Nic 26 experience/opinions please...

V1701

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Hello all,
I'm struggling to find much information about these, there is an owners site but not much on there, I do know that not many were built. There is a favourable review from YM scanned in on one of the posts on the owners forum, but then the reviewer was the guy who designed it. Also on the owners forum members list there are web sites listed for some of the members that I've begun to trawl, they seem mostly to be for their businesses though (one took me to a site advertising a sex tape of Kendra Wilkinson, whoever she is)...
Back to the boat, the LWL is only 20 feet and it's heavy so is it slow compared to, say, a Vega? I am after something small (25-30 feet) for about £10k or bit less, fit for longer passages, so Vega, Halcyon 27 or similar. Vega is the main contender so far...
Cheers,
David.
 

Porthandbuoy

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Nicholson 26

I've got a Nic 26, Ladybird of Rhu. I drew up quite a long short-list of capable well-built cruisers in the 26' +/- a few feet range.

Of the Nicholson 26's only 64 were ever built with, to my knowledge two different layouts. Mine has a single cabin with heads up for'rard, unlike the picture below.

As you point out the waterline length is a mere 20' which implies a max speed of @ 6kts. In practice she can do better than that due to her overhangs, which increase the WLL when she heels.

nicholson_26_drawing.jpg
 

alant

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Forum member "Gunfleet" has had one for years and been all over the French coast in it. He hasn't been on the forum for a bit but if you send him a PM and tell him I said he was the source of all knowledge on these boats, I am sure he will fill you in.

http://www.ybw.com/forums/member.php?u=674

If you click on that link you should go to his profile.

Almost identical to a Contessa 26, with slightly different top.

http://www.contessa26.net/content/view/1/2/

http://www.go-sail.co.uk/nicholson26.asp
 

SailBobSquarePants

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Nicholsons...

I haven't sailed the 26, but I own the 32, and what I can typify Nichs as is:

1) Incredibly well built, blue-water capable boats, with fantastic construction for the day. That means lots of nice joinery and teak, lots of less-than-modern epoxy/fiberglass layup. As a result, they are strong but heavy hulls, with some having a tendency to blister. On the other hand, if they haven't sunk yet, they ain't going to...pop those blisters and put some epoxy on it...

2) A design from a perspective of heavy weather sailing, not fast coastal cruising. On the other hand, if all you are doing is local cruising, how badly do you need that extra knot and 3 degrees of pointing? And if you want to make up that knot, feathering props are cheapish...

3) A great marque - the Nicholson name still has some remnants of prestige, and still has a beautiful design - I sail mine into Cowes and never feel bad that she is 44 years old - in fact we are rather proud of her. The 26 is, in my mind, a descendant of the Nicholson South Coast One Design, which is a hell of a pedigree.
 

Bajansailor

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They are lovely wee yachts for sure - another similar type is the Bowman 26, but there were probably even less of these built.

Here is a nice review of the Nicholson 26 from Yachting World 20 years ago, in the days when they still liked little yachts......

Nicholson26P1.jpg


Nicholson26P2.jpg


Nicholson26P3.jpg


These scans are approximately 600 kb each in size, hence it is probably easier to read them if you save them to your machine first.
 

john_morris_uk

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That looks EXACTLY like a SCOD inside and out - but then Nicholson designed them both.

I imagine it sails and handles in an identical manner. I remember taking a friend sailing with me on our SCOD. He was a very experienced offshore yachstman but had only ever sailed modern fin keeled yachts. I remember the look on his face when the wind blew up and the SCOD just leaned over and went faster. He used to laugh that the only concession I made until it got really bad was to open the leech of the genoa at the head a bit. He also wondered why we took so long to tack until he tried it; compared to a fin keeled boat you lean on the tiller and wait.....

Its not all good though. I handed it over to him to take into the berth one day and when he realised that it didn't spin on a sixpence under power either and 4.5 tonnes on 26 foot doesn't stop instantly with only 9 hp of diesel. In fact his face went white when he realised that parking the thing was not like parking his dinghy.
 
