24 Runabout Vanquish Boats

Best 26-Foot Dual Console

Stability & Style for the Refined Boater



By: Christopher Hughes


As our lives become busier and, how we spend our free time has evolved and become more important. This time crunch impacts every aspect of our lives, including how we boat. Enjoying time on the water with family and friends builds lifelong memories, helps to destress from a fast-paced life, and is relaxing and therapeutic. Of course, having the right boat makes all the difference, and knowing what boat is best for you can be confusing. Many builders focus their design around how a boat looks at a boat show, trying to cram as many features in as possible. The reality is that boaters appreciate the right features, not the most. The Vanquish Boats 26 Dual Console is a perfect example. Designed by Doug Zurn, well known for ultra-stable, smooth running, very efficient hulls, the 26DC capitalizes on this DNA to become a new American classic.

One of the most striking attributes boaters first notice about the 26DC is her classic styling, a throwback to the days when only the very wealthy could afford the enjoyment of boating. Her classic New England look is one that has become a status symbol all around the world, born from the old days of wooden sport boats like Chris-Craft, Hackercraft, and Riva. Unlike the old days, she is a technically advanced boat, leveraging the latest in materials, technology, CAD (computer aided design), and generational handmade craftsmanship. The result is a boat that delivers the ideal balance of comfort, style, practicality, usable space, exceptional ride, and durrability.

Geometry is everything! What makes the 26DC the best boat in class is the combination of her style and hull design. Her advanced geometry hull delivers the smoothest and most stable ride in a 26-foot boat. By carefully managing the deep-V entry, the shape, and the positioning of the lifting strakes, and utilizing a variable deadrise, designer Doug Zurn has created a next-generation family day boat. Wave energy is used, instead of discarded, which adds to the stability of the 26DC and also enables her to remain smooth in conditions that would be uncomfortable for other boats her size. Most builders do not go the extra mile in boats under 30 feet with regard to hull design and engineering; instead, they tend to focus on adding as many features as possible. But at the end of the day, what will you the boater appreciate more, a better, more comfortable ride, or a long list of features and an ok or even bad ride? Like cars, you get what you pay for, and the team at Vanquish Boats has been hyper-focused on ensuring she is the best 26DC on the market.

Looking more closely at the overall design you will notice that she looks narrow. She is, and there is a very good reason. For a boat to travel most efficiently and smoothly across the water, there is a golden ratio of length to beam, and the 26DC, along with the 26CC and 26RA, all have it. It also means that less energy is needed to propel the boat, which translates into much better fuel economy, allowing for more time on the water.

When it comes to versatility, the 26DC ticks all the boxes. If you are a looking to get back on the water after being away for a few years, she offers a layout that is equally suited for short trips in the morning or evening, or for spending the entire day on the water. If you are an experienced boater looking to upgrade, you will appreciate features such as the helm layout, excellent visibility, and easy docking. She has large, matching helm and companion seats with retractable armrests, swivel 360 degrees, and sturdy fold-up bolsters. The companion console boasts a proper head, with holding tank, and enough room for a full-sized adult to change out of a wet bathing suit. Behind the companion seat is a food and drink prep area with a fold-up Corian top, sink, and a refrigerator is below.

At the bow, which is beautifully upholstered and quite comfortable, is a Corian table with fiddles, perfect for a relaxing meal. Of course, there are copious amounts of storage under all the seating and in the two sole lockers. A nice touch from Vanquish is that the aft under-seat storage has bin inserts, making it easy to keep clean, and allowing for additional storage underneath for items used less frequently.

If much of your boating will consist of harbor cruising, dock & dines, and entertaining, the above-mentioned features are a nice asset. Adding to the comfort and usablilty, the main seating area consisting of half of the entire boat. With a large “L” shaped seating area to port and loveseat lounger to starboard, the 26DC lets you easily invite ten of your friends to come along and enjoy the fun.

Boarding all your friends is a snap through the transom door. We should also point out that her floating height makes side boarding from floating docks equally as convenient, and if some of your guests are children, the average cockpit depth is a safe 32 inches. Now, if you are the types of boaters who have an obsession with cup holders, hold on to your hats, because the 26DC has an advanced degree in cupholders. Not only are there 21 cup holders, each has two stages and can also accommodate a wine bottle.

Keeping with our versatility theme, she is accomplished when it comes to family watersports. With plenty of storage for all kinds of towable toys, wakes boards, and everything else needed for a day on the water, she also has an extra sturdy Bimini or a fully integrated hardtop for sun protection. If you and the kids like being behind the boat, the transom has a premium pop-up tow pilon to guarantee hours of entertainment; for those on the boat as much as behind it. With the engine on an extended bracket, the swim platform makes re-boarding simple and safe.

Most boats in the 26-foot range are designed to spend most of their time fishing, as in the case of a Center Console, or on a smaller, calmer lake. This is not true for the Vanquish 26. She is a boater’s boat and specifically designed to handle bigger water conditions. The advanced geometry of her hull and stronger composite construction give her a huge advantage over all other boats in class. She requires less power to run at speed, making her more efficient, meaning more time away from the fuel dock. Most notably, she can handle conditions that would send less capable boats back to the slip. Thanks in part to her bow flare, angle of entry, and the variable deadrise design, she cuts through waves and uses their energy for additional stability. Pushing spray out and low, she keeps you and your guests dry while you enjoy the smooth ride of a much bigger boat.

Her handling characteristics cannot be overemphasized. Delivering the feel of a sports car on the water, her average top speed is 50 MPH. Her length to beam ratio of 3.31:1 gives her an advantage over other boats in class, meaning she rides like a luxury car on the highway, compared to an old pickup truck on a dirt road. For this reason, the 26DC is ideal for boaters who want to spend more time boating in coastal conditions and be able to explore more, as well as boaters who live on big lakes, including the great lakes. If you would like to learn more about how Vanquish boats are constructed, read this article here The Vanquish Difference.

Thanks to her 8-foot beam and wet weight of just under 5,300 pounds, the 26DC is a trailerable boat. Being able to take her with you on trips to the lake or coast dramatically extends your enjoyment. Its also nice to not be locked into a slip or mooring, and to have the freedom of a boat ramp to haul her out on your own.

Overall, the Vanquish Boats 26 Dual Console is best described as a premium day boat with a double major in performance and fun. She is comfortable and easy to handle. Her lines, styling, and beauty make a statement, and after all, evetryone appreciates a beautiful boat.