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Old 03-04-2014, 09:10   #16
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Re: never sailed before.

No lessons, buy a boat. Maybe if the lessons are really, really, cheap. But still buy a boat, you'll have more fun in your own vessel with a few friends.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:15   #17
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Re: never sailed before.

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
I'm probably going to get crucified for this by someone but personally I'm not a huge fan of Macgregor boats. They're more of part motor boat part sail boat and don't really do either well. Now with that being said it is better then the boat you have right now and it will still be a good learning platform.

I would suggest a similar sized catalina, hunter or any other regular sail boat as it's rigging will be similar and more familiar comparing it to what ever size boat you upgrade to.

But to be my own devils advocate 2k for a starter boat is hard to pass up. As long as it's in ok shape and is sailable as is.
If I recall, there are/were two versions of the MacGregor 25. The newer models are like you describe, sort of a fat sailboat or skinny power boat that kind of sails and kind of motor (actually motor half decent, like 25 kts or something).

The older version was more of a standard trailer sailor and was a much better sailboat. Although I wouldn't recommend it, I met a guy in Ft Lauderdale many years ago that took his MacGregor to the Virgin Islands.

Either way, it would get you a boat with mast, sails, trailer, etc and would be fine for a learner.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:23   #18
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Re: never sailed before.

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If I recall, there are/were two versions of the MacGregor 25. The newer models are like you describe, sort of a fat sailboat or skinny power boat that kind of sails and kind of motor (actually motor half decent, like 25 kts or something).

The older version was more of a standard trailer sailor and was a much better sailboat. Although I wouldn't recommend it, I met a guy in Ft Lauderdale many years ago that took his MacGregor to the Virgin Islands.

Either way, it would get you a boat with mast, sails, trailer, etc and would be fine for a learner.
I will happily and absolutely concede to those points
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:49   #19
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Re: never sailed before.

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
I will happily and absolutely concede to those points
Now that someone thinks I might actually have a point I thought it would be good to do a little research to determine if my memory was more or less correct.

According to Wikipedia and the MacGregor owners web site there were 8 different models from 24-26'. The most famous was the 25 model M-25 that looks like the sailboat model. Then they went to 26' and made 6 different models with various combinations of dagger board, swing keel, sail and motor sail. For inquiring minds here's a link.

MacGregor Yacht Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:37   #20
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Re: never sailed before.

Join a club, take some lessons.
If there is club racing near you then volunteer to crew, you will most likely be rail meat for awhile but it will get you on a number of different boats and learn something along the way.
If buying a first boat then go conservative, you can always sell it and buy a boat better suited to your needs.
It's tough to know what you'll ultimately want out of a boat, there are so many slightly different variations and every human is cast from a different die, it's next to impossible to tell someone else what they should buy until they have a better idea themselves.
Once you've gotten a better idea of what works for you it's easier to ask a more defined question, at which point I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions.
It's a mix of practicality and emotion when buying a boat. I've run the range when it comes to boats and found that they all suited my needs at the time and those needs have changed as my plan has changed. It's all been fun.
Good Luck
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Old 03-04-2014, 14:17   #21
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Re: never sailed before.

MacGregor 25 is a swing keel sailboat.

Links have pictures:
MACGREGOR 25 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

MacGregor 26 S, D, and C versions are water ballasted sailboats with a daggerboard or centerboard.

MACGREGOR 26D sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Never sailed either but have talked to folks that have sailed the 26. The water ballast in the hull they said makes the boat feel tender going upwind. I wonder what they would say if they got a chance to sail the Mac 25 with the weighted swing keel as MacGregor has measured more righting arm with a scale at 90 degrees heeled over for the water ballasted 26 than the 25. They probably both feel tender to someone used to a fixed keel boat that size.


The MacGregor 26 M and X are all anyone talks about anymore, and these are the power boat mix boats.

MACGREGOR 26X sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com


I almost bought a MacGregor 36 but the seller decided to keep it. It's essentially a beach cat 36 feet long with minimal cabins, it's fast.

MACGREGOR 36 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 03-04-2014, 14:59   #22
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Re: never sailed before.

The water ballasted version probably feels tender because the water weighs nothing in water right? It only acts as weighted ballast when raised above the waterline or when trying to move it. In other words if you have a plastic bucket that is neutral in water, and it's full of water it still just barely floats. However, if you try to drag it, it has resistance.... so as the boat heels, the underwater ballast has some resistance to heeling, but more when it starts to raise out of the water. Have I got this right?
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Old 03-04-2014, 15:28   #23
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Re: never sailed before.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The water ballasted version probably feels tender because the water weighs nothing in water right? It only acts as weighted ballast when raised above the waterline or when trying to move it. In other words if you have a plastic bucket that is neutral in water, and it's full of water it still just barely floats. However, if you try to drag it, it has resistance.... so as the boat heels, the underwater ballast has some resistance to heeling, but more when it starts to raise out of the water. Have I got this right?
Don't think so.

Hollow out a log -- no form stability at all, will roll 360 and doesn't care which way is up.

Now attach a container of water inside the log. According to you the log will not care about its orientation until the container is above the water. I contend you will always find the container at the lowest point.

Instead of water attach a container of something less dense than water, say plastic. Is that going to try to float? Or wind up at the low point as the log rolls.

The problem with water as ballast is it is in the hull, not at the bottom of the keel and the density is 1 gm/cm, not 11 gm/cm, so you'll need 11 times the space.
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Old 03-04-2014, 15:46   #24
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Re: never sailed before.

