Chrysler 26
Last updated: January 19, 2016
Copyright © 2000-2016 All rights reserved
A 1979 Chrysler 26 Sailboat
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Keel and Hull
Sail and Rigging
Double Mainsheet
Rigging Notes
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Here she comes


Putting the rail down

The boat has a typical mid 70's sail plan with large overlapping genoas and a small main. Most of the drive is from the foresail. The 5500 pound displacement is quite heavy, but based on our sailing experience the Chyrsler is well built with a resonable turn of speed. A number of people at have remarked the Chrysler 26 seems to be a fast boat under heavy or light wind conditions. The side decks are fairly narrow but she hanles rough weather well with a good "V" entry to take the waves. The fixed keel should be faster than a centerboarder except maybe downwind. The fixed keel also provides increased cabin space. The centerboard version is a plus in shallow water and for ease of trailering.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every aspect of boat design, and every boat constitutes a compromise of design characteristics. Here is information for the Chrysler 26 fin keel that was calculated from Carl's Sailing Calculator and John Holtrop's Boat Designs. Any one formula should not be used for determining vessel stability or if a vessel's design is seaworthy.

Cruiser/racer Categories are racer, racer/cruiser, cruiser/racer, and cruiser in order of descending performance. The Tanzer 26 is considered a cruiser/racer.
Hull speed is 6.29 This is the maximum speed of a displacement hull. Some racers and lighter boats are able to achieve greater speed by lifting over the bow wave and riding on top of the water (planing). The Tanzer 26 has a value of 6.36 knots. Formula: 1.34*lwl^.5 (speed in knots).
Displacement to length is 231 Low numbers are associated with high performance and quick response. A medium value would be 200 (cruising boat); 300 would be high (heavy cruising boat); and 100 would be low (ultra light displacement). Boats with a lower ratio accelerate faster, but may have an unacceptable motion in a seaway. A minimum value of 230 gives a boat with a nice blend of weight and reasonable performance. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 170. Formula: disp/2240/(.01*lwl)^3.
Sail area to displacement is 13.7 Ratio of power to weight. Calculated using the sail area of the main sail and the area of the front triangle (a 100% jib). A racing boat typically has large sail area and low displacement. A number less than 13 probably indicates that the boat is a motorsailer. High performance boats would be around 18 or higher. A minimum value of 14 is desired in a cruising boat with enough power to sail well but not so much that the crew is fatigued by constant sail changes or worried about the rig. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 15.7. Formula: sail area/(disp/64)/^.666.
Velocity ratio is 1.03 A measure of how well an ideal cruising boat will perform under sail. A well designed boat (adequate sail area and light weight hull) will have values between 1 and 1.1. Under powered or extra heavy boats will be less than 1. An all out racing boat will be as high as 1.8. An optimal range is 1.04 to 1.08. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 1.08. Formula: 1.88*lwl^.5*sail area^.333/disp^.25/(hull speed).
Length overall to beam ratio is 3.25 This ratio measures the fineness of the hull, provides an indication of interior storage space and nominal stability. Fine hulls, having ratios of 3.0 to 4.0 and higher, are long and slender which promotes easy motion, high speed (low drag), and good balance when heeled. A value of 2.8 to 3.2. is common for smaller vessels and normally increases to between 3.6 and 4.0 for those in excess of 40 feet. A ratio higher than these numbers may mean an excessively narrow boat, while a lower ratio may prove to be too beamy to sail well. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 3.04. Formula: loa/beam.
Length of water line to beam is 2.75 A medium value would be 2.7, 3.0 would be high, and 2.3 would be low. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 2.60. Formula: lwl/beam. 
Capsize risk is 1.75 A value less than 2 is considered to be relatively good; the boat should be relatively safe in bad conditions. The higher the number above 2 the more vulnerable the boat. Since safety is a very important feature in a cruising boat, a value of 1.8 gets full credit, anything over 2 scores zero. This is a rough estimate of merit. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 2.05. Formula: beam/(disp/(.9*64))^.333.
Motion comfort is 22.95 Range is from 5 to 60+. Large numbers indicate a smoother, more comfortable motion in a sea. A value of 30 to 40 would be an average cruiser. Racing designs are typically less than 30. This figure of merit was developed by the yacht designer Ted Brewer. Ted's recommendations were a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 50. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 16.01. Formula: disp/(.65*(.7*lwl+.3*loa)*beam^1.33).
Stability index is 1.10 This is term relating roll period and beam to stability. Values less than 1.0 are considered stiff. Values greater than 1.5 are considered tender. The Tanzer 26 has a value of 0.73. Formula: (2*PI*((disp^1.744/35.5)/(82.43*lwl*(.82*beam)^3))^.5)/(beam*.3048).

The July/August 1999 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 68-71, featured an article called "Brewer by the numbers - What's the meaning off all those numbers used by yacht designers?", by Ted Brewer providing an excellent extended list and definition of boat design characteristics.

The November/December 1999 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 61-64, featured more of Ted Brewer's formulas"The rest of the ratios: On helm balance".

The March/April 2000 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 18-21, featured "Is your boat stable? Top designer Ted Brewer explains stability and how it affects safety and speed". Note correction to capsize screening formula as noted in the Mail Buoy section of the May/June 2000 issue.

The July/August 2000 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 13-17, featured an article called "Keel design: What's best?", by Ted Brewer.

The September/October 2001 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 15-17, featured an article called "Resistance in yachts: Universal forces act to prevent or slow forward motion?", by Ted Brewer.

The January/February 2007 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 21-24, featured an article called "Four basic elements of yacht design", by Ted Brewer.

The September/October 2008 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 20-24, featured an article called "Seakindliness", by Ted Brewer. A rough guide to seakindliness is the Comfort Ratio.