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Old 24-06-2011, 14:09   #1
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Macgreger 26M

I'm seriously considering this as my next boat. I like the trailerability, the swing keel, and the ease of singlehanding. I have some reservations of the water ballast.

Some I have seen have up to 60HP outboards, with 20-30 gals of gas that puts it squarely into motorboat speeds when the wind is no good, or you need to book it somewhere. I wonder what is the top speed? 20 kts??

I recently heard of one capsizing, but it was overloaded with ballast tanks empty.

I plan on port hopping the Texas coast, and maybe a bahamas crossing, is this enough boat for this? Recommended is 28ft or better with full keel.

The cabin looks roomy, and this boat is fairly beamy for the size.

Has anyone taken one offshore? In heavy weather? Gulf Storms can come sudden and hard, even close to the coast. How stable is it assuming bare poles, (or storm jib), and running outboard for steerage?
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Old 24-06-2011, 14:33   #2
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Hi Bill

Note sure if it is of any help but in the UK we have MacGregor Owners Association
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Old 24-06-2011, 14:58   #3
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Re: Macgreger 26M

As much as they get ragged on by sailors, they are a suitable speedboat-replacement that can go much further than a regular speedboat. But if you're an experienced sailor, I suspect you'll be disappointed with the sailing performance.

It's more of a motorboat with a sail, as opposed to a sailboat with a motor...

There's a guy over on another forum that did the ICW, the Bahama's, and now living in South Florida on one... He seems to be happy with it.

As far as heavy weather, I would just treat it like any other speedboat/runabout type of motor boat, and head inshore for any type of weather.
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Old 24-06-2011, 14:59   #4
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Those boats have an absolutely terrible reputation. Why not look into a Catalina 25 or 27 instead?
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Old 24-06-2011, 14:59   #5
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Capt Bill, you would want to search CF before committing to a purchase. It has a place and in my view its for calm coastal sailing or on a lake, but within easy reach of a safe harbour or marina however, that's my view, others may differ.

It's light so that it can be trailered or plane with 50+ hp, but wouldn't be my choice to cross to the Bahamas, or this side of the pond the English channel. On a good day you can cross in a zapcat and friends have done it, but.......

There is no reason why you shouldn't have a trailable boat. The ability to take her home for the winter is a great asset and the US allows larger boats than Europe to be towed so have another think. Twin keels and lift keels reduce the draft which helps keep the weight low on a trailer.

The owners asso view of a 60 mile crossing:

MacGregor Owners • View topic - Dimensions for Ferry and Channel Crossing

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Old 25-06-2011, 12:31   #6
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Re: Macgreger 26M

We sold our 2006 MacGregor 26M last winter that we had enjoyed lots for 3 years. It is a good little cruser and if you keep the ballast full they can take lots of wind waves. Our boat had 3 reefs with new full roach fully battented main sail that helped how tinder the boat is and reached 9.5 kt's on the 3rd reef only on a broad reach in 35 mph of breeze. We sold our mac because I have artheris in my neck and bobing at anchorage in a monohull was not comfortable and it was time for a catamaran so grand kids can visit with ease.

Owning and sailing a MacGregor was a blast and proved to us we needed to buy a bigger sailboat for guests. We trailored across the Cascade mountain pass to sail lots in the Salish Sea , Pudget Sound , and 6 weeks a year in the San Juan Islands. And on the average 200 days a year total sailing mostly here on the Columbia river. There is a great MacGregor forum called www.MacGregorsailors.com and several folks each year motor sail to BVI
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:46   #7
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Look at an Oday 27.
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Old 26-06-2011, 11:37   #8
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Do you want to sail or power? I have a Mac Venture 23'. I sails downwind great. It does not beat well because of the retractable keel. It likes to slide across the water instead of pointing high. It also does not trailer very well if it is not positioned properly on the trailer. I could not position it properly in a zero tide. I could not travel very fast without the trailer fishtailing. The boat is great for protected water sailing. We had a lot of fun with our 3 boys. I have seen one sunk because of a bad NE at anchor. I am talking about a 1973(?) model.
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Old 26-06-2011, 11:49   #9
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Re: Macgreger 26M

