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Old 18-03-2007, 19:52   #16
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Mac26M

It's nice to read that some people can appreciate the 26M (or X) for what they are (trailerable).
There is quite a bit of bias against Macs by many sailors out there. I must admit I once held my own unfavourable opinion of the boats (and I hadn't even sailed one)!! I spent 3 years living on a 30 year old, full keel Ted Brewer design (Douglas 31). My wife and I loved that boat. We sold her a few years ago and bought a 2004 26M (which is for sale by the way) with the clear intention of sailing in locations that would normally be very time consuming (or impossible) to get to. The Mac allows you the peace of mind knowing that you can launch on virtually any ramp. If you are looking for a boat to keep in a slip, I feel there are definitely better boats out there for less money (don't be fooled by the advertised low price of a new Mac, that doesn't include a headsail, toilet, stove etc......). If trailering, storing at your home, motoring activities (ie: tubing) and alot of room in a 26' boat are what you want, the Mac delivers on all accounts. We have never regretted buying the Mac.
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Old 18-03-2007, 21:58   #17
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Old 19-03-2007, 12:13   #18
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I have a 06' MacGregor 26M that I received in Jan 06. I have put 2700 water miles in over 70 days this year. Lots of room for 2 people for costal cruising or Bahamas. It is not a blue water boat but then again not very many 26 footers are.
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Old 19-03-2007, 13:18   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmitch
It's nice to read that some people can appreciate the 26M (or X) for what they are (trailerable).
There is quite a bit of bias against Macs by many sailors out there. I must admit I once held my own unfavourable opinion of the boats (and I hadn't even sailed one)!! I spent 3 years living on a 30 year old, full keel Ted Brewer design (Douglas 31). My wife and I loved that boat. We sold her a few years ago and bought a 2004 26M (which is for sale by the way) with the clear intention of sailing in locations that would normally be very time consuming (or impossible) to get to. The Mac allows you the peace of mind knowing that you can launch on virtually any ramp. If you are looking for a boat to keep in a slip, I feel there are definitely better boats out there for less money (don't be fooled by the advertised low price of a new Mac, that doesn't include a headsail, toilet, stove etc......). If trailering, storing at your home, motoring activities (ie: tubing) and alot of room in a 26' boat are what you want, the Mac delivers on all accounts. We have never regretted buying the Mac.

I'm one of those biased sailors who has never sailed one. It just "seems" to me that they're the "spork" of the sailing world. Like a combination spoon/fork, this sail/motor boat does neither well. And I find the aesthetics off-putting. If you want to learn to sail, you'll learn it best on a boat that sails, and in particular goes to windward, really well. Then later on, you'll know what you're doing, and what the limitations are, on a boat that doesn't sail well.

Of course, others' mileage may, and does, vary. I admit I'm being narrow-minded.
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Old 19-03-2007, 15:08   #20
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I don't think you can really be narrow-minded if you can admit you are narrow-minded !

The Mac isn't a great sailing boat, but it was alot better than I expected. I have a friend who has owned many boats, very experienced sailor/cruiser. I don't mention my Mac around him much because I know he holds them in low regard.

But for what reason?

Yes, they are lightly built. That doesn't mean they are poorly built. They are made to be towed easily and launched on even the worst ramps. If they were "heavily built", then marketed as a trailerable, then I could see having an issue with them.

Because it isn't a "great sailing boat" does that result in a person not being able to learn how to sail? Reefing, tacking, sail trim, motoring etc... still has to be done regardless of the boat being a Mac, J24, Oyster72.

Getting back to the intended purpose of the boat, my choice was to have a larger boat (that would have cost less money) sitting in our local Marina, getting in a few trips around the Lake, or a Mac that I could spend a few hours on the highway towing and being sailing in a spot that would normally take weeks to get to.

I can definitely say that in the past 3 summers my family and I have sailed in more locations than 3/4's of the "great sailing" boats at our town marina.

