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Old 10-09-2012, 15:57   #1
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MacGregor Venture 22

I have an opportunity to buy a MacGregor/Venture 22 for a very inexpensive price. I have not yet seen the boat, or any pictures, so I'm basing everything I know right now on the brief description given me by the owner.

I will go look at the boat in two days when he is available, so I hope to know much more then, but for the time being I am looking for thoughts or advice on what to look for when I do inspect it.


I am not expecting to buy this boat!!!
However, if it is in reasonably good condition, I would consider it; I'm just not going to walk into it with the expectation that I MUST buy the boat.

I have read a couple books on surveying a small sailboat, so I shouldn't be totally in the dark, and quite frankly, the asking price is modest enough that if I totally blundered and purchased it and it turned out to be completely unsalvageable, I could write it off without hating myself. Obviously that would be an extreme case though.

Based on the seller's description, it is not a project boat, but completely ready to sail as is. Sails are less than 24 months old, it includes the trailer, is due a bottom paint job, and has no damage. He was vague about equipment, so I have very little expectations there. I doubt it has an engine.
His reason for the low price was that he bought a new "Party Barge" and needed this boat gone because he had no where to store it now.

Now, my ideal boat is not a 22 footer with 4' headroom, but there are several reasons this particular style might be a very good fit for me. All of my assumptions about Venture 22's are taken from the book "Sailors Book of Small Cruising Sailboats" 2010, Henkel, and not from any actual experience, so if you have reason for me to doubt, please feel free to let me know.

An unsinkable swing keel boat with a kick up rudder and 2600 lb trailering weight would be easier for me to get in and out than a larger, heavier boat. My minivan can tow 3500 lb, so I wouldn't have to make extra trips to take the boat and kids to the lake separately. I assume I could haul out after every sail if I desired, and a mooring ball should cost around $500 a year if I decided to go that route.

The interior has "5" berths, and although the double v-berth and double dinette are suspect at best, my kids are still young enough that occasionally overnighting with them would be a real possibility. And of course, with the shallow draft, we could take a tent and just pick a secluded beach to camp at as well. If the boat has a pop-top, the headroom with it up should be 6'1" which is very manageable for me.

Now I would be extremely pleased if, after the purchase price, I could spend < $2k getting the boat ready for spring. The total would be about 1/2 the cost I had expected to get into a boat. I would be very happy working on the project over the winter, and with a heated, indoor workspace available, would expect to have ~250 hours of time to work on it if I needed it.

After I see the boat, and try to take pictures, I'll let you all know what it's actual condition is at that point.
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Old 10-09-2012, 16:15   #2
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

If it isn't a total wreck, I don't really see how you would be spending $2k on a weekender/daysailer, unless you were outfitting it for some kind of serious cruising.

It sounds like you may have found a nice starter boat. If you like it, and the price is right, I'd say go for it!

But that's just my 2.
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:06   #3
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I don't think it's a total wreck, and if it is, the seller has totally misrepresented it. Two year old sails, if that's true, makes me think it has at least been used recently.
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:31   #4
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

Will the owner take you out on a sail to check it out? (Sorry, I don't remember if you are new to sailing or not?)

There really isn't too much that can be wrong with a small trailer-sailer that you wouldn't notice.

Check for leaks and spongy decks, and other obvious things.

Make sure that the trailer is in decent shape.

Be sure that the seller has the title! Bonded titles are a hassle!

But you mentioned that you have been researching on doing your own survey, so I probably don't need to tell you all this.

If you like it, I'd say get it. You can usually get your money back out of small boats if you haven't overpaid for them, and it will give you some extra fun/bonding time with the kids.



Oh yeah, parts are a LOT cheaper for these small boats too!
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:50   #5
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForeverDes View Post

Now, my ideal boat is not a 22 footer with 4' headroom, but there are several reasons this particular style might be a very good fit for me. All of my assumptions about Venture 22's are taken from the book "Sailors Book of Small Cruising Sailboats" 2010, Henkel
I owner a McGreagor Venture 21...same boat. The Venture 22 described in Henkells book I believe is a different animal (but could be wrong). McGreagors are chopper-gun built boats intended for calm conditions. If he's asking more that $1200, forget it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 20:16   #6
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

Used to sell macgregors so here are a few things to be aware of
1, Hinge pin on the centreboard is it in good shape (look for rust flakes around the bolt head)
2, check the deck around the tabernacle where the mast is stepped you are looking for overt sponginess (usually a sign of delamination of the glass and the core).
3, check the centreboard cable for any wear or fraying of the cable
4, check the motor mount on the transom for it being solid
5, check the hinge pin on the rudder, these rudders will swell when in the water and jam at the most inopportune times.
6, check the chain plates where they go through the decks, make sure all the cotter pins are in and there is no corrosion, also check the bolts in the cabin
and last but not least
7, check for rot and cupping on the trailer tires any cupping will be produced by bad wheel bearings
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Old 10-09-2012, 20:38   #7
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benet250,
Thanks for the list of trouble areas. I had a few on my list already but some were not.