Hmm... so If I read you right you are saying if you attach a ballon of water on the outside of a perfectly symmetrical log that side will always be down in water of the same specific gravity? Not sure I agree (except by the additional weight of the balloon itself) and unless you try to raise the balloon above the water.... but it's something to ponder!
However, I agree it will add some resistance to spinning the log (inertia)
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Old 03-04-2014, 16:53   #25
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Re: never sailed before.

If you put 20 lbs of birds in a cage in an airplane, do they weigh anything when flying or only when they are on a perch?
If you get a ride in a motorhome, put a tethered helium ballon in it and observe it when you go around a corner, what happens and why? I don't have a good answer for this one myself, it doesn't make sense.
Had a College physics teacher try to convince me that the air pressure inside of a space capsule during launch increased by the amount of G forces felt during the launch, IE 7 G's = 7 ATM of pressure, right or wrong?
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Old 03-04-2014, 16:58   #26
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Re: never sailed before.

On July 4 2002 a 26x capsized in my hometown and 2 kids drown, issue was the water ballast. I recall one other similar incidence.

ne-ts.com/ar/ar-407capsize.html
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Old 03-04-2014, 17:28   #27
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Re: never sailed before.

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Originally Posted by Horror Hotel View Post
On July 4 2002 a 26x capsized in my hometown and 2 kids drown, issue was the water ballast. I recall one other similar incidence.

ne-ts.com/ar/ar-407capsize.html
I'm not a huge fan of MacGregors, but blaming operator error on the boat because it's a popular boat to bash on disturbs me.
From your link:

The 26-foot MacGregor, which is a cross between a sailboat and a power boat, is designed to hold up to six people, according to Roger MacGregor, the boat company's owner. The boat carried 11 people the night of July 4.

The boat's hybrid design uses a water tank on the bottom to provide stability. The tank should be filled when there are more than four people on board, MacGregor said. The tank on the boat driven July 4 by George Dean Martin was empty, according to the prosecutor in the case.



If someone sank or capsized most any other boat, sail or power, due to overloading wouldn't the operator be blamed? One of the points made was that there wasn't a safety placard posted. Here is one part of the operating manual. RTFM

http://www.macgregor26.com/instructi...STRUCTIONS.pdf
THE WATER BALLAST TANK SHOULD BE FULL
WHEN EITHER POWERING OR SAILING.
IF THE BALLAST TANK IS NOT COMPLETELY FULL,
THE BOAT IS NOT SELF RIGHTING. (IF YOU CHOOSE
TO OPERATE THE BOAT WITH AN EMPTY TANK, SEE
THE SECTION ON OPERATING THE BOAT WITHOUT
WATER BALLAST.)
WHEN THE BALLASTTANK IS FULL:
- NO MORE THAN 6 PERSONS, 960 POUNDS.
WHEN THE BALLASTTANK IS EMPTY:
- NO MORE THAN 4 PERSON, OR 640 POUNDS.
- CREW WEIGHT CENTERED FROM SIDE TO SIDE.
- ALL SAILS REMOVED, ENGINE POWER ONLY.
- NO ONE ON THE CABIN TOP OR FORDECK.
- WAVES LESS THAN 1 FOOT.
-OPERATE WHERE WATER IS WARM AND
RESCUE IS LIKELY.
- NEVER OPERATE THE BOAT WITH A PARTIALLY
FILLED TANK.


One of my friends nearly sank a Caravel Bristol 22. It was obviously the boat that was at fault, and had nothing to do with them carrying a spinnaker from a much larger boat in 25 knots of wind, and when the inevitable broach occurred the boat was pinned on its side with the companionway boards out allowing the water to rush into the cabin. And no safety placards saying don't do that.
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Old 03-04-2014, 17:32   #28
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Re: never sailed before.

Hey I'm not pickin sides. Just be aware of what could happen. But buying a boat with a regular lead keel would sure take hassle out of filling a water ballast that's sorta ineffective anyway.
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Old 04-04-2014, 00:12   #29
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Re: never sailed before.

Nice thread drift......

To The OP....Buy a boat(30+') that doesn't leak, has a reliable motor(inboard diesel), has decent sails, standing rigging, lines and sheets, working(manual and auto) bilge pumps, vhf, fire extinguisher, whistle, bell, horn, working running lights, anchor light, anchor and rode, life jackets, friends, family...... Go sailing.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:56   #30
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Re: never sailed before.

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Why not start right out in Florida? Lots of boats and more good weather to go out in. 30- 35 feet should be nice for a single. I had alot of fun in my 30 footer. I would stay a little on the conservative side design wise. there will be tons of people tell you to just buy a Catalina or a Beneteau.... but a protected rudder and keel is more forgiving and tracks better too. Cape Dory, older Pearson, Luders, Alberg 30 or 35.. there are a ton of good sailing boats out there. Are you a good mechanic/handy man? You know cruising is "doing boat repair in exotic places" right?
I am not going to leave this area until I am fully retired. What i did yaesterday was bought a 22 foot mcgreger poptop. it appears to be in go shape . I will use this on brookville lake and maybe next year take it up to erie , to try out my new skills on bigger water. I will still be looking for a larger boat to live on . I am mechanically inclined and do all my own repairs on the house and truck and my tractor. I think I can handle boat repairs as long as parts are available. I have been reading online and it appears the alberg 30, the cape Dory and the morgans are well thought of as blue water boats. Are there other models I should be watching for?
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