Friday, August 22, 2014

Snapdragon 26

In many respects a Snapdragon 26 is similar to a Westerly Centaur*. Their internal volumes are roughly identical, the Westerly displacing 6,700 lbs and the Snapdragon 4,500 lbs. Both offer comparable caravan-type accommodation. The main difference between them is the configuration of their keels. The most popular version of the Snapdragon has bilge keels; others have fin keels. Either way, the keels are encapsulated, unlike the Centaur’s, which are of cast iron bolted to the hull. The Snapdragon’s keels are upright, but the Centaur’s are splayed. The latter are more efficient for windward sailing; however, when it comes to settling in mud, splayed keels are subjected to unfair forces tending to push them apart. In some cases this has caused leaks where the keel bolts pass through the hull. Snapdragon keels are not fault free, because over time, the GRP becomes worn at their bases, necessitating them to be shoed.

Snapdragon 26s were designed by L. Wakefield, and about 200 of them were built between 1966 and 1969 by Thames Marine at Canvey Island, Essex, England.  If you are looking for a cheap family cruising yacht, good value ones can be found for as little as £3,500.

*Westerly Centaur


Snapdragon 26 Sailboat

Centaur 26 - Sailboat

Thames Marine UK

Snapdragon, Mirage and Invader Association

The Island Sailing Club – Canvey Island (Where Snapdragon, Mirage and Invader Association events are held.)

1968 Snapdragon 26 Fin Keel Version for Sale in Kent £3,450

Snapdragon 26 Twin Keel version for Sale in Devon £3,950

Snapdragon 26 – This boat has been sold, but good photos.

Snapdragon 747 – Smaller sister to the 26


Unknown said...

Hello Bill, I'm sure I've seen that Snapdragon on ebay,'Lazy Otter' rings a bell. Is the steel yacht lying behind her the Dutch boat you featured the other day?
Thankyou for warning me to check the sails out on the Ballerina. The jib/genoa isn't on roller reefing, which suggests that at least theres no U/V damage. I also found a nearly brand new mainsail cover while I was rooting about below. I would say that she is probably one of the clearly best loved boats Andy has for sale. When I go again, I'll try to pick a fairly calm day so I can get the sails out of their bags and check them out. Apart from the usual, rips and tears, missing hanks and the like, what else would you reccomend that I look for?

William Serjeant said...

Hi Richard,

The steel yacht astern of 'Lazy Otter' is the one I featured.

If you are seriously interested in the Ballerina, the owner may be open to offers.