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Old 02-07-2015, 04:23   #16
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Are you sure about the first? I find that hard to believe. And how in the world have you come up with the second statistic? Hard to imagine your data source for that statement.

Finally, if you think the rig is weak, how can you say it is a fine coastal cruiser?

I have no dog in this fight, but those statements got my attention.

Jim
unsure how accurate it is, wiki says 36,000 macs were built over the years.

The rig is light, but acceptable and durable enough for what it was designed. It is a lot better than people give it credit for.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:37   #17
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Hanker.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:42   #18
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Are you sure about the first? I find that hard to believe. And how in the world have you come up with the second statistic? Hard to imagine your data source for that statement.

Finally, if you think the rig is weak, how can you say it is a fine coastal cruiser?

I have no dog in this fight, but those statements got my attention.

Jim

The 35,000 stat is what the factory claims in its marketing materials. My second claim is based on the fact that there have only been four fatality accidents reported in the news regarding MacGregors in the past two decades (a closely tracked statistic on the Macgregor forum) which gives them a rate of nearly 1:10,000 boats. That's better than the rate of all sailboats on average extrapolated from USCG statistics.


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Old 02-07-2015, 11:37   #19
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

To determine the relative safety of a model, we compare it to the average safety of all boats. To make that simple, we'll use a single year's production of sailboats vs. the death rate on sailboats for that year as a proxy for all the years. Because the number of sailboat fatalities is small, this number could vary quite a bit from year to year, by about double.

Total sailboats sold in 2013: 5600 (source: € Number of sailboats sold in the U.S. 2000-2013 | Statistic)

Total sailboat fatalities 2013: 13 (source: Coast Guard 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics")

Total fatalities per sailboat, all types, annualized for 2013: 13:5600 = 1:430

Since we don't have annualized production rates or fatality rates for MacGregors, we take all the years of data together. This ratio will be more accurate because it includes all the known statistics. To make the statistics completely comparable I have to divide fatalities, not accidents, by the number of MacGregors, which is 8:36,000 or 1:4500.

By this simple analysis, MacGregors are roughly 10X safer than your typical sailboat. If you make the assumption that there have been 10 times as many fatalities on MacGregors than we know of, the boat is still slightly better than the average sailboat.

Most likely this comes down to their lighter duty use.

Other years will vary of course. A better analysis would average the statistics for all sailboats over 20 years (as far back as we have good data) because new sailboat sales are decreasing while the old boats remain in service. Likely the true statistic for all sailboats is closer to 1:1000.

In any case, this is close enough for forum arguments. They are a safe boat. Sorry for the grim statistics.
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Old 02-07-2015, 16:05   #20
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

To determine the suitability of a sailboat for coastal cruising by examining the number of fatalities experienced on those boats isn't how I would do it. You are welcome to that pseudo-statistical methodology when evaluating a design; I think I will look more at how they sail, etc.

It was you who noted that the rig on the M-26 was pretty lightly built but opined that it was a good coastal cruiser. I have been in some fairly bad weather while coastal sailing. A marginal rig would disqualify a vessel from being a good coastal cruiser IMO, and that was the point I was making.

As to the 35,000 number... is that the number of M-26's built or the total number of boats built by MacGregor, including the many Venture 17,22, 25s built long ago?

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Old 02-07-2015, 17:03   #21
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Hi Hanker,

We were very satisfied MacGregor 26M owners for many years. It was our transitional boat from power boats and addressed our concerns about being stuck out on a lake if the wind died.

It was a fantastic inland lake boat and adequate coastal cruiser. It is a little tender and tends to scare the crap out of non-sailor guests when it heels to 20+ degrees in a moderate puff.

We moved the boat to Lake Michigan and my wife decided "we need a bigger boat" so I got her a 35' Beneteau (with a flush toilet).

The MacGregor 26X/26M cannot sink due to factory installed flotation material. The MacGregor 26X/26M will not capsize (unless you overload the boat with extra people on deck). When overpowered, the boat will round up.

The MacGregor 26X/26M are designed as a hybrid power sailor and, as a result, it is just an adequate power boat while also being an adequate sailboat..

