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Old 17-02-2020, 13:46   #151
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I’ve sailed my 26M on the East Coast of England for 10 years. Some specific comments..

This is a very suitable choice for the OP.

26Ms are tender up to about 20 degrees, then harden right up. I put a spreader in the water and she popped right back up.

It’s not very comfortable in lumpy, wind against tide situations, but I can live with that because I’ll be home and dry a lot sooner.

I can get home against a seven knot tide.

In any reasonable scenario, get the sails balanced and it goes along beautifully.
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Old 17-02-2020, 15:55   #152
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Originally Posted by david.claassen View Post
Iíve sailed my 26M on the East Coast of England for 10 years. Some specific comments..

This is a very suitable choice for the OP.

26Ms are tender up to about 20 degrees, then harden right up. I put a spreader in the water and she popped right back up.

Itís not very comfortable in lumpy, wind against tide situations, but I can live with that because Iíll be home and dry a lot sooner.

I can get home against a seven knot tide.

In any reasonable scenario, get the sails balanced and it goes along beautifully.
CaptVR here with Macgregor 26X comment....
Those that bad mouth the Macs, never owned them, most never sailed one.
Folks that own them, love them and most have owned the Mac's for 5 years plus, many since new. Most payed about $18K for a new one, and now 20 years later, there getting $12-14K when they sell. While folks that bought there Hunters, Irwins, Catalina's, paid $30-35 thousand for there 26'-27er's when new, can now only get $6-$8k out of them.
With building 6 boats, refitting 100's and being a marine surveyor for over 20 years, every boat out there has assets and deficiencies, all boats are trade off's.
What some call negatives, I like. I like the 12" draft, I like being able to do 25 mph on 50 HP, I like the trailerability and being able to lower my spar in 10 minutes. I really like having the boat at the house to do projects and save $300 a month on dockage.
Build quality is as good or better than the boats I mentioned. Hull deck joints are bolted every 6"s with 1/4" SS bolts, most most other manufacturers that's in that size range are screwed or pop rivited. I here people say, they use cheap stay adjusters instead of turnbuckles. Take 1/4" pin stay adjusters verses 1/4" turn buckles. Look'm up guy's, the stay adjusters are more expensive and there also stronger, surprise.
Hunter builds a good little boat, Catalina builds a good little boat, depends on model, Irwin some good some not so good.
The little Mac 26X's and 26m's are also good little boats. A lot of peoples negative's are my positives. I've sailed my coastal and off shore with a good weather forecast in hand. Under the worst case scenereo, the Macgregor's have positive flotation, can't sink, all those mentioned earlier will sink, so be it.....
Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret. Marine Surveyor
PS: From St'Pete up to the Chesapeake in 1.5 days on a trailer vrs. a 2 weaks up the intercoastal, your getting there, I've been cruising. You get there I leave, 1.5 day's, I'm in Lake Lure, Ga. for Wooden boat show, cool. Then one day I'm over in New Orleans for Marti Gras, I'm saving $250 a night on hotel room while staying on my boat. Two day's later I'm home in St.Pete.... No way on God's green earth could you make me give up my Mac 26X. For you people that don't know, I had a 60' Schooner "Altair" I cruised from Trinidad to Florida for 6 year's. Altair drew 7 foot of water just to float, now with a foot draft, I know a storms coming, I just go up a salt flat / run, beach it, and have a good night's sleep.
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Old 17-02-2020, 17:25   #153
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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I've followed this thread with sorta morbid interest, but no experience. Then last week I happened to see two of them moored in a marina where I could examine them externally.

Lots of cost cutting obvious,but the really scary thing was that the standing rigging was thinner than that on the Catalina 22 that I had years ago, and was 1x19 wrapped around standard thimbles and Nico pressed. NOT favorably impressed for use beyond protected waters.

Despite the rave reviews of their sailing and seaworthness prowess, I for one would not sail offshore in one.

Jim
Actually your quite wrong. The Catalina 22's came with 1/8 1X19 cable as did most of the other boats in that size class for standard rigging that came with the boat as did the Mac 26X. Most everyone with the Catalina's, Irwin's and Hunters as well as the Mac 26's upgraded to 5/32". As far as SS stay adjusters on Macs vs. turnbuckles on the others, look them up, you will find that 1/4" pin stay adjusters are stronger and more expensive than 1/4" pin turnbuckles. So much for the cheap inferior rigging on the Mac's.
Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret. Marine Surveyor St. Petersburg, Fl.
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Old 17-02-2020, 20:57   #154
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Actually your quite wrong. The Catalina 22's came with 1/8 1X19 cable as did most of the other boats in that size class for standard rigging that came with the boat as did the Mac 26X. Most everyone with the Catalina's, Irwin's and Hunters as well as the Mac 26's upgraded to 5/32"
Well, let's see...

I bought Cat 22 hull 61 direct from Frank Butler in North Hollywood, and yes, it did have 1/8 " standing rigging. And y es, I did up size it to 5/32, because it was IMO inadequate for racing on SF Bay which I enjoyed for several years. There were a couple of boats in the SYRA fleet whose stock rigging failed in heavy going. I lost a mast from spreader failure instead of wire breakage... there's always a weakest link, and racing small boats in SFB is a great way of discovering them.