Celestialsailor,
You may be right, since I have not seen any pics, this could be a totally different animal than what I'm expecting.
Since I would expect to only sail on an inland lake and should have the option of keeping the boat from any rough weather I'll take a chance on a less than superb quality built boat.

dsmastern,
Thanks for the encouragement! Cost of parts/ownership for the smaller boat definitely was a factor in deciding to look, as was the close (<1 hour) distance to me. I wasn't planning on actually "shopping" for a boat til spring, but I decided to give this a shot since it has the potential to be a steal.
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Old 10-09-2012, 23:22   #8
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

MacGregor 22', big waves 2 miles out of Biscayne Bay.

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Old 10-09-2012, 23:27   #9
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

This may be helpful:

User Reviews of the MacGregor 22
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Old 12-09-2012, 16:29   #10
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

An update on the MacGregor 22 I looked at today.

First of all, I am not going to purchase it. Although the boat didn't seem to be a total wreck, it had been neglected badly for several years. I didn't even bother to look at the sails he brought with him, although I'll give him a kudos for storing them off the boat, since he hadn't even checked on it this calender year.

I'm quite sure that anyone who has looked at cheap old small sailboats has seen everything I'm about to describe, but I'll do it anyway, as well as post some pics. (low res, since my digital didn't work and I was forced to use only my cell)

First off, there was nothing special about the boat. It had no equipment, motor, electronics, batteries, or upgrades that I could see at all. The fiberglass seemed to be mostly sound, even around chainplates and stanchions, but I honestly only gave that a cursory look since by then I knew I wasn't going to buy it.

The owner informed me that it leaked when it rained, and the water would rise over the sole at times of heavy rain. He wasn't sure where it leaked, but my guess is everywhere, including a very ill fitting hatch. He had no keys for the padlocks, and I was slightly worried he was trying to sell me someone else's boat. To get inside I slid the hatch to the point where the padlock was tight and then heaved out and the plastic popped out of it's tracks. All at his direction, by the way.

There was water in the bottom (Forgive me if I have the terminology wrong, but to my understanding, the small swing keel boats such as this don't truly have a "bilge") which had stagnated badly, and the entire inside was filthy. the cushions were surprisingly nice looking, but I believe two were missing.

The trailer was an absolute wreck, but the seller was quick to point out it was a 1990 model. Tires were dry rotted, lights were taped on or missing, all the very exposed wire was sun damaged and brittle.

The bow eye had pulled out, been replaced with a u-bolt, and pulled out again. The was the only real "damage" I saw, but again, I didn't look all that hard.

In retrospect I wish I had spent more time looking for soft spots on the deck and checking things like the keel pivot bolt and cable, just so I would have a better idea next time I go look. Hopefully the next boat will be in at least good enough shape to warrant an actual inspection and not just a cursory look.

On the positive side of things, I believe a 22' trailer sailor would be a workable size for my purposes. It may be a touch small, but the ability to easily store it and move it myself should be an acceptable trade off.
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Old 12-09-2012, 16:41   #11
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

Well, maybe next time!

At least you got a chance to look at one and practice inspecting it. You also got the chance to see how a 22' boat would fit your current lifestyle.

Now that the season is nearing the end, you may find some good deals. Just keep your eyes open!
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Old 12-09-2012, 17:02   #12
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

I used to have one of these and it was pretty good for the lake. Good advice given above. I had the pop top model so could get some headroom at anchor. The bow vberth is useless since most of that space contains the foam to make it unsinkable. Maybe the minivan could pull it ok but if you have a steep launch ramp you may need another vehicle to help you retrieve it.
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Old 19-09-2012, 12:56   #13
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

I have a 71 Venture 24, very similar to this one. I paid $2200 and it was in much better shape. It included 2 main sails, a jib and 3 genoas. I did replace the outboard as it was too unreliable- looked like it was from the 70's also. The hulls and decks of the Ventures are thick solid glass and well built. The boat handles waves well, but really prefers light wind- less than 15 knots. I've only sailed it at a lake, so the wind is always gusty. Anything over 10 knots and I have the main reefed. We've never slept on the boat due to the lack of space and head room. The early Ventures are great starter boats and I highly recommend them: cheap, solid and easy to maintain. Just reduce sail early and you'll have fun.
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:36   #14
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

I owned a Venture 22 some 40+ years ago in the late 60s, early 70s. It was a nice sailing boat. The swing keel had enough lead in it to help with ballast. I trailered it all over the place in a 1968 Pontiac GTO, once to the Keys. Fond memories.

We sold that old wreck twenty years ago for about $1,000.

David
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:38   #15
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Re: MacGregor Venture 22

Like I said before...these are barely worth $1200
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