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Old 15-06-2009, 07:48   #1
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Upgrade - MacGregor 26m to ?

I am a sailboater...I currently have a Macgregor 26, but am considering upgrading in the next year or so to a larger sailboat. What do I like about the Macgregor?
  • I can motor with my 50HP nice an quick
  • I can sail or motor
  • Easy to handle
  • Low Maintenance
  • I can Trailer it
  • I can draft in 18" of water and even beach it
What don't I like?
  • Would prefer something thats a bit more stable (and better in rougher waters)
  • Would prefer something in the 32-34 foot range
  • Would prefer something that is better suited to handle ICW, offshore sailing, and Bahamas.
I guess I would like opinions on something reasonable, 32-34ft range that could handle Florida-Bahamas easily, maybe some light offshore activity, and is more roomy for long weekends and weeks. Any thought would be helpful. Things I am considering..... 33-34 Hunter (mid 80's) - older tartans in the 33-34 range...maybe c&C or Catalina....Don't have a huge budget, and I really like fixing things up and tweaking them...so older boats are perfect. Thanks All!
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Old 15-06-2009, 08:48   #2
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Location: Eastern PA
Boat: Island Packet 31 (35'), Black Squirrel
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I am going through the same process and here are the questions people asked me, and you may want to add now:
- How much can you spend?
- How experienced are you at sailing?
- How experienced are you at fixing sailboats?
- Single handed or a crew?
- How many people on board? Sleeping?
- Rank comfort versus ease of maintenance? (50/50, 20/80, 80/20, etc.) (If you have a significant other - they get a vote too, maybe a bigger one)

I have found (for me) - going for a new smaller (31-32) Beneteau 311 or Catalina 320 was better than older/larger. However, I also was looking for something sail ready. If you are willing to spend 6 months making her ready, then your options are far more open.

In addition, I have been told by several people, including a Hunter sales rep at the boat show, that pre 2000 hunters are different than 2000+. I am not sure why, but perhaps a hunter owner can explain.

Some warnings provided to me:
- Avoid no name brands. Finding parts and needing to customize everything will drain your wallet.
- A solid, dry hull is 80% of the boat. Everything else can be added, nothing will fix a bad hull. This means seeing a bunch of boats before picking one.
- Brokers pressure - I have met a number of good brokers. However, they all work for the seller, even when helping you.
- Surveys pay for themselves. When you are certain you have the right boat, call in the survey team. Find someone who knows the specific manufacturer and not recommended by the broker. Even if you are buying a "fixer upper" you will know all the things that need immediate, intermediate, and long term attention.

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Old 26-06-2009, 14:38   #3
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Location: QUEBEC, CANADA (outskirts of MTL)
Boat: MACGREGOR 26M
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We just bought our Macgregor 26M and tried it for the first time on June 24 2009. When we wanted to pick up some speed, we pulled up the rudders like they indicated in the user manual and it was like we had no control at all on the boat, what are we doing wrong?
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Old 26-06-2009, 15:45   #4
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We had the 26X, loved that boat. Was a lot of fun but I have 6 kids so we upgraded to a PDQ32. Best move I ever made. quite a price jump but worth every penny and more.
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Old 26-06-2009, 16:11   #5
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Boat: Le Zephyr, MacGregor 26M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA-Y-MEL-O View Post
We just bought our Macgregor 26M and tried it for the first time on June 24 2009. When we wanted to pick up some speed, we pulled up the rudders like they indicated in the user manual and it was like we had no control at all on the boat, what are we doing wrong?
I'm at St Michel a half hour from Quebec City with a Mac and I had the same experience when I went on my first sail. Took me 1 day to figure it out then spent 3 days in the North Atlantic and had a ball. Practice makes perfect on a light , tender, unconventional boat.

You could Start with the ballast full and the rudders down and the daggerboard in all the way or a few inches out go to 8 or 9 knots and fiddle with it but careful when turning cause it places undue force on the rudders. After sailing that way for a bit. pull in the rudders and slowly increase speed going in a straight line. When you are navigating at the wheel of a mac it is like navigating a destroyer you have to continuously move that wheel and not overcompensate. After a while you will enjoy it. If not get an autopilot and just watch how it constantly corrects its course.
Check out the site: MacGregorSailors.com
Will be hauling it to the Keys for the winter this year...
Quebec1

p.s. If your in my neck of the woods let me know and we could sail or talk.
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Old 26-06-2009, 16:28   #6
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Thank you for the info and advise
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Old 26-06-2009, 16:48   #7
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My spouce is having difficulity installing the rolling furling, is there a site that he can look at that may be of some help?
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Old 26-06-2009, 18:23   #8
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Corkscrew,
We had a 2001 26X for 3 years and replaced it with a Freedom 32 (9K, 5' draft). Many times, especially in ICW we wish we had it back. I bet we will think fondly of it in the Bahamas a few times too. I glad we did not have it in our Big Bend crossing; however, if we had it would have been 8-10 hours not 31 - and several ports along the way would have been accessible. Not so with a 5 foot draft.

I understand the desire for more living space - just remember in and around Florida shallow draft is better, Bahamas too. Check out Morgan 33. Solid boats that can be had under 25K.
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