There’s something about the Westerly Griffon 26’s determined dedication to simplicity which gives this little sloop designed by the late Ed Dubois a certain style writes W M Nixon. For starters, describing her as “little” seems immediately inappropriate, for if ever the phrase “big-hearted” was on target, it’s right here on a 26-footer which proves to be a genuine family cruiser, yet with a surprisingly zippy performance. An example of this sailing cruiser is currently for sale on Afloat.ie here.
But then, that’s what you’d expect from a designer of wide-ranging talents who went on to include the overall winner of the 1987 Fastnet Race, the Dubois 40 Irish Independent, among his many successful creations. For the Dubois 40 was yet to come when he first sketched out the lines for the Westerly Griffon in 1979. Yet at a time when boats were tending to become larger, this gallant craft punched above her weight to such good effect that the Westerly Griffon 26 Mark I stayed in production for three years with 329 boats being built, following which the Mark II was introduced with an up-graded interior.
The real Griffon aficionados tend to reckon there’s something more genuine about the Mark I, so this boat will be to their taste - as a 1980 boat, she’s plumb in the middle of the initial production line. However, dedication to having everything original has its limits, and your Mark I devotee will be pleased to note that this dark blue version had a new more powerful 20hp Beta Diesel fitted in 2009, which makes sense in every way.
She’s realistically priced at €9,950 with Crosshaven Boatyard. And for those with pre-conceived notions about a 26-footer being a decidedly small boat, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Read More on Westerly Griffons here.