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Old 13-06-2016, 13:05   #1
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Decisions, decisions

New guy here (posted intro in 'meet and greet'). Don't have a sailboat, yet, but looking for something small enough to learn on, yet big enough to fit my family of 4 on. I have daughters, for those that do, you understand that that means I'm usually broke, lol. I've found a 26' Grampian and a 25' Macgregor. The Grampian is a '69, is solid, but needs paint. It has all the rigging and sails, and even a 5hp outboard that runs, all for $2000. The Macgregor had a hole in the hull, but the current owner had it repaired at a reputable boat shop on our coast, the paint is good, and it has a new mast. The mast needs adjustment to fit properly, as it's an aftermarket mast, and the 'fitting's on the end don't match what's on the boat, if that makes sense. It's on a trailer, but has no motor. The guy hinted it'd let me have for $2-2500, somewhere in there.

I've boated most of my life, but mainly fishing boats and canoes/kayaks. Never sailed, been on a sailboat once, loved it, decided we want one. What to do? The Grampian seems 'roomier' to us, but it needs paint and has no trailer. We have a camp on our coast, and it would be a day trip to sail/motor to our place, then we'd have to step the mast to clear one powerline over the bayou before getting to our place. The Macgregor, however, we could just trailer whereever.

Our goal is to learn, and sail whatever we have for a couple of years till we get comfortable and gain knowledge/skill set. In about 10 years, our youngest will be gone, and we'll be empty nesters, then we want something to take to the Bahamas/Caribbean, etc.
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Old 13-06-2016, 14:34   #2
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Re: Decisions, decisions

First off, welcome!

I see a couple of numbers between $2,000 and $2,500, is that your range or can you bump it up a touch? Will you be sailing the Gulf or a lake? Will this be the same boat in 10 years or will you upgrade?

Mac
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Old 13-06-2016, 14:40   #3
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Re: Decisions, decisions

Take the Grampian.
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Old 13-06-2016, 14:53   #4
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Re: Decisions, decisions

forget the 25, get a macgregor 26


*edit* excuse me, Tattoo 26
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Old 13-06-2016, 15:04   #5
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Re: Decisions, decisions

I am familiar with both boats.

The Grampian is most likely a better build. The MacGregor is probably easier to trailer sail.

Most likely more room in the Grampian, should sail better, point a little higher and slightly more weather helm.

My parents first sailboat was a Venture 22. We sailed all over the northern half of the Chesapeake for 3 years before getting a bigger boat. Out every other weekend and living on the hook Friday to Saturday nights. The swing keel was great for the shoals and learning with no depth finder. One of our family friends had a Grampian and we always admired it. They were often able to take more weather and point higher.

Which boat would work best for you and is faster to get out there sailing? ( if there is little difference to launch then look at what, where and how you will use it. )

On a small lake or back bay, I'd be MacGregor. Else I'd be for the Grampian, especially overnight.
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Old 13-06-2016, 15:51   #6
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Re: Decisions, decisions

Thanks for the responses! We're looking to use the boat in the Mississippi Sound, between our coast and out to around 12 miles are some barrier islands that we'd like to sail to and camp at. The swing keel of the Macgregor would be nice there, but the Grampian seems to be roomier inside. I won't have this boat in 10 years, as we'd be moving up to something a bit larger for Bahama/Caribbean cruising, as well as hopping down the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Florida. Funny, they guy with the Grampian just dropped his price to $1600, full rigging, with sails, and a running 9.9 outboard, and two gallons of paint (it does need a paint job).
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:16   #7
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Re: Decisions, decisions

If that's the case, go for the Grampian, quickly!
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:25   #8
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Re: Decisions, decisions

Here's your answer. One is a boat, the other a toy.

Grampian 26:

GRAMPIAN 26 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Macgregor 25:

MACGREGOR 25 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:37   #9
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Re: Decisions, decisions

Well...

Get at least a couple of lessons before buying a boat.
You might go out one time and decide you hate it....

Then maybe rent one about the size you are thinking of buying for a couple of weekends.

And then you'll have a better idea of what to look for to suit your needs and how to check out the boat before buying.

Trailering has a few advantages and limitations.
You can hopefully park the boat in your back yard when not in use. That saves you from paying slip fees.
You have to go through the rigging process every time you trailer it to the water....
Swing keels boats are much easier to launch than fixed fin keel boats and they are not as top-heavy when towing.

If not overnighting in the boat a 16 to 18 ft "trailer sailer" with swing keel is quick to rig and will carry 4 people just fine.

If overnighting in the boat you need the cabin room so you aren't stepping on each other any time you move.

Lots and lots of things to think about...
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:57   #10
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Re: Decisions, decisions

Wonderful! I'm not going to take sides on the boat - I only know the Macgregor, and that in the case of a friend who has asked my help in getting started in what you're planning to do. You have a lofty goal - cruising the Carribean. You can do it, but do watch your envelope very carefully - there are lots of steps between day sailing in sheltered water and multi-day/night changeable/foul weather off shore cruising. The skill set is more varied than in most careers, and getting outside your envelope (I have a much smaller one than my boat's) is frankly dangerous. Do have a wonderful cruising life, and please don't become a statistic. Welcome.
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