As much as I am looking forward to trips on our new boat (Gemini 105M), I will never have any regrets buying our Mac (did I mention she is for sale??).
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Old 19-03-2007, 15:32   #21
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We have a 26S (without the big motor) and it suits our needs well. We can keep her in our yard so there are no slip fees, can easily trailer her to different locations so we don't get bored going out the same place, and can quickly get her rigged and in the water (our record is 35 minutes from pulling into the marina parking lot to casting off from the dock). While not the fastest sailing machine out there, we've sailed her in the "slot" in San Francisco in estimated 30 kts (well reefed!) and have felt very safe. She does have a tendancy to round up if hit by a gust, but that's usually the clue that we need to reef more.
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Old 28-03-2007, 18:19   #22
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Thank you for your reply--
I live in South Florida right off the St. Lucie river which empties out into the Atlantic. There is a lot of exploring to be done right on the river and the inter-coastal here. Also, the Keys are close by and they are VERY shallow. I have two sons 9 and 12 and i want to get them out on the water to sail/motor along the Okeechobee waterway, to lake Okeechobee, the southern Guld near the keys and the South Florida waterways. I am not interested in sailing offshore 130 miles out like my bussy who has the big 60 foot double-masted ketch or yawl or whatever it is called. It takes him 9 hours just to sail down to Biscayne bay and he cannot get in the intercoastal nor sail in the very shallow north side of the keys. But, his boat is very safe in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (where I have no desire to go). So, it seems to me that the MacGregor 26 would be a great choice for me and my sons---we can get out on the water, explore the river, trailer it down to the keys, stay on board for a day, a weekend, or even a week, and also save money on gas by sailing. No mooring fees. And, we have no desire to sail to England across the Atlantic. But, could we make the 7 hour crossing through the gulf Stream to the Bahamas one day in decent weather? Could we sail from Key West to the Dry Tortugas and see Fort Jefferson as we grow and become more confident? So, I am no expert, but I don't see why the macGregor is looked down upon---it seems to fit our desire to get out on the water; I am cautious by nature, and although a new one costs alot---it does seem to fit our situation? Any comments?
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Old 28-03-2007, 18:21   #23
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where do you live and how much are you selling your MacGregor for?
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Old 28-03-2007, 20:37   #24
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NewSailor: From your description of what you want to do, the Mac 26X or M would suit your needs. They aren't the only ones, though. There are a number of other boats with retractable keels that also can be taken into shallow water and can be put on a trailer. I have an RL 24 that does those things well. It weighs quite a bit less than the Mac. It is a much more narrow boat with a displacement hull and a 500# iron keel (that you retract with a winch) and that makes it point better and easy to sail. Basically it will never exceed 9 miles an hour no matter how big a motor since displacement boats are limited to their hull speed (don't plane). I've taken it into the Missouri River and it took a very long time to go upriver since the river flow rate wasn't that much slower than the hull speed. The Mac, on the other hand is only 2 foot longer but has a LOT more room in it because it is so wide. It has a semi planing hull and you can put a big engine on a Mac that allow you to go over 20 mph if you go to 90 hp...but even with a 50 hp you'll plane and make decent progress up rivers that are flowing pretty fast. I wouldn't hesitate sailing either down the Keys in good weather, but would feel safer in the Mac since if bad weather did start towards us, we would drop the sails and crank up the engine and head for safe harbor. The cheapest barebones used Mac you will find is a bit over $10,000 with not much of an engine. If you want decent features, expect to pay $15,000 used with a newer big engine. Expect to sell it for about what you bought it for since they hold their value very well. On the other hand, I'd sell the RL right now for $3000 with good sails and a trailer and there are lots of deals like that out there for small trailerable sailboats with retractable keels and displacement hulls. You can get into sailing cheaply by going that route. If you and the boys are going on an extended trip and sleeping on the boat the extra room the Mac has would make it so much more comfortable. Under the cockpit is a king size berth and the forward berth is roomy if you extend it a bit into the dinette seating area. Good Luck on your decision!
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Old 29-03-2007, 12:05   #25
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Go to this site and check out "Exploring".
MacGregor Sailors Pages

You will see Mac owners who have gone to the Bahamas and up to Glacier Bay in Alaska. Yes, you have to be thoughtful and plan carefully, but these little boats really get around. Once when I had our Mac 26M anchored off Sidney Spit in British Columbia the wind came up and I thought we were in for a sleepless night. A couple of Macs owned by locals came by and asked us if we would prefer an anchorage that was out of the wind. We did so we up-anchored and followed them to an unmarked cove on another island. We anchored and rafted up. The next morning we had about 2 ft. of water under us! Motor was retracted as were rudders and dagger board. We pushed off and started up the motor when we hit deeper water and motored back to the States. During the evening before two keelboats checked out this cove, but moved on after seeing how shallow it was. We slept like babies in absolutely calm conditions.
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Old 29-03-2007, 21:44   #26
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Very well put. A boat for everyone indeed. As well as a boat for every function. Many sailors feel the Mc is a silly boat for power/sailers who cant make up there mind. I realy doesnt do both functions well. It's doesnt sail as good as a true sailboat. Tender in higher winds and doesn't point . However when you want to pull up the anchor and be somewhere fast it can do it. Not a great powerboat with that spar sticking up in the air. It does have it's following though. Most pureists dont like it. Power or Sail. If it fits your budget and suits your purpose what the heck. Who am I to tell you how to enjoy the water. Catalina 30, cant trailer it so you stuck in one location. Great space inside. Sails ok. I recomend looking at the Catalina 25. Trailerable and a fair boat for the price. Lots of users groups and plenty of used ones around for under 10K with trailer.
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Old 31-03-2007, 22:19   #27
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Does anyone know anything about the Montgomery 15 or the Com-Pac 17' SunCat?
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:48   #28
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I’ve enjoyably daysailed the Com-Pac “SunCat”. The Cat rig is remarkably quick to rig (singlehanded). Like all Com-Pac’s, they’re a well-built little boat.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:10   #29
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Com-Pacs are great boats and very pretty in my opinon but for comfort & room the Mac is very hard to beat. Our 26' Laguna has as much or more room as the Mac does but has a fixed keel and weighs twice as much. We can trailer it and do but most of the time its in a slip. Right now its in our driveway absorbing all our time and money on a refit.
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Old 01-04-2007, 13:21   #30
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Certainly in the UK there are more second hand MacGregor 26's on the market than any other boat, at least in the yachting magazines - this must certainly say something, ie that people who buy them new only keep them for a very short time before off-loading them. To me this speaks volumes apart from the fact that they look cheap and nasty and from what I have heard from a couple of owners in my yacht club they are!
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