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Kelpie

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That's exactly what I thought- a plastic SCOD! And that is not a bad thing. They look virtually identicla to me, but the Nic26 seems to have a more cutaway forefoot and it is masthead as well.

I've sailed a friend's SCOD so can compare it to my own boat, a Vega.
My friend liked his boat because he prefered the security of the much heavier displacement, keel stepped mast, full length keel, and transom hung rudder. Things like the anchor chain arrangement is much more seamanlike, keeping the weight in the right place. He lived aboard the boat for two years and at 6ft+ wouldn't have been comfortable in a Vega. He also got the boat to Norway and back which was quite an achievement.

However there is no denying that the Vega has the legs on the heavier, shorter boat. When sailing in company I found that I needed to take a few rolls in the genoa to let the SCOD keep up. Of course I never actually beat him in a race but that wasn't down to the boat!

For the type of cruising SWMBO and I do, we are glad we have the Vega instead. Big roomy cockpit with ample space for dogs- we tried them on the SCOD and there was just nowhere for them to go. You can barely fit three people in the SCOD's cockpit at the same time. Much, much more stowage space on the Vega. Generally better passage times and light wind performance, meaning our engine can stay off more of the time. And despite the extra headroom, the SCOD's saloon doesn't feel quite as spacious, probably because of the shorter setees with trotter boxes.

There are also about 3,400 more Vegas than Nic26s, so you're more likely to find one for sale. It all depends on what sort of sailing you want to do, really.
 

john_morris_uk

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That's exactly what I thought- a plastic SCOD! And that is not a bad thing. They look virtually identicla to me, but the Nic26 seems to have a more cutaway forefoot and it is masthead as well.

I've sailed a friend's SCOD so can compare it to my own boat, a Vega.
My friend liked his boat because he prefered the security of the much heavier displacement, keel stepped mast, full length keel, and transom hung rudder. Things like the anchor chain arrangement is much more seamanlike, keeping the weight in the right place. He lived aboard the boat for two years and at 6ft+ wouldn't have been comfortable in a Vega. He also got the boat to Norway and back which was quite an achievement.

However there is no denying that the Vega has the legs on the heavier, shorter boat. When sailing in company I found that I needed to take a few rolls in the genoa to let the SCOD keep up. Of course I never actually beat him in a race but that wasn't down to the boat!

For the type of cruising SWMBO and I do, we are glad we have the Vega instead. Big roomy cockpit with ample space for dogs- we tried them on the SCOD and there was just nowhere for them to go. You can barely fit three people in the SCOD's cockpit at the same time. Much, much more stowage space on the Vega. Generally better passage times and light wind performance, meaning our engine can stay off more of the time. And despite the extra headroom, the SCOD's saloon doesn't feel quite as spacious, probably because of the shorter setees with trotter boxes.

There are also about 3,400 more Vegas than Nic26s, so you're more likely to find one for sale. It all depends on what sort of sailing you want to do, really.

I guess the sailing experience with all of the boats mentioned is actually pretty similar. For the OP its a matter of whether the boat fits his needs (can he get in the cockpit - is the accomodation stowage big enough) along with normal questions as to whether the boat he is looking at is in a good enough condition for the money.

I must admit that we found the lack of stowage in the SCOD very frustrating and it was one of the factors that lead us to sell it.
 

Little Five

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Hello all,
I'm struggling to find much information about these, there is an owners site but not much on there, I do know that not many were built. There is a favourable review from YM scanned in on one of the posts on the owners forum, but then the reviewer was the guy who designed it. Also on the owners forum members list there are web sites listed for some of the members that I've begun to trawl, they seem mostly to be for their businesses though (one took me to a site advertising a sex tape of Kendra Wilkinson, whoever she is)...
Back to the boat, the LWL is only 20 feet and it's heavy so is it slow compared to, say, a Vega? I am after something small (25-30 feet) for about £10k or bit less, fit for longer passages, so Vega, Halcyon 27 or similar. Vega is the main contender so far...
Cheers,
David.
Have a look at the Sabre 27. Google it and you will find the owners assocation. There are sabre for sale there and a forum.
 

