drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material and believes it to be accurate to the best of their knowledge.

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