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Old 05-10-2011, 13:51   #1
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New Sailor Needs Opinions on a Boat

OK, so I am looking at getting my 1st boat and one I found is about in my price range; I am a full time grad student so money is tight but I want to sail. I have no idea about different boats and so forth; full greenhorn here.

Home is in Ft Lauderdale Florida
Type of boating I am expecting to do: Mainly just day sailing around on the Atlantic coastal waters but once I get the hang of her possible trips to the keys but nothing on open waters (i.e out of sight of land till I get more experience).

The Boat: 1988 MacGregor 26' Sailboat with trailer for $3000 obo.

Described by seller as capable of Sailing in 15" of water and sleeping 6

Specifications:
Length: 25'10"
Waterline: 23'6"
Beam: 7'11"
Number of berths: 6
Sailing Weight: 2850 lbs
Dry boat weight: 1650 lbs
cockpit length: 6'4"
I am waiting to hear back from the seller if there are sails, lines, motor, or if any work needs to be done.

I know it is a beginner boat but that is what I am looking for at this point. I have read many mixed reviews so I thought I'd ask here. I have been searching for a bit and this is the 1st boat I have found that is in decent condition and within my price range. Please post any suggestions, opinions, etc you have. I am dying to get out sailing but don't want to waste time and money. Cheers.
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Old 05-10-2011, 13:59   #2
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

run away FAST.. They are the worst of both world, sail/power...
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:12   #3
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

I am not a fan of them. Poorly built, bad design. Not sure where you would sleep 6 people.
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:14   #4
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

Owner just replied and said it is ready to sail (lines, sails, motor, etc). They are that bad hu? I actually read a few reviews that suggested that they were slow under both. It's rare to find a seaworthy boat I can afford but yea, I'd hate to regret the purchase. Thanks for the input. Cheers
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:22   #5
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

i know how easy it is to get excited about the idea of something only to have it go south (not in the good 'avoid new england winter' sorta way).

the right boat will come along at the right time.

in the mean time, spend some time wandering around your local marinas. there are always people looking for companion and crew so you can likely get some time on the water without the initial expense.

gl
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:22   #6
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

I thought there was plenty of boats for sale in Florida, perhaps some of our members could post some links or suggestions for you.
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:36   #7
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

Thanks for the info guys, I shall heed that advice. I am definitely planning on trying to crew at the local marinas for more experience (though you'd be suppression how anti-social and unfriendly many people are around here) and for now I will wait; but yea it's easy to get excited about the prospect of getting a boat; especially once that bug bites ya. Any postings would be welcome for sure for crewing or boats . Thanks again. Cheers
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:59   #8
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

Before buying anything it's a good idea to consider what you want a boat for, and how long that need will last.

The MacGregor 26 that you are considering may suit your needs but may need advanced training and some experience to use safely.

Rather than buying the boat why not use it as an exercise in "What if?". That is, imagine you have brought the boat. Now search the internet for information on how these boats have been used. Could the situations and uses that you find happen or apply to you?

Then find the cost and availability of getting appropriate training to operate the boat, particularly that relating to keeping its stability within a safe envelope.

Then, whether not not you buy this or any other boat you should have a good understanding of what is involved.
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Old 05-10-2011, 15:27   #9
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

The Cape Dory boat company had a model called the "Typhoon". I am going from memory here so everyone take it easy. It was about 19'. Rhodes designed full keeled sloop. The quality of construction is way beyond the McGregor and their seaworthty. It would make an ideal boat in which to launch a lifetime love of sailing and learn the basics on. Nice large cockpit for daysailing and sleeping out in and a little cuddy cabin for overnighting.

Another plus is a decent one can usually be had in the 2k range. I know where there is is a nice one right now languishing in a yard that could be had free or for next to nothing. I have been told an adventureous person sailed on across the Atlantic. Type of boat I would start my son with.

Good Luck
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Old 05-10-2011, 15:52   #10
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

Actually it's not a bad buy. 3K with a trailer. A trailer boat would be ideal as slips are expensive in your area. The boat is not the best built or saltiest craft going but for a beginner it's not too bad. If the trailer is good and the engine works, go for it. The trailer is probably worth $1500. You could sail it for a few seasons and might get your money back when it's time to sell.
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Old 05-10-2011, 15:58   #11
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

Most colleges have a sailing club which is a great place to start, renting class boats and doing some racing. You will learn alot quickly and have a great time doing it. If not at the college there are bay yacht clubs that are into class boat racing and they always need crew to help.
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Old 05-10-2011, 16:13   #12
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

My 2 cents has to go with the consensus, the McGregor 26 might be fine for a small lake but I wouldn't take it out on the open ocean. For what you are planning to start with, I might look at Hunter's or Catalina's. Even ComPac has some nicely built trailer sails.

Besides places like Craig's List, there are weekly sales things such as "Sailboat Trader", also you can cruise the different marinas and see what might be available. Chances are, for your price range, you're going to have to supply some TLC and elbow grease. This isn't entirely bad if you consider it as training for a larger, more complex boat down the road. You might even pick up an issue or two of "Good Old Boat" as they tend to emphasize the smaller, more economical boats.

As someone once told me, more years ago than I care to remember, look for the things you can't change. Things like size, hull design, layout, etc. but only give secondary priority to the things you can more easily change. Wood trim looks terrible? Fine that can be fixed. You want self tailing winches? Fine, start saving. And on, and on!

If it's any consolation, yo those decades ago when I started, I too looked at the Mc 26. I ended up with a Morgan 32 as my first boat and was quite pleased.

Good luck, have fun, boat shopping and research can be a hoot. I might also suggest that you find someone to mentor you. Could be here, could be someone at a local marina. Haven't met too many sailors that don't like to talk. You could really use someone to help wipe away the stars in the eyes and perhaps prevent an expensive mistake.

Rich
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:02   #13
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Sounds just like me 20 years ago. I bought a 26 MacGregor as my second sailboat with a cabin. Bought in Miami and sailed/motored to the keys. Worst boat I have ever owned. Performance was horrible under sail or power. Really did not like the swing keel at all. Even with a thorough survey I still had all kinds of issues with the boat. Ended up giving it away and could not get away from it fast enough. There are much better boats out there in your price range just keep looking.
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:04   #14
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

you could do allot worse than this seapearl...
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...0-a-67198.html
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Old 05-10-2011, 17:07   #15
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Re: new sailor needs opinions on a boat

before you buy anything, sail on other peoples boats A LOT. when you find what ye like, buy it., dont ask, tell...have fun.

ps--welcome.
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