Chrysler 26
Last updated: January 7, 2018
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A 1979 Chrysler 26 Sailboat
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Skean-dhu's sail number

Avocet's sails are from Doyle in Mississauga, Ontario (1996): a fully battened main and a 150 Genoa on a Harken furling system. Nothing beats furling for ease of sailing or reefing when you need to. The main has two sets of reefing points. The sails are stored on board for the winter and the main is left on the boom since it's nicely flaked and easy to install in the spring. The furling drum is set up following the instructions for the non-swage type fitting on the forestay. The washer keeps the foil from contacting and turning the fitting but the foil should be lifted up somewhat before tightening the foil "grabber". The furling line goes through the stantion feet all the way to the stern to the cleat mounted on the starboard side of the seat coaming just in front of the stern pulpit. The sheets are run outside of all the rigging to the toe rail mounted block, then through the large coaming mounted turning block to the winch and to the clam cleat. While strong halyard tension isn't needed on the genoa to make the sail look good and the furling to work well, too little tension can cause halyard wrap -- see the 2001 log.

The main halyard is external and there is an extra halyard for the DRS. Halyards and cunnighham line are led aft. The main halyard exits the mast, through the turning block and down the deck to the cleat. The DRS halyard (both ends) is flipped over the side stays to keep it out of the way and clipped to the toe rail near the side stays and the bitter end made fast to a cleat on the mast. Both reefing lines turn through the same block on the port side of the deck and through the clam cleat back at the cockpit. To use the first reef pull both lines and cleat the red (taking up the slack on the black) and if the second reef is needed pull the black. The reef tack is hooked at the gooseneck.

Mr. Ugly

The sail number 738 does not correspond to the hull serial number. This boat came in with another in late 1979 and the other boat's sail number is only two digits off this one at 736. Chrysler apparently built between 1000 and 1100 C-26's over the 4 years they were in production. Some manufactures restarted the number count each year, whereas Chrysler did not. Rik Sneeuwjagt, the former web master of the Chrysler Sailing Association Web Site indicated that most of the documentation demonstrates that Chrysler did not follow a particular rhyme or reason for allocation of sail numbers . . . "we've found multiple boats having the same sail numbers, and most of the time the sail numbers do not correspond with the hull identification numbers posted on the transoms of the boats. One Chrysler factory worker who worked on manufacturing these boats in the 1970's indicated that Chrysler did not follow any one set of guidelines for establishing sail numbers."

Flying the spinnaker

Also on board is a DRS in a sock - an asymmetrical cruising spinnaker. The second owner called the DRS "Mr. Ugly" since that's what it could be like if flown in winds over 12 knots or so. The sail is great fun to fly but because there is no spinnaker pole it's a little less controllable than a normal spinnaker (especially dead downwind). The sock makes it extremely easy to douse however. Mike and I have been flying the DRS since 2009. The photo on the left was taken in 2010.

The July/August 1999 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 22-29, featured an article called "New sails for good old boats: Get maximum value in replacement mains and jibs", by Sven Donaldson.