Enjoy!
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Old 02-07-2015, 17:25   #22
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
To determine the suitability of a sailboat for coastal cruising by examining the number of fatalities experienced on those boats isn't how I would do it. You are welcome to that pseudo-statistical methodology when evaluating a design; I think I will look more at how they sail, etc.

It was you who noted that the rig on the M-26 was pretty lightly built but opined that it was a good coastal cruiser. I have been in some fairly bad weather while coastal sailing. A marginal rig would disqualify a vessel from being a good coastal cruiser IMO, and that was the point I was making.

As to the 35,000 number... is that the number of M-26's built or the total number of boats built by MacGregor, including the many Venture 17,22, 25s built long ago?

Jim
That's not what I did. My assertion that it's a safe boat is based on statistics. The 35,000 number is for all MacGregors, which does include smaller 19', 22', and 25' models. The Power Sailors (19, 26X, and 26M) constitute about 13,000 of that number, and water ballasted versions constitute about 17,000 of that number. The other half are iron centerboards.

My completely independent assertion that it's fine for coastal cruising is based on my years of experience sailing it in coastal deep water in Southern California. So that we may avoid the constant terminology misunderstandings that are rife on this board, my definition of "coastal" means "within engine and tank range of safe harbor".

The rig is light, but sufficient for most uses. I have run it heavily reefed up to 25 knots TWS and six-foot seas. Beyond that, the seas are too heavy in a boat this size to make headway, and I drop sail and use the motor to run between waves, which is something these boats can do better than any other sailboat out there. I've run into safe harbor in the very narrow Mission Bay channel in very heavy seas safely because I could match the 15 knot wave speeds, something that could not be done in a keelboat.

For heavy coastal use, I recommend and did upgrade it significantly. Even with all my upgrades, the boat was considerably less expensive than the next possible competitor and had a lot more interior room. I also went to heavier sails and a 9-axis autopilot that helps quite a bit to compensate for its tenderness when in transverse seas.

It is a more difficult boat to sail than any keelboat I've sailed, and can only make about 50% of TWS into forward motion when pointing, as opposed to 70% for my other boats. It can do that same 50% on just about any point of sail, however so its speed is very consistent.

I learned a lot more about sailing on the MacGregor than I have on my other keelboats. It's faster in very light winds than any keelboat I've sailed, easily able to outpace other boats in the very light wind regime < 5 knots TWS. Otherwise Keelboats are going to sail right past them.

These boats take a lot of heat for a number of reasons:
1) They innovated a lot of technology decades ago that is only now being accepted into common use, such as water ballast, kick-up centerboards/daggerboards, semi-planing hulls, and float on/off trailer-ability.
2) They were also inexpensively built with typical stainless hardware and fiberglass at a time when most boats were still being build with mahogany, teak, and brass. But the industry has gone that way as well.
3) They're very often the first sailboat of their owners, and there's a lot of learning going on on them, and they're often seen stuck between tacks, flogging sails, and running about on bare sticks.
4) The power-sailors often piss off keel boaters when they zip by at 20 knots and get back to the bar first. Same reasons sailors are always pissed off by power boaters. Consider that it's 12 hours from San Diego to Avalon harbor by sail in good winds, and 4 hours powering in a MacGregor.

Many people buy them, realize that sailing is not for them, and run them as swift trawlers with the rig removed. That's way cheaper than changing your mind about a sailboat and having to sell it to buy a powerboat.

The constant trailering dramatically increases the odds of damage to the rig. Raising and lowering the mast each use can kink shrouds and break cotter pins on clevis pins. Hulls get bounced around quite a bit, which they handle just fine excepting the scratches. Masts are sometimes dropped. All of these things increase the odds of a failure, and MacGregor owners should be in the habit of inspecting their clevises, shackles, and and cotters routinely.

Like any boat, it has it compromises. For a safe, low-cost, all-purpose family boat that you can afford to own by keeping it on trailer in your backyard rather than in a slip, there is nothing better. There's very nearly nothing else.
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Old 02-07-2015, 18:20   #23
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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That's not what I did. My assertion that it's a safe boat is based on statistics.
Yes, but your "statistics" are meaningless. To take the number of sailboat sales for the year 2013 and divide it by the number of total sailing fatalities for that year ignores the fact that those fatalities were accrued in the total sailboat population, a number nearly two orders of magnitude larger.

