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Old 29-06-2015, 10:39   #1
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Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Hello All,

Is anyone familiar with the Tattoo 26M motor/sail boats? My wife and I have recently become interested in learning the art of "sailing" after years of power boating. While interested in sailing I still like the ability motor on down the way when in the mood. I'm looking for a motor / sail boat that is trailerable, will fit in my 26 x 10 slip in Florida and can be reasonably comfortable for a long weekend cruise. I've looked at a variety of boats and keep coming back to the MacGregor / Tattoo Yachts 26M with a 50 or 60 HP outboard. The videos look pretty cool and there are a number of YouTube videos that seem to demonstrate the boat has nice characteristics when under sail. Does anyone have any first hand experience with these boats? If so, what are your thoughts in terms of performance in both sailing and under power.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Hanker
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Old 29-06-2015, 11:07   #2
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Used to have once a Mac Gregor 26M and it was a nightmare for my first mate. They are veery tender for coastal sailing. Might be allright for certain lakes so.
Had to get a real sailboat as I didn't want to turn her off sailing. This was one of may not so good investments as I bought new.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:57   #3
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Very surprised to see a post on MacGregor here, since i think most on this board would laugh at a Macgregor. I have 26M and I think it's a great boat for what it was designed. My boat is in SF bay, but I also have a house in Jacksonville FL and will move it there at some point since it's a great boat for shallow water. If you stay within ICW you'll enjoy it, but it's not a boat to go out on the Atlantic unless it's really calm. Still you can see videos of people crossing to Bimini. Having said all that, it's not a real sail boat and doesn't sail like one. So you just have to accept that it's a compromise. But it's a very good compromise. I have an Etec 90 on mine, which I think is the best safety feature when a storm is coming. And in Florida they can develop pretty fast. You better have a way to get fast to shelter.

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Old 30-06-2015, 02:37   #4
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

be warned there are two versions of the Mac 26

there's the standard MacGregor version which is limited to about 8 or 10 ponies sails beautifully and is very mannered

and then there's the no holds barred MacGregor 26X which in the UK came as standard with a 50 ponies outboard on it more or less the same hull shape and everything as the standard 26.

accomodation wise - sleeps 4 largish people is a fair bit of comfort too tiny galley - tiny charts area (read - use bunk)

should come with a 4 wheel road trailer - bout the only thing it had going for it in my book cos at least it could be hidden

good luck
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Old 30-06-2015, 02:47   #5
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Originally Posted by ruby tuesday View Post
be warned there are two versions of the Mac 26

there's the standard MacGregor version which is limited to about 8 or 10 ponies sails beautifully and is very mannered

and then there's the no holds barred MacGregor 26X which in the UK came as standard with a 50 ponies outboard on it more or less the same hull shape and everything as the standard 26.

accomodation wise - sleeps 4 largish people is a fair bit of comfort too tiny galley - tiny charts area (read - use bunk)

should come with a 4 wheel road trailer - bout the only thing it had going for it in my book cos at least it could be hidden

good luck
ITs like having a Beach Buggy. Great for going crazy in the environment for which it was designed for. Bit naff on the Motorway.

The 26X is a lovely cross breed for lively Estuary/coastal or Lake day-sailing. I enjoyed my time on one in the Bristol Channel. (I did not own it) Can use as a ski boat as well as a sailer. Fancy that! Priced modestly, which is reflected in its equipment, but does exactly what the labels says it does.

I admire Roger MacGregor for getting people out on the water cheaply and quite safely too. A Roll Royce it is not. Its not even a BMW.

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Old 30-06-2015, 21:55   #6
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

I've seen them out in the SF bay trying to sail,looked pretty hairy,shaking so bad laying over making no headway and basically falling apart.
I would say no to sailing one.
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Old 30-06-2015, 23:09   #7
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Our other boat is a 2004 Macgregor 26M . We bought it new.

Nice boat for what it is. I have nothing bad to say about it. It is for sale.. because we just haven't used it. We are still members of our local very active Macgregor sailing club ( North East Trailer Sailors )

It is far better than any sailor would give it credit for. We had a blast on it, never gave us any trouble. good fun boat.

You have to want that type of boat (hybrid, for lack of a better word) that combines power and sail. Trailers and launches very easy single handed.

The tattoo 26 is no longer in production. the molds are worn out...so what is out there, is out there.

I am currently the webmaster of the above website, and a moderator on macgregorsailors.com (paul s). feel free to ask me anything about the Macgregor 26M.
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Old 01-07-2015, 00:39   #8
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

The various evolutions in the Tattoo / MacGregor family all have their differences and one should be cautious about very generalized comments. Experience of one model may not be accurate in describing others.

The X powersailor of the late 1990s was perhaps the furthest out into the power-boat side of the line; later versions tweaked aspects of the design such as adding a partial solid metal keel to the previous water-ballast-only versions. And some older Mac/Venture designs also had solid (iron) keels.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:32   #9
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

What do I like about the MacGregor Sailboat?
Because This, our first sailboat was all part of the dream...


Which helped convince my wife and family to then move up to this and cast off on a 4yrs cruise to Mexico....


Which then lead me to this and 7rs of full time living aboard with the family.


My son and I are actually looking for a Mac26x now to buy for tailor sailing summer trips to the Northern Sea of Cortez.

People don't usually go from No Boat to a dream boat and for us the MacGregor was a valuable step in our boating life.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:00   #10
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Originally Posted by tommyh View Post
I've seen them out in the SF bay trying to sail,looked pretty hairy,shaking so bad laying over making no headway and basically falling apart.
I would say no to sailing one.
Gosh! I think I have to remove you from my list of impartial and accurate observers.



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Old 01-07-2015, 11:03   #11
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyh View Post
I've seen them out in the SF bay trying to sail,looked pretty hairy,shaking so bad laying over making no headway and basically falling apart.

I would say no to sailing one.

I seen lots of other boats do that too.....usually means the people don't know how to operate the boat.
This boat would check a lot of my boxes if I wanted to trailer to a variety of sheltered cruising grounds. And it'll do 65mph to weather!!


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Old 01-07-2015, 12:01   #12
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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.
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Old 01-07-2015, 17:25   #13
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

If you are not convinced yet that Macgregor is cool, check this out. https://youtu.be/TJuRomDvKMc


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Old 01-07-2015, 17:45   #14
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

It's also important to note that MacGregors are often the first sailboats people own, and so you may often see them sailed incompetently. So that observation is not untrue.

But you will find that all of the detractors have never sailed one. Take the opinions of those who've owned and sailed them. They are a much maligned boat, not without their problems, but certainly not deserved of the irrational invective spit their way by detractors.

Consider that 35,000 have been sold. A far higher percentage of keelboats have capsized than MacGregors.

They are fine coastal boats. I've taken mine to Catalina numerous times, and people routinely take them to the Bahamas. Less frequently they visit the windward Caribbean.

They are by no means open ocean boats. I've had mine out in 6 foot swells and it was safe but not fun. It's ability to power allowed me to keep it between swells, and they can run before a storm like no other.

They're a far stronger hull than you would think, but the rig is in my opinion weak. It works for the size but is barely sufficient.

Love the boat, that's why I've not been motivated about selling mine even though it's been replaced.


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Old 01-07-2015, 20:32   #15
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Re: Tattoo / MacGreogor 26 Power Sail Boat

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Consider that 35,000 have been sold. A far higher percentage of keelboats have capsized than MacGregors.
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
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