Not trying to be offensive, but it sounds like you've already drank the Macgregor coolaide so to speak. When I was first was looking at boats I thought a trailer sailor was the way to go too. After gaining some experience with my Oday 22 I found it was a pain in the but to have to drive a big truck and haul/ launch the boat each time I wanted to go sailing. A friend convinced me to do like everyone else and rent a mooring
ball $200 for the season. It was costing me at least $400 a season in fuel
to drive that truck around.
I guess what I'm saying is there is a reason people that want to cruise
don't usually do it on a trailer-able boat. Some do, I met a couple on a hunter
26 from Oklahoma that came up to the Great Lakes
every summer and cruised a different section for 8-10 weeks at a time.
For the price
range you are looking for there are many 1960's fiberglass
boats (not just mine) that will do everything you'd ever ask of them. For every person out there taking a Mac 26 to the Bahamas
, there are a hundred more taking a Cal
, Hunter, Catalina
, Columbia ect ect. I just saw on facebooks sailboats for sail page a 1966 Columbia 29 for sail for under $5k.
What I'm saying is your price range doesn't necessitate a Macgregor.
Looking at the displacement
numbers and hull
shape gives a clue to a boats comfort in a seaway.
Mac 26 s is
(max.) 6.33' / 1.93m Draft (min.) 1.25' / 0.38m
Disp. 2850 lbs./ 1293 kgs. Ballast: 1200 lbs. / 544 kgs.
SA/Disp.: 18.75 Bal./Disp.: 42.07% Disp./Len.: 98.04
Now a Columbia MkII 29 (the one for sale
Draft (max.) 4.00' / 1.22m Draft (min.)
Disp. 8400 lbs./ 3810 kgs. Ballast: 4100 lbs. / 1860 kgs.
SA/Disp.: 15.03 Bal./Disp.: 48.82% Disp./Len.: 329.22
Do you see a drastic difference in the numbers? Look at the Displacement
to Length ratio...
Another somewhat debated number is the motion comfort ratio. Read up and it and determine for your self whether you think it's a valid measurement of a boat. Basically the higher the number the better for offshore
or coastal cruising comfort. It's basically a measurement of speed and momentum of a hulls rolling motion.
Macgregor 26s is 11.68
Columbia 29MKII is 33.26
Which one would you rather live on for cruising?
On either boat you choose you'll never get out what you put into a refit
. As said before buy a boat that is floating and sailing in relatively good shape for $5000. It may need cosmetic work and maybe a newer (used) sail, but basically ready to move. A quality built boat with a good reputation will always be easier to sell down the road too.
Don't let the shallow draft
part fool you into thinking you can beach the boat at a particular island. I believe you made a comment about this earlier. I too thought at first a nice shallow draft
would let you pull right up on a beach here in the Great Lakes
. Then you learn a beach is somewhere you really want to keep your boat away from. The waves of the ocean will make beaching a boat extremely hazardous. Picking it up and pounding it down. Also don't forget about the tides and the fact that there are rocks and coral
down there ready to put a hole in your hull
. Not to mention the people that own the beach probably don't want you pulling right up in from of their place. There is a reason we anchor
boats out and take a dinghy
In the end the choice is yours and I hope you'll be happy with what ever purchase
you make. More importantly I hope you are able to take your father cruising and enjoy your time out there. Good luck and happy boat hunting. Don't fall in love with one model you'll end up missing a really good deal on something else.