But the real fallacy lies in equating fatalities to a boats competence as a cruiser,, or even to its "safety". How many of the subject fatalities were related to the qualities of the boat, and how many were due to extraneous causes, such as collisions, MOB, etc? Such instances have little to do with the design or build quality of the boat involved.

I agree that the M-26 has some unique qualities that appeal to some users. The ability to run breaking bar entrances at wave-train speeds is indeed unique amongst yachts. But sailing one on the Socal coast isn't the only venue that should be considered if a boat is to be described as a good coastal vessel, for that is a rather benign cruising ground. And if the upgrades that you performed had been done at the factory and not been required as a retrofit one might have a higher opinion of the adequacy of the build. Oh, I also wonder about describing uncontrollable roundups in gusts as a safety feature. Even if "overpowered" this is not a good feature in any boats performance.

Many years ago I sailed a Catalina 22 swing-keel trailer boat. My normal venue was SF bay, but I ventured out in the ocean and down the coast as far as Monterey, and did several vacation cruises from Santa Barbara to the various channel islands. Didn't die and had a good time, but I would in no way describe that boat as even an adequate coastal cruiser. I was pretty careful about weather selection, and I was lucky that my predictions proved correct. In retrospect, I was a bit foolhardy and I doubt if I would repeat those ventures!

The M-26 does fill a niche in the sailing world, and it is (I think) unique in its approach. It would not suit me as a coastal cruiser, and I think it inappropriate to describe it as such. Others are welcome to their own opinions and definitions.



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Old 02-07-2015, 19:19   #24
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

[QUOTE=Jim Cate;1861090]Yes, but your "statistics" are meaningless. To take the number of sailboat sales for the year 2013 and divide it by the number of total sailing fatalities for that year ignores the fact that those fatalities were accrued in the total sailboat population, a number nearly two orders of magnitude larger.[QUOTE]

It is a valid method to estimate the ratio of total boats to fatalities. We have to use some time period that equate a number of boats to a number of fatalities. Since we cannot know the total number of sailboats in existence, we can limit the study to just the boats made in a period and the fatalities in that period. What we can't to is assign those to any particular make.

You'll find the number to be similar, for example, if you took 50 years worth of production numbers in sum and then took 50 years worth of fatality numbers in sum. This would produce the same ratio. I used a single year because it's simpler, but I'm sure you would agree that 50 years of data, if available, would encompass nearly all boats in active use.

The MacGregor statistics are not annualized because there isn't year information for either statistic. Instead, both are taken in sum. The ratio remains the same.

But you are correct that its fallacious to equate this statistic to competence as a coastal cruiser--Which is, again, why I didn't do that. I used this statistic to state only that the boat is at least as safe as other sailboats, which is all that statistic means. Just because I also stated in the same forum post that it's fine for coastal use does not mean that I used this statistic to prove that. Again, I'm basing my recommendation that its fine for coastal use on my own experience of using it that way.

A 22 foot boat is 15% shorter than a 26 foot boat--the same size difference as a 26 footer to a 31 footer. I too would be quite hesitant to go too far afield in a 22 foot boat. Socal is pretty mild, much more so than your neck of the woods, but there are quite a few MacGregor's in San Francisco Bay. I would definitely prefer a larger boat for the winds up there.

To my knowledge, no MacGregor has ever sunk. They can run fast, and they can be beached deliberately at speed without damage. They can run aground, and just pull boards up to move off. It's these additional capabilities that improve their safety in situations where keelboats would have fewer avenues of escape. In my opinion that improves their coastal capability compared to same-sized sloops.

They don't round-up uncontrollably: Like any light fin-keeled sloop, they will round up, and unlike many keelboats their mast rake can be set incorrectly rather easily, which will increase the tendency to round-up, but releasing the mainsheet will keep the boat under control as it does in that same circumstance on any sloop. Being unable to control a round-up is a matter of sailing competency, not boat design.

