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Old 18-06-2019, 05:34   #1
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Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

Hello Everyone,
when it comes to trailerable sailers, the Macgregor 26 comes often to mind, but it seems to have a bad reputation. In a scenario of daysailing in the region of the Medditeran Sea, in coastal areas, how much sense does this boat make? I saw some as charter in Croatia, I heard of people who crossed from Italy to Greece with the boat, but at the same time more often this is reported to be a boat for lakes rather than sea, and as not sea worthy, does anyone has actual experience with the boat, was someone sailing, motosailing it in the Medditeran Sea? I understand its not a pure sailboat, nor is it rigid enough for rough conditions, its not about performance under sail, but rather as a family coastal boat and strictly as a daysailer, so only sailing when the weather forecast is good, and by evening safely anchored. Would be interested to know if this limited scenario is plausible with the MacGregor, or if even for this scenario the boat is just not suited, thanks.
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Old 18-06-2019, 06:04   #2
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pirate Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

It should be just fine for your intended purposes, daysailing etc..
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:11   #3
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

If you are talking the Mac 26 that can have a pretty large outboard, it's simply the worst of both worlds sail/motor.

For sailing, the rigging is some of the thinnest I've seen even thinner that what was on my old Hobie 16

The boat is really light also so most any wave action will have a big effect on it

There was Mac 26 sailboat parked on a trailer next to my boat 5 years ago when I had my boat in the yard.

The Mac's hull was super thin .......very lightly built.

But in the right circumstances the boat would make a fine day sailor. I sailed/raced beach cats for years which are lightly built also. Some of the races took us 15 miles offshore and others were 100 miles long and the boats held up well in winds up to about 20 -22 knots or so

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/macgregor-26d

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/macgregor-26x

Bristol 27

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/bristol-27
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:20   #4
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say



But not my idea of sensible sailing!
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:53   #5
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I would really like to get some first hand experience here, did some one owned, or still owns a Mac 26?
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:07   #6
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

There was one cruising the Exumas last winter with 3 adults on board
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:11   #7
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCZ View Post
I would really like to get some first hand experience here, did some one owned, or still owns a Mac 26?
Many times an owner will defend his boat to the last regardless of it's flaws and the Macgregaor 26 (s) has many obvious ones.

You don't need to own one to know it
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:18   #8
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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But not my idea of sensible sailing!
Yes, it can be fun to go out in big seas close to shore when well rested and play around on a small boat like they are doing here. (and probably good for boat sales as well)

It's another thing entirely to be totally worn out and needing a boat that can heave too or sail itself for a while so you (the crew) can get some rest. Or one that can take a continuous pounding for days or weeks on end without a failure

Looks like they haven't even reefed the main. Total fun day playing around sailing
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:27   #9
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I am a training Captain and have done trainings on MacGregor 26's with their owners. Generally, the boat failed to meet owner expectations.

While I try not to make judgements on the choices owners make, the MacGregor was a disappointing vessel.
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:43   #10
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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I am a training Captain and have done trainings on MacGregor 26's with their owners. Generally, the boat failed to meet owner expectations.

While I try not to make judgements on the choices owners make, the MacGregor was a disappointing vessel.
Can you please be more specific, what disappointed the owners, performance, safety, comfort, bouncing of the waves? Was it on lakes or Sea?
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:59   #11
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

Isn't thin hull, wimpy rigging, etc. specific enough for you?
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:12   #12
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I'm suspicious of the video, 5mph winds and no whitecaps or spray?
18' waves, i don't think so.
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:14   #13
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

One is moored a couple boats away from mine - it can whip (not sail!) around through 90 degrees like no other.

I previously owned a boat that sucked at everything, these boats remind me of those foolish days.
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:24   #14
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Originally Posted by DanielCZ View Post
Hello Everyone,
when it comes to trailerable sailers, the Macgregor 26 comes often to mind, but it seems to have a bad reputation. In a scenario of daysailing in the region of the Medditeran Sea, in coastal areas, how much sense does this boat make? I saw some as charter in Croatia, I heard of people who crossed from Italy to Greece with the boat, but at the same time more often this is reported to be a boat for lakes rather than sea, and as not sea worthy, does anyone has actual experience with the boat, was someone sailing, motosailing it in the Medditeran Sea? I understand its not a pure sailboat, nor is it rigid enough for rough conditions, its not about performance under sail, but rather as a family coastal boat and strictly as a daysailer, so only sailing when the weather forecast is good, and by evening safely anchored. Would be interested to know if this limited scenario is plausible with the MacGregor, or if even for this scenario the boat is just not suited, thanks.
Two friends of mine have Macgregor 26M's and I've sailed on them, as well as alongside of them, on Great Lakes conditions.

My observations...

Their strengths:
  • the most cabin room you can find in a 26 ft boat, including a head with door.
  • reasonably easy to tow, rig and launch, which gives you range and options.
  • ease of raising/lowering mast makes it simple to drop mast for transiting waterways and canals with restricted clearance
  • big engine gets you out of trouble, or to a destination, faster.
  • recreational potential, like towing kids on a donut or other watertoys
  • easy enough to swim and climb out at their open(ish) transom
Main weakness (IMHO): it's not exceptional at either task (sailing, motoring)

Sailing:
  • the high freeboard and other things make it poky in light air
  • they don't point very well
We've easily passed Macs in < 10kt air in our 19' boat, and made better progress upwind.

Motoring:
  • From helming one while planing, I've found that they don't track very well; I was constantly tweaking the wheel (which is fairly small for my tastes)
Other:
  • yes their construction is thin... but sufficient for their purpose.
My conclusions:
  • very versatile. If you have a family, want to do exploring and weekends out in different locations, as well as a daysailor, and you only have budget/storage for one boat... it would do
  • not completely horrible to sail in 10 to maybe 20 kt winds. beats staying ashore....
  • would be a good choice for doing a canal system, like our Trent-Severn system: decent accomodations and storage, easy to drop the mast and motor the canals and locks, then raise the sail to enjoy the many lakes
  • ok for reaching and motoring; I would not want to beat upwind in one for any great distance
As a coastal daysailor/cruiser, and making small passages in decent conditions... I would not refuse one, if the alternative was not going . But I much prefer a better-sailing boat and don't want/need the big motor.
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:28   #15
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I have thought of getting one for the Sea of Cortez. Of course I would need to beef up the transom to carry 3- 275 horse Honda outboards or else I could not hold my head up to the 26 foot panga captains.
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