Steve and Doris Colgate Receive Harken Gold Block Award

On the first night of the 2008 United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, at a rousing party sponsored by Harken, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware and accessories, Offshore Sailing School owners Steve and Doris Colgate were presented with the Harken Gold Block Award in recognition of selling their 300th Colgate 26 sailboat.

Fort Myers, FL, October 26, 2008 --( Steve Colgate, who founded Offshore Sailing School in 1964, developed the concept for the award-winning Colgate 26 in 1996 after many years of searching for a new training boat. With the help of marine architect Jim Taylor, hull #1 debuted at the 1996 United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Naval Academy ordered 5 to start replacing their small boat training fleet, eventually ordering 30 boats, and the Colgate 26 won the coveted Cruising World “Boat of the Year” award in the Pocket Cruiser Division in 1997.

Recognizing Colgate’s work in introducing more than 100,000 new sailors to the industry, Commercial Manager of Harken Yacht Equipment, Bill Goggins announced, “Steve and Doris Colgate are long time friends to Harken and to our industry. They both have lead the way in one of the most important areas of our industry – introducing new sailors in a responsible and positive way through The Offshore Sailing Schools. Aside from recognizing their accomplishments with their schools, we celebrate a new milestone they reached as boat builders. Congratulations to the Colgates for building hull #300 of the popular Colgate 26, which can be found in all four corners of the sailing world. Steve and Doris have given back a heck of lot, having both volunteered with Sail America, US Sailing, ISAF and beyond. Sailing is in a much better place thanks to the Colgates’ life work, and we thank them.”

Steve Colgate, who chose Harken hardware exclusively for the boat, accepted the award saying, “Tyler Pierce, our Northern Regional Manager, who has been with Offshore for over 20 years figured out today that we have used 7,464 Harken blocks on the Colgate 26 sailboats. We are most gratified to receive the 7,465th block in gold. Thanks to Peter, Olaf and their wonderful crew.”

Hull #300 was sold in March to Jim Excell of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, who also received a Harken Gold Block Award. Hull #310 is pre-sold and will be on display at the Strictly Sail show on the Navy Pier in Chicago, January 30-Feburary 1, 2009. Offshore Sailing School is the sole distributor for the Colgate 26 line, built by Precision Boat Works in Palmetto, Florida.

Harken gear has dominated such events as the America's Cup and Olympics. Its blocks, travelers, furling systems and winches can be found aboard everything from the smallest dinghies to the largest mega-yachts and cruisers. Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, Harken manufactures in the USA and Italy. Its network includes offices in 48 countries, with group offices located in Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Rhode Island, California, and Florida).

Offshore Sailing School is celebrating its 45th anniversary with an invitation to all to join a contest based on 45 reasons to Learn to Sail. Details can be found online at <> starting November 17th.

Offshore Sailing School’s signature programs are held at destination resorts, including South Seas Island Resort (an LXR property) on Captiva Island, Florida; The Inn at Perry Cabin (an Orient Express Resort) in St. Michaels, Maryland; Hawk’s Cay Resort (a Preferred Resorts property) in the Florida Keys; Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa on Ft. Myers Beach, Florida; The Moorings (a TUI Marine company), at its base in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and the Mansion House B&B in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition, two popular seasonal locations for New York Metro area residents are at Chelsea Piers in New York City and Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey,

Programs available at Offshore Sailing School run from two-hour sailing lessons and three-day certification Learn to Sail courses to week-long racing, cruising and passage making courses. For more information on Offshore Sailing School courses or the Colgate 26, call 800-221-4326.


Editor’s Note: For photos to accompany this article, please contact Mary Orme at or 727-733-9332.
Offshore Sailing School
Doris Colgate
For an image to accompany this release, contact Mary Orme at 727-733-9332 or