My biggest sailing quibble with them is that they're so light that they lack much inertia and can fail to make it through a tack in some circumstances, which requires habitual backwinding of the jib to ensure that the boat tacks all the way through and isn't caught in irons.
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:15   #25
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Hey Hanker, "buy" the Mac. and if you like it and it fits your needs keep it, if not, sell and look for something different.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:03   #26
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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My 2nd sailboat was (actually still is) a MacGregor 26M, which is currently for sale because we've upgraded. It's a 2011 and we absolutely loved it. We've trailered it from San Diego to New York Harbor and the Chesapeake on a family vacation and it did just fine.

Firstly, if you're serious about the model you should start reading this forum:

MacGregorSailors.com

That's the largest forum of actual owners.

I assume you already know the differences between the older 26S and 26D models, which are sail-only, and the 26X and the 26M/Tattoo 26, which are power sailors.

Firstly, these are very versatile boats. With the ability to power between 17 and 25 knots depending on what outboard they kick, you get really used to doing things like getting to Catalina from Oceanside in four hours and then sailing once you're there.

For us and our 3 kids, it was the perfect boat until they hit their teenage years and then it was just too crowded, which is why we upgraded.

These are not easy boats to sail, but a competent sailor can sail them well. If it's your first boat, expect that it will take you a season or two to really get good at sailing them, even if you come with experience. Read the forum above, there's a ton of good advice on how to handle them.

They are very tender compared to a keel boat, and they don't point very well. The biggest issue is the steering, which has to work in both sail and power mode and winds up being very touchy when sailing. I strongly recommend getting and using an autopilot so you can focus on trimming.

Invariably, someone will tell you that they're dangerous because they are water ballasted. In fact, if you put your sails up in a blow without water ballast, you can knock them down, although that's extremely rare. There is also danger if you go full throttle with the daggerboard down, as that can cause instability. You'll immediately notice that problem however because of the additional drag.

The rigging is cheap, but enough to get the job done. Most people wind up upgrading a lot of it.
Thanks for the information. I will definitely check out the forum. We are empty nesters now so the space won't be an issue for us. We're in Vero Beach on the ICW with easy access to the ocean in either Ft. Pierce or Sabastian. We're looking for something that can handle the shallow waters in and around the ICW as well as some coastal day sailing in good weather. We also like the idea of being able to motor to water side restaurants for dinner and an leisurely evening cruise back home. I'm currently looking at a 2014 Tattoo 26 at the boat dealership where we're taking our introductory sailing classes. I like the idea that the Tattoo is bouyant and sel-frighting in case I have a hiccup trying to handle the boat. Your insight about the Autopilot is appreciated. I'll look into that before buying and see if I can get it included.

Thanks Again,
Hanker
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:40   #27
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

If the weather gets bad, why not just drop the sails and use the boats superior motoring ability? I wouldn't buy one, but from a safety standpoint it doesn't seem all that unsafe when you consider that you can motor to safety much quicker than probably any other sailboat.

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Old 08-07-2015, 11:11   #28
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

I appreciate everyone's input. I'm pretty well convinced at this point that the Tattoo 26 will fit our needs very well, at least in the short term. Didn't mean to create such a debate on safety although it is interesting reading. If it won't sink, will pop back up if blown over and I can motor like Heck as necessary then I think we'll be as safe as we can. Oh, and by the way, we Will be wearing life vests if the weather even hints of being naughty. Thanks Everyone!!!
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:00   #29
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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I appreciate everyone's input. I'm pretty well convinced at this point that the Tattoo 26 will fit our needs very well, at least in the short term. Didn't mean to create such a debate on safety although it is interesting reading. If it won't sink, will pop back up if blown over and I can motor like Heck as necessary then I think we'll be as safe as we can. Oh, and by the way, we Will be wearing life vests if the weather even hints of being naughty. Thanks Everyone!!!
I do have a very well upgraded 2011 26M with an Evinrude 60hp (Same boat as the Tattoo) for sale... Autopilot with wireless remote, 7" chart plotter, wind instrument, engine data, new 7oz Hyde sails, dyneema dux rigging, stern rail seats, LED lighting--all the goodies, and in like-new condition with no mods that affect appearance...
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Old 08-07-2015, 16:10   #30
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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I like the idea that the Tattoo is bouyant and sel-frighting
Wonderful typo! But not good advert copy!

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