Ken asked advice as he was considering purchasing either a Buccaneer 24 or a Grampian 26. (http://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/grampian-26-sail.57109/)..
The best reply I think came from a guy named Eric...
"..I have a G-26 and have sailed her for the past 5 years. Let's get to the point and tell you why I love this boat.
First of all she is built like a tank mine is a 1973 vintage and you can't beat the strength of her hull and rigging.
The Grampian is also the biggest boat for your dollar. I have refit mine from the keel up and I know her inside out now. Some of the things that I have done is redesign the galley and salon area and added custom cabinets throughout. I have also rewired her and given her all the love and care that she deserves.
To make a long story short I love this boat.
As for your questions regarding too much boat. [ ".. The Bucc only displaces 3000 lbs compared to the Grampian's 5200.."] I like to think that your best choice is to go with the Grampian for the following reasons.
1- The heavier boat is more stable in gusty wind conditions. Don't be mistaken though you should always reduce sail before getting into trouble.
2- The Grampian 26 has an extremely responsive and light helm and when the sails are balanced properly.
3- The amount of cabin space is ideal for both short and medium range cruising. My partner and I have been on weekend and weeklong cruises with my daughter and our dog.
4- The hull shape and lines make her fast, faster than most want to admit, I have hit over 6 knts sustained before. So my arguments for the G-26 are strickly from my own experiences. Not sure if you are aware or not but the Ottawa river can produce instant wind shifts of 15-20 degrees with speeds up to 50knts and sometimes gusting higher. I have sailed my Grampian in these conditions under reefed canvas of course but the boat handled itself well. Best of luck to you and if you have any questions please ask away. Cheers and happy sailing"
jimq26 also suggested the Grampian 26..
"Go with Grampian for space -Your 26 ft. Grampian has as much living space as most 30 ft. boats. Your daughter will enjoy the privacy of the huge fore cabin along with private head access. The two boys can share the port side double berth, and you can have the starboard berth. Nice to have the over 6 ft. headroom as well. Sorry - not familiar with the Buccaneer so can't comment.
So did William..
I had a Grampian 26, It handled beautifully in all conditions. Make sure to have a electric fuel pump, $20.00. The heavier weight plows through the water. But is harder on the anchors, Our recent huricanes here in Florida, showed that the heavier boats broke anchor. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. i sadly found out, have parts and pieces.draerwm
Another Grampian 26 praise elsewhere at sailboatowners.com..
I had a grampian 26 some years ago, best boat i ever had, tough boat, very well built, and great to sail, mine had everything cockpitt lead, had a racing foil on the forestay, two of us, could be getting one sail up on the foil before even bringing the other sail down, and we could have the sail that went up rigged as the other sail was coming down. Head was an excellent design, doors open either way, and make you feel you are in a big space, when you were discharging cargo.
Really good boat, i had planned to sail mine to the uk, from florida, but had to sell it. Bought an irwin 35 couple of years later, and spent most of my time in the atlantic, wishing i was on the Grampian.
One thing i didnt like, was the open cockpitt with the outboard hung on, and the sea able to just sweep in.
I could go on quoting comments which praise the Grampian 26.. and in case your wondering, I've not come across any negative comments for the Grampian 26 at all, anywhere!.. Except that she's ugly