Atalanta 26

For Sale

$20,000 (CDN)

Located in Victoria BC Canada

Contact: John Denny

Email: john@aurorawoodwork.com

Telephone +1-250-652-1265


LOA---------------------- 26 ft.

LWL---------------------- 25 ft.

Beam-------------------- 7 ft .8 ½ in.

Draft --------------------  Keels raised            1 ft. 8 in.

----------------------------  Keels Lowered 5 ft. 9 in.

Displacement---------- 4000 lbs

Ballast------------------- 950 lbs.

Sail Area---------------- 280 sq. ft.

Headroom-------------- 5 ft. 8 in.

Hull---------------------- Hot moulded African agba laminate

Engine------------------- Yanmar YSM 12 Diesel

Mast--------------------- Spruce

Designer ---------------  UFFA FOX

Builder------------------ Fairey Marine, Hamble England

Date Launched-------- May 14, 1959

Original Owner-------- Roy Denny

Current Owner-------- John Denny

Complete Rebuild----- 1994 – 1998




Tenga is an excellent example of an Atalanta 26 designed by Uffa Fox, a legendary British naval architect, and loosely based on his airborne lifeboat that was air dropped to downed pilots in WWII.  Fairey Marine, the marine division of the company that built the legendary Mosquito Bomber, built Tenga in 1959 for Roy Denny, father of the current owner. The boat is built of hot moulded agba laminate, an African hardwood. Only 186 Atalanta 26 were built and they are currently regarded as rare classics.



The boat floats in a mere 20 inches of water when the keels are raised and can be trailed behind a large car. She handles like a dinghy, yet examples have been sailed across the Atlantic. It can even sleep a crew of eight!



The Atalanta 26 was a revolutionary design. Built by Fairey Marine, it not only looked radically different from everything that had been produced before, it was also the first true trailer-sailor. The concept for the boat came from Alan Vines, a senior executive at Fairey Aviation, the parent company of Fairey Marine.


Vines was a keen Firefly sailor, but faced with a growing family sought a bigger boat. Keen to find a vessel with the same seaworthiness and performance as the Firefly, Vines designed the 22' Sujanwiz. The hot moulded hull was based on a 15ft Albacore that Fairey Marine split in half, lengthened and widened. It proved a great success and Vines later suggested that Fairey Marine should build a larger version.


In 1955, Uffa Fox designed the 24' Atalanta, a bigger version of the Sujanwiz and the boat from which the 26' Atalanta class was developed. The first two class boats were launched in June 1956 and by 1968, when building ceased, 185 had been built.


Fairey Marine was an early advocate of hot moulding and was the first to apply the technique to boats. Hot moulding allows for high volume production at comparatively low cost and creates hulls that have a high strength to low weight ratio.


The Atalantas hull consists of four 2.5mm Agba laminates profiled and coated in a thermosetting resin. In the hot moulding process, these laminates were layered diagonally across the mould and secured with temporary staples at the keel, bilge and sheerline. The boat was then put in a vacuumed rubber bag in an autoclave, which was heated to 100 degrees for an hour.


Building by this method has long-term benefits as the hulls are very strong and have proven almost impervious to rot.


The Atalantas are a centre-cockpit design, with a cabin for two aft and a two berth cabin, galley and heads forward. The 6ft by 7ft (1.8 x 2m) wide self draining cockpit has room for six while a whipstaff tiller allows for the maximum space to be utilised.Aftview.jpg100_0514.jpg


All the main controls can be reached from the cockpit and the headsails and anchor can be dealt with by standing in the forehatch. The sail area of 240 sq ft is small for a 26 footer and can effect the boat in light weather (nothing a cruising chute or spinnaker can't sort) but they are extremely good in a blow and can stand up to a top force 5 with full rig up.

The 115 square ft Roller Furling genoa adds significantly to the sail area and some owners have replaced the fractional 3/4 rig with a Mast head one. The Atalantas can have weather helm on a fast reach but this can be countered by altering the position of the keels.


What makes the Atalantas particularly versatile is their shallow draught and retractable ballast keels. Each Keel weighs 480 Ibs (218 kg) and the boat draws 1' 6" with them raised and 5' 9" with them lowered. They are housed in keel boxes, situated on either side of the main bulkhead and pivot on a bolt. Galvanised steel plates on either side of the keels clamp them in position and hold them rigid, although a device allows it to kick up if the boat is run up a beach.


The Atalanta was one of the last wooden production boats to be built, but it has been a tremendous success. Not only do they have excellent cruising records, but they have the precise sailing ability of a dinghy. It was that combination that ensured their success.



Aft cabin provides plenty of sleeping space.


ForwardBerth.jpgThe forward cabin provides additional sleeping space. The head is in the forward bow.


Furnace.jpgHeating is provided by a built in stove.




The midship galley provides plenty of space.