If I were to buy a trailer sailboat I would get one with a 10 ft beam, because there not as tender and sail good. The only draw back to a bigger beamed boat is trailering it can take a one ton truck to tow them because of the overall weight. The other trailorable boat I have looked at was a Course Air try-maran with folding out riggers, there fast and can handle some off shore crusing and are very stable at anchorage.
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Old 30-06-2011, 11:43   #10
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowcountry View Post
Those boats have an absolutely terrible reputation. Why not look into a Catalina 25 or 27 instead?
I can't see launching a cat 27 from a boat ramp, maybe I'm wrong, but without a swing keel it would require a crane to launch. If I'm going to buy a boat that requires a slip, there's a Morgon 40 I would like to have.

My need right now is a boat I can keep in the driveway, and pull to somewhere exciting like Florida as needed. It only has to be able to sail so I can gain experience, and have a place to sleep. My tendency would be to motor upwind anyway. I don't like daggerboard boats, ( I have a Laser, and have gained a great deal of experience turning it back right side up). A good swing keel design, or simular well ballasted boat would be good.

I don't have very much knowledge of trailerable sailboats, maybe a list of models with stability ratings???
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Old 30-06-2011, 12:16   #11
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Hunter had a 26' 24' (23.5?) and 19' waterballast trailerables that were beamy and a little better quality than a Mac. These did not have the capability for large outboards. Try www.hunterowners. com and look at the small boat or trailerable forums. Should be able to get someone there to help you out.
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Old 30-06-2011, 12:38   #12
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Re: Macgreger 26M

I have never owned one nor sailed one, so take this with a grain of salt.
What I have seen several times on the Chess is people trying to sail MacGregors. It's painful to watch. A few weeks ago (and this is about the 3rd time I have witnessed a similar spectacle), we spotted a M26 on a beam reach, with winds 10-15 knots. The sails seemed to be reasonably well trimmed, but the boat was making at best 2 knots with an elderlesque couple aboard. We sailed past (in a Dutch Flyer 32) and hours later ended up in an anchorage followed within 15 minutes by the very same M26. The only thing we could figure is that they got so frustrated sailing, they must have given up and motored soon after we saw them.

They seem to make pretty good power boats but not much in the way of sailing.

Again, this is my observation only. Many here think it is impossible to judge a boat's sailing qualities unless you've actually owned one. So, keep that in mind.
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Old 30-06-2011, 13:34   #13
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Re: Macgreger 26M

I have owned a 2006 M for five years. It doesn't point to the wind well at all. It isn't the best sailing boat, but I'm not the best sailor either. I have hit 7.5 knots on a beam reach in 12-17 knots wind. I have sailed offshore from Jacksonville to St Augustine in 3-5 foot seas with no problems. It is definitely not a blue water boat but I would make the crossing to the Bahamas in a group in a good weather window. I have been in 35 knot cross winds with bare poles and it was not fun , but I never felt uncomfortable about my safety. The water ballast does its job but the boat is tender until it's about 15 degrees of heeling. The boat is a compromise for sailing and motoring.

It does however do exactly what I want it to do.

I have: Beached it several times. Lots of fun. Trailered over 500 miles from my homeport for a sailing event. Lots of fun. Taken the mast off and used it as a cabin cruiser for a long weekend. Lots of fun. Pulled all boards up and manuvered in less than 2 feet of water to get to a perfect gunk hole. Lots of fun. Motored out the channel for a afternoon sail against the tide when the "true sailboats" couldn't or wouldn't motor out and had to wait for the tide. Lots of fun and bragging rights.

A compromise that I am glad I made. I may move up to a fixed keel 30'er or so, but I will probably always keep my Mac 26M.
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Old 30-06-2011, 14:04   #14
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Re: Macgreger 26M

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
My need right now is a boat I can keep in the driveway, and pull to somewhere exciting like Florida as needed. It only has to be able to sail so I can gain experience, and have a place to sleep.

I don't have very much knowledge of trailerable sailboats, maybe a list of models with stability ratings???
How about a trimaran ?

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Old 30-06-2011, 15:50   #15
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Re: Macgreger 26M

I wouldn't have one. Crappy sailboat and crappy motorboat. Sorta like dating sisters sounds cool, but never works out .
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