V1701

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Thanks all for the responses. I have to say I really fancy a Vega, do have quite a lot to store, not least of which folding bike and full dive kit inc. a tank or two. I am 5'7" so fit the Vega quite nicely, enough room for me to live on comfortably. The Nic I was looking at has just had a deposit paid on it and going to see another Vega tomorrow. Maybe the gods are trying to tell me something, but then I don't believe in any of that...:)
 

Kelpie

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This Nic is at a pretty good price- new sails, recent engine, windvane...

http://falmouth.boatshed.com/nicholson_26-boat-121211.html


But I don't see how you would fit a folding bike and scuba gear into it. Maybe if you use the forepeack as a storage space, and sleep in the saloon.

The Vega and the Nic are built to different design philosophies, which is evident by their repsective displacements. What sort of sailing are you wanting to do?
 

V1701

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This Nic is at a pretty good price- new sails, recent engine, windvane...

http://falmouth.boatshed.com/nicholson_26-boat-121211.html


But I don't see how you would fit a folding bike and scuba gear into it. Maybe if you use the forepeack as a storage space, and sleep in the saloon.

The Vega and the Nic are built to different design philosophies, which is evident by their repsective displacements. What sort of sailing are you wanting to do?

Yeah that's the one I was looking at, you can see why I was tempted but broker's just taken a deposit. I want to go to the Med in a year or 2, and on to SE Asia I think (I know, pirates...). I think Nic or Vega could handle it couldn't they though? I am obviously on a budget, even if I wasn't I don't think there are many more modern boats of similar size that would handle longer voyages as well, or are there?

Edit: I live aboard as well, the last year comfortably on a 1989 Jeanneau Sun Dream 28 which was my first boat, now going older, cheaper, tougher...
 
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Kelpie

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Well somebody's getting a good deal with that Nic, shame it isn't you.

For long distance live-aboard cruising, I think you'd find the Nic just wouldn't have enough stowage, IMHO. The Vega has proven herself to a tough little boat, I'm sure you know their reputation as circumnavigators. There's even one attempting the NW passage this year, which I think is pushing it a bit for a GRP boat.

The Vega does have the advantage of safety in numbers- with 3,500 or so of them, somebody else is bound to have encountered every sort of problem already- and thanks to Steve at the VAGB this wealth of knowledge is easily accessed.

Still, probably best not to wed yourself to one particular make/model of boat- be realistic with your requirements and then look for the boat that meets them and is well equipped and well priced (like that Nic you missed out on... windvane, recent engine, 2 good sets of sails, that was a bit of a bargain!)

Out of curiosity, why are you so sure you need to move on from the Jeanneau? Accepted wisdom? Or experience of finding its limits?
 

Seajet

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Waterline Length

The fable of waterline length equating to speed, ;'1.4 X square root of wetted length ' is just that, a fable.

My boat has a waterline length of 19'3", but regulalrly passes much larger boats like Rival 34's to windward in a F6 +; and she is not a planing, ultra-high speed job.

Waterline length is a useless guide; rig efficiency, wetted area drag and ballast ratio are much more useful considerations, and I'm afraid the Nich' 26 doesn't come out well when thinking of these...

As for stowage, if you can't find space on a 26' boat, you're bringing too much junk !
 

fisherZ

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I owned that particular Nic from 2003 for about a year.
It had been out of the water for a couple of years when I bought it , and the hull was still very damp (apparently all Nics of that era were).

I would say it was priced about right, as it was struggling to sell even at a reduced price of 10k, not long after the updates were done.
Although I think it was minus the windvane.

It's a narrow boat for it's length, compared to what you already have.
Very pretty outside, but less 'liveaboard' than the Vega IMHO.
 
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