I have owned a Hughes Northstar 26 for the past year and my wife and I have sailed the boat extensively this past summer in the coastal waters of Conception Bay, Newfoundland. I'm interested in any information or interesting tidbits about this boat. I've searched many internet sites revealing little discussion about the design. Being a Sparkman and Stephens design, I'm sure there must be some positive things about the performance of this boat. I plan on keeping the boat for a good while and have done some extensive upgrades to her and will continue this until the boat is pristine.Looking forward to anything anyone would like to add.
North Star 26 owners,I took delivery of a new North Star 26 from the factory in August 1976. Huron Park was on the site of a WW II airfield NW of London, Ontario. The head of the company at that time was Ted Lane who had a record of successes as a competitive sailor.North Star Yachts was a successor to the original Hughes operation. It went through a succession of ownership changes involving Hughes, Great Lakes Steel, a consortium of local investors and ended, if I recall correctly, as Aura yachts building some Columbia models as well as some S&S designs.The NS 500 was a 1/4 tonner but was soon outdated by lighter designs. It had a fairly flat deck and usual power was an Atomic 4. The 600 was much the same boat with greater freeboard and a raised cabin. The NS 26 kept the same hull but with reduced draft and a shorter rig. The later models of the 26 had an enclosed head compartment rather than the head under the V berth. The standard power for the NS 26 was an Atomic 2, a less common Universal product with adequate power and wonderful fuel economy. My experience with the 26 sailing on Lake Huron was generally enjoyable and positive. The only problem was repeated transmission failure. In three seasons I had five different units in the boat. The original was a direct drive as were the next three. Probably not a good choice. The last was a reduction drive unit which required modification of the engine bed and a new prop. After significant frustration with transmission problems, 2-footitis set in an I traded up to a larger boat.