Alex McGruer designed the Grampian 26 in 1967 and subsequently, the Grampian 30. McGruer’s family has been involved in boat building since 1911. His family started building boats on the Clyde Estuary in Scotland. The Grampian Hills from where the Grampian boats obtained their name are located in this area of Scotland. Grampian Marine in Oakville, Ontario, built most of the Grampian 26 and 30’s though some were built east of Cornwall at Summerstown, Ontario. Just over 1,000 Grampian 26s were built from 1967 through 1977. (Nearly 200 were ordered during the first year alone.) Despite their best attempts, Taddle Creek Yachts, of Toronto, were unable to revive interest in the design in 1987.
Various versions of the original boat were built. A centreboard model was made available but the majority of the boats were built with fixed keels. Most boats were outboard-powered but a number were outfitted with inboard engines. The presence of a transom cut-out will identify what the original configuration was. The first inboard Grampian 26s had Palmer Gasoline engines that were eventually replaced with 8hp Yanmar diesels. Towards the end of the Grampian’s production life, a small number of a raised deck version was built. This model, known as the Discovery, was designed to provide a sleeker and less "boxy" vessel.
Small changes were made to the construction of the boats over the 10 years it was built.. Early versions have a slightly steeper slope to the forward end of the coach roof and lacked the ridge above the ports that was added later. The wood toe rail was replaced with an aluminium rail. Ports also vary; with some boats having opening ports, while some had larger or smaller ports.
A roller-reefing mainsail system was initially installed but on many vessels still in existence, this has been converted to a jiffy reefing system. The boats were designed with end-of-boom mainsail sheeting, with the sheets being lead to blocks on either quarter. Again many owners have changed this to a track-and-car arrangement either at the rear of the vessel or just in front of the companionway. The original cockpit headsail sheet winches used the flat winch handles and were undersized for large genoas. Again many owners have upgraded these winches.
Headsail and main halyards were raised using similar winches on the mast. Some owners have made modifications to permit full control from the cockpit and many have installed roller-furling head sheets.
Due to some flexing if the deck around the mast especially when a tight rig is employed, some owners have installed additional support below around the doors in the fore and aft cabins.
The interior is roomy for the size of boat and while the layout design is old it does boast a six-foot plus headroom and sleeping space for five. The galley has a sink and stove while the icebox is located in the cockpit. A private head and a hanging locker separate the aft cabin from the forward V-berth cabin that allows two six-foot adults to sleep comfortably.
Few major problems have been identified by the owners of this great little boat that although it is not the prettiest to look at, displays above normal sailing capabilities in most types of weather. Still extremely popular, many boats are still commanding a good price especially those that have seen lots of TLC.
GRAMPIAN 26 HISTORY
|G26 Mast Support|
|Corgraff Castle in the Grampian Hills|