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Old 29-04-2007, 15:46   #1
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Bluewater MacGregor ?

Hi everyone. Can anybody enlighten me as to the charactersitics of my Mac25 as opposed to other boats regarding its ability to sail in the ocean? I've had some people who seem fairly knowledgeable tell me it's inappropriate for oceangoing (and the trip I plan to take from Florida through the Bahamas in particluar). I'm wondering, did I screw up by buying this boat? Is it the squared stern that is the issue? Should I put a sturdier rudder on it? How about a bigger engine than the Johnson 5 hp that's on there?

Whaddyall think?
Jack
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Old 29-04-2007, 16:05   #2
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Your Mac 25 is built light for trailering and inshore possibly coastal sailing. Maybe some weekending. That means the tabbing holding the bulkheads is light, the rigging is light, the hull is thinner fiberglass and generally it is not built for what you want to do with it.
Adding a larger engine does not help in the least. 5hp is plenty because it will push your boat at hull speed.
On the other hand, if you are extremely foolhardy and not taking anyone with you then be advised that there have been sailors who have reached foreign shores in smaller and less well made vessels. Just be willing shell out a few thousand to whomever may have to rescue you.
Good luck in whatever decision you make.
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Old 29-04-2007, 16:08   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingstone
Hi everyone. Can anybody enlighten me as to the charactersitics of my Mac25 as opposed to other boats regarding its ability to sail in the ocean? I've had some people who seem fairly knowledgeable tell me it's inappropriate for oceangoing (and the trip I plan to take from Florida through the Bahamas in particluar). I'm wondering, did I screw up by buying this boat? Is it the squared stern that is the issue? Should I put a sturdier rudder on it? How about a bigger engine than the Johnson 5 hp that's on there?

Whaddyall think?
Jack
I once read someone's logs from their cruise of the Bahamas in a Macgregor 26. I don't know how that model compares to your 25, though. One website I found talks about sailing their 26 over to Bimini, and I once read someone else's logs of their cruise from Puget Sound up to the north end of Vancouver Island, also in a 26.

The one for Bimini is:

Bimini Bahamas in a Macgregor 26 X

And check out this site:

MacGregor Sailors Pages

The bottom line is that some people feel the small Macgregors are ideal for the waters of the Bahamas.

Best of luck to you in your cruising!

TaoJones
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Old 29-04-2007, 16:44   #4
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Some people cross the Atlantic in row boats but there are certainly better options. The crossing between Floriduh and the Bahamas has been done by all means of craft. But the strength, construction and durability of the vessel goes a long way toward a successful crossing no matter what and a successful crossing due to pure luck. Sea Trek is a strong well built 40' offshore cruiser and we have tens of thousands of miles of experience and on two occasions we barely made it after being caught in a 50 knot gale with 12'+ seas after receiving a perfect forecast for the crossing. A Macgregor would not have survived that storm.
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Old 29-04-2007, 18:01   #5
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I think your boat is fine. Just be careful of the weather! Bahamas should be no prob. Keep your passages short and well planned.
IMHO

Good luck!
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Old 29-04-2007, 18:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingstone
Whaddyall think?
While I think that it is entirely possible that you could make the trip without incident, the boat was not designed to go offshore or withstand the conditions found there. Good luck.
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Old 29-04-2007, 18:30   #7
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Well, those waters have been sailed in worse vessels...
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As you can see, a large crew with lots of buckets is a must
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Old 29-04-2007, 18:57   #8
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I love that picture, Kai Nui . . .

I suppose the smart aleck caption might be: "Haitien RV Dealers Association proudly demonstrates latest model."

It's ironic, really, but if they could actually get that truck into the US, a collector would pay big money for it in a heartbeat!

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Old 29-04-2007, 19:06   #9
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Maybe, but it has mechanical problems. Good thing they brought along an engineer
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Sorry livingstone, didn't mean to hijack your thread. In all honesty, my point is, anything CAN be sailed where you want to go, but as the previous posts show, the Mac is not the ideal boat. I would recommend getting some seatime on the boat. Get out of protected waters a bit, and see how comfortable you, and your crew are. If you have any doubts about the boat at that stage, it is time to go to plan B.
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Old 29-04-2007, 20:48   #10
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No, a Mac 25 is NOT a blue water boat. The rudders, swing keel or dagger board can easily break off if seas on the beam and the cabin top windows are not strong enough as well. Although the boat will still be afloat as it has positive flotation, you would not do well in it. I have a Mac 25M and have no problem coastal cruising in fair weather and do plan on taking it to the Bahamas again but ONLY in fair weather. When the winds get over 23+ mph I want to be at anchor or at the dock. I do not have a death wish.

Strenghting the boat up to handle these problems would be a real chore and probably be cheeper to get a true blue water 25 footer like a Cape Dory or Pacific Seacraft or the like.

I do know of people who have sailed many miles in the Mac 25 but only coastal and had a good time.
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Old 29-04-2007, 21:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingstone
Hi everyone. Can anybody enlighten me as to the charactersitics of my Mac25 as opposed to other boats regarding its ability to sail in the ocean? I've had some people who seem fairly knowledgeable tell me it's inappropriate for oceangoing (and the trip I plan to take from Florida through the Bahamas in particluar). I'm wondering, did I screw up by buying this boat? Is it the squared stern that is the issue? Should I put a sturdier rudder on it? How about a bigger engine than the Johnson 5 hp that's on there?

Whaddyall think?
Jack
Yo Jack,

you have already been given some good advice (I particularly liked Skipper's first post), but I don't mind dipping my oar in here as well.

Please understand that I am not criticizing you.

The McGregors are lightly/cheaply-built entry-level boats designed for protected waters. It is not practical to try making a bluewater boat out of a McGregor. I mean to say NOTHING you could do could make me consider one a bluewater boat.

Did you screw up buying this boat? No. But you might if you go offshore in it.

best, andy
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Old 29-04-2007, 23:17   #12
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I sailed a 25 foot Gazelle trailer sailer accross the Cook Strait. Problem was getting it back. I tried a few times and ended up trailering it home on the Interisland Ferry. A Gazelle is a lot stronger than the Macgregor but would not handle the strait in bad weather or could have easily been damaged and sunk. No fixed keel, weak bolted on rudder etc.
Sell the Macgregor and buy a strongly built keeler if you want to go offshore.
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Old 30-04-2007, 08:07   #13
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I will agree this is not a blue water boat, but I will reiterate that it should be fine for florida to bahamas if properly prepared. And it won't be pushing the limits whatsoever. I think people are missing that part of your question.
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Old 30-04-2007, 09:09   #14
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Also consider your liveaboard comfort level

You do not need a bombproof bluewater boat to cross the stream from Florida and cruise the Bahamas. Most of the people doing this have common or mass produced boats. But, almost all of them are cruiser class boats. These are charcterized by fixed ballasted keels, enough room below decks so that normal size people can stand up and move around without bending, stooping, or crawling, and an inboard diesel engine capable of making hot water and charging batteries. The Mac 25 is a daysailor and spending extended time on it means you are essentially camping. Maybe this is fine with you, or maybe you will compensate by marina hopping. But, most people would find the lack of an inboard and the equipment/amenities it can support to be unacceptable for more than a few days.
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Old 30-04-2007, 09:39   #15
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No offense meant, but heres a neat blast from the past. I also saw a picture somewhere with 4 Cubans sitting on this huge inner tube. They had several gas cans floating in the middle and had rigged a prop to a weedeater.
http://www.simplicityboats.com/corkyone.jpg
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