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Old 06-01-2015, 19:54   #46
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

I like post #42, especially the last paragraph. This whole sailing thing we do is about decisions. Each of us will make different decisions on the same task most of the time....keep your dream going, you will succeed unless you get to discouraged. Like someone said...it's the Internet...

The rewards you receive from the smile on your Dad's face will out weigh all else.....

Go for it with wisdom.

Life is good if you Keepa Smilin.....
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:57   #47
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Here's a nice looking boat is Austin:
1975 Columbia 26 Sailboat on Trailer

26 foot with trailer and appears to be well fitted. $5.5 asking price. I don't know anything about Columbia boats but they have a club, you can ask there about the good & bad of this model;
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:39   #48
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

I think Columbia is on a par with Catalina & Hunter. Not blue water cruisers but a step up from a Macgregor. I think you could have a huge amount of fun coastal cruising in these types of boats, including the Macgregor, and still be safe if the boats in adequate condition. I'd recommend getting a Boat US towing policy & staying within towing range. I'd also recommend, at a minimum, one of their liability only policies which are pretty cheap. Coastal cruising can be very challenging & very rewarding. Sailing from Texas to the Keys along the coast would be quite a journey & something you & your dad would never forget. Plus you would gain valuable experience.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:54   #49
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Ok, I'm probably going to regret the flames from posting this, but......
I know a guy who has an (I think) 28-30' boat with running diesel and fair rigging. I helped him replace a bulkhead in her a couple years back. As I recall, it wasn't shoal draft, but I'd bet he would sell her cheap, as he hasn't moved her in a year or so.

She would need a bit of TLC before a blue water crossing, but I'd bet she could coastal sail right now (after the barnys were scraped).

PM Me if you're interested and I'll get you his contact info.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:31   #50
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

A mac 26 isnt a cheap boat even used. They seem to hold value in the market as a trailerable boat that is light does not need a big truck to tow it. If you can find a cheap one that needs work ...could pay for the trip to resell it after.

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Old 07-01-2015, 09:03   #51
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

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
Draft (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 on Facebook)
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 to shore.

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.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:03   #52
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsdream View Post
Agreed. And yes originally I was thinking about coastal sailing along gulf or straight across. But I quickly realized that would require a much larger boat and more money. Also, after talking with my dad it appeared he didn't really want to be out on open water for a week or more at one time. He's over seventy now and loosing his eye sight. Driving him down to the Keys and using a boat to jump to the Bahamas would make him die a happy man. Not that he's dying anytime soon. And maybe after that trip he'll be a little more adventures. He's getting a lot out of sailing the Holder 14 we own.
Sounds like you have the right attitude. IMO if you feel comfortable with sailing it along the coast than who is anyone on here to stop you? Stay within towing range and don't go too far from civilized coastline and you would probably be fine, especially since you will likely be sailing on lakes more often.

I still stand by my original statement that you shouldn't be stuck on one or even a few models and just find yourself a good deal on a decent boat and jump on it.
You may be in the market forever waiting on that perfect mac 26 to come along in your price range and condition. Meanwhile your father will be getting older and older and will likely get less enjoyment out of the trip.

I've seen quite a few boats under 30ft that have a real deal keel that come with a trailer...in fact most of them were "project boats". Only thing is you would need a pretty substantial vehicle to tow it with.

There is an alberg 30 for sale on houston craigslist that appears to have a trailer for 3000(not sure if included, you would have to ask)...although it need a LOT of work. The seller says he is moving and is asking for offers.

I think if you learn to do fiberglass and were able to get a good connection on cheap materials, something like that would be doable, although you would eventually go over budget I'm sure.

Point is, if this is really about your fathers dream, with your budget and his age...I would think about taking that 5000 dollars and renting/chartering a MUCH nicer boat to sail to the Bahamas on. You can still keep you holder for lake sailing. You'll be surprised how much you miss a nice little boat like that once it's sold.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:34   #53
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsdream View Post
The only thing that seems unsafe about a Mac 26s is being to far out without a way to get back if rough seas and weather strike. And since the 26s has a positive buoyancy, the boat shouldn't sink if it turtles. I never plan on taking it to far from shore.

Bahamas are only 64 miles from Islandmorada, one long sailing day around 12hrs. I guess anything can happen out their, but there are people doing it in Mac 26s. Just google it, or go to youtube and watch the videos. This is not just a paragraph here and there. I like to think I am a thorough person, have a Masters Degree in Sociology and associates in carpentry. I tend to take anything said with a grain of salt and weigh all the arguments.

However, I don't want to make a foolish decision and do something truly stupid. I guess if I get a Mac and sail it around the lakes and then the coast a bit I'll get a better feel for how unstable it may be. If it's not the right one I can always try and sell it and get a better one.
Now that plan is making more sense. The Mac may be OK if you pick a weather window. I understand you can rent an EPIRB. Invest in or borrow a cheap real VHF, not a hand held,and a hand held GPS. Best wishes.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:15   #54
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

Another thing to consider is storage. Provisions, water, supplies, clothes ... A lot of room & a lot of weight.
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Old 08-01-2015, 00:36   #55
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

OK, I have a recommendation too. I have sailed a bit and have sailed fairly marginal boats and then wished I hadn't. I have also sailed some small boats out of the sight of land, but I had a lot of confidence in them. In thinking about what you want to accomplish for your father and with cost in mind I'd suggest letting go of thinking of having a beachable boat. It is possible to find some older boats very cheap but basically sound and well-made. There were boats made in the 60s that were well-made, and are still often in good shape but because of their age are relatively cheap. I just saw a Columbia 26 for free in Mobile Alabama. I am thinking of the Lapworth 24, Islander 24, Columbia 24 and 26 (early model) because they are a strong and sea-worthy foundation you can start with in doing your refitting. They are not really shoal-drafted at 3.5 to 4 ft, but they are tough so if you get off course and nudge some coral, they won't fall apart. They weigh about 4000 lbs and a trailer can be modified pretty easily to carry them. I used to have a Columbia 24 that friends of mine bought and towed up to Flathead Lake in Montana from CA behind a regular pick-up. The nice thing about that particular boat is that you can almost stand up in it. The Cal 24 is also a good one to consider because it has a centerboard and draws only 2.5 ft. It also weighs in at about 3000 lbs. The Cal 25 is also a good choice. Pearson Ariels are also very nice, they weigh about 5000 lbs. I think all of these are designed to sleep 4 people. So my point is, if you are looking for advice, that is the direction I'd look to give your dad, your wife and yourself a safer and more enjoyable sailing experience, no matter where you go. If you are staying in the Keys, the Macgregor may be fine. I did a little reading up on its water ballast system. And it is good that it has positive floatation, and water ballast does work up to a certain point. My main concern is that in a knock-down, if the mast is more than 45 degrees, there isn't much force (righting moment) trying to bring you back up. You will need to reef, reduce the sail size, early to prevent that. However, I have never sailed one. So, I did see a review by an experienced sailor who is also an owner that you might find interesting, if you haven't seen it yet.

Owner's Review of MacGregor 26 Sailboat Model

I think like all of us here we don't want to be discouraging, because if you really love a particular boat you will probably find a way to make it work. I'd say just be open to some other very loveable boats out there that can take good care of you also.

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:09   #56
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

I just looked at that Columbia 26 that MBWhite posted. That is a good candidate for you, especially if you are planning to spend around 5,000. It looks like it doesn't need too much. Definitely worth a closer look!
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:09   #57
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Re: Cheap boats for the Keys

There's a columbia 26 in corpus christi TX on craiglist for 5000 as well. Looks like it's in pretty good condition.
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