Etap 26

The largest of the lifting-keel Etaps, launched in 1981, the 26 manages a

proper heads compartment amidships and an inboard engine powering

a saildrive. She is designed to right herself with the keel fully up, but many

owners tend to sail with it permanently down, because the mechanism

for lifting this large chunk of ballast manually requires a good 15 minutes

of winch-grinding at the foot of the mast. Some 26s have an electric servo

motor to relieve this burden. The deck-stepped 7/8 fractional rig has swept-

back spreaders and an adjustable backstay. All sail controls are led back to

the cockpit. She is fast and commendably stiff under sail, and goes well to

windward with a tacking angle of 75-80º, but needs to be sailed fairly flat

to avoid weather helm. She has an unusual cabin layout, dictated by the

large lifting keel. The chart table is at the forward end of the saloon and the

navigator is obliged to work sitting sideways-on. She has four sea-going

berths, or potentially five at anchor: two straight settees in the saloon, one of

which converts to a double, and a vee-berth in the forepeak.

LoA 7.8m (25ft 5in) LWL 6.6m

(21ft 7in) beam 2.8m (9ft) Draught 1m to 1.6m (3ft 1in to

5ft 3in) Displacement 2,270kg

(5,000lb) YM test report

February 1982