The Mac 26 which I reported viewing had 1/8 inch wire, and it was Nico Pressed around thimbles, which is a piss poor way of terminating 1x19 wire. I think that this is undersized for a 26 foot boat (rather larger and heavier than the Cat 22), and poor practice for any boat. And for that matter, if the Macs are so well built and designed, why are folks having to retrofit larger standing rigging?

Look, I know that there are lots of happy Mac 26 owners. That does not mean that I would sail one offshore, and that is what my comment was. You are free to sail one wherever you wish, and good luck to you in your voyaging.

Jim
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Old 17-02-2020, 21:31   #155
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Well, let's see...

I bought Cat 22 hull 61 direct from Frank Butler in North Hollywood, and yes, it did have 1/8 " standing rigging. And y es, I did up size it to 5/32, because it was IMO inadequate for racing on SF which I enjoyed for several years. There were a couple of boats in the SYRA fleet whose stock rigging failed in heavy going. I lost a mast from spreader failure instead of wire breakage... there's always a weakest link, and racing small boats in SFB is a great way of discovering them.

The Mac 26 which I reported viewing had 1/8 inch wire, and it was Nico Pressed around thimbles, which is a piss poor way of terminating 1x19 wire. I think that this is undersized for a 26 foot boat (rather larger and heavier than the Cat 22), and poor practice for any boat. And for that matter, if the Macs are so well built and designed, why are folks having to retrofit larger standing rigging?

Look, I know that there are lots of happy Mac 26 owners. That does not mean that I would sail one offshore, and that is what my comment was. You are free to sail one wherever you wish, and good luck to you in your voyaging.

Jim
Cat 22 is heavier than the 26. Most rigging upgrades on Macs are limited to the forestay; being a fractional rig and outfitting with a furler puts too much stress on the forestay and any damage is hidden so most have upgraded the forestay, anything else adds too much weight aloft. Hidden unchecked damage and the forestay pin working lose are the only known rigging failures on Macs. I have sailed several models of Macs and was a happy owner of one but growing family and desire to do extended offshore work required an upgrade. Not to say I havenít done a few long open coastal hops in the Gulf of Alaska in a Mac. They are more capable than most can comprehend and I pushed ours beyond limits most would dare without issue. They are not built for racing or circumnavigating and I have yet to hear anyone make those claims. But the idea that they should be limited to puddles and small lakes only comes from ignorant individuals. I was a happy owner and I am currently looking for an S model for lake sailing and to grow my fleet and wouldnít give a second thought at buying another one. There are still a lot of older models from the 70ís still floating around, that alone for something in the sub 30í trailer category is something to be said in itself.
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Old 17-02-2020, 22:01   #156
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Cat 22 is heavier than the 26
Really? With the water ballast full??

Could be, I suppose, but it isn't obvious from the data.

And I STILL would not sail one offshore. Call me ignorant if you must, but I do have a few offshore miles and know what conditions can be like, and that drives my statement.

Jim
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Old 18-02-2020, 00:00   #157
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Really? With the water ballast full??

Could be, I suppose, but it isn't obvious from the data.

And I STILL would not sail one offshore. Call me ignorant if you must, but I do have a few offshore miles and know what conditions can be like, and that drives my statement.

Jim
Thereís a diminishing return on water ballast, so you simply canít add the full amount of water ballast to the equation. For instance sitting at dock the 1500lbs of water plays zero factor in stability or weight. In order to realize the full weight of the water ballast you would have to hoist it completely clear of the water. A single strand of 1x19-1/8Ē is almost enough to lift a dry Mac. Plenty of safety factor built into Macs and many race boats work within an even smaller margin. I still donít see anyone claiming or wanting to take one across any oceans.
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Old 18-02-2020, 03:01   #158
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

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Thereís a diminishing return on water ballast, so you simply canít add the full amount of water ballast to the equation. For instance sitting at dock the 1500lbs of water plays zero factor in stability or weight. In order to realize the full weight of the water ballast you would have to hoist it completely clear of the water. A single strand of 1x19-1/8Ē is almost enough to lift a dry Mac. Plenty of safety factor built into Macs and many race boats work within an even smaller margin. I still donít see anyone claiming or wanting to take one across any oceans.
But the additional stability and righting moment afforded by the water ballast (just what it is designed to do) adds significantly to the rig loads, and that is my point here.

Believe what you want, but adding 1500 lbs of water ballast makes a big difference in strength requirements in a sailing rig.

It is clear that you feel that the Mac 26 X is a good boat for you, and that its rig is adequate for harsh conditions. I don't share that opinion and once again state I would not sail one offshore. Coastal cruising has an entirely different set of parameters and lake/bay sailing yet another. There is little point in continuing this discussion; opinions differ and are often irreconcilable. Further iterations of the argument will not add anything to the group so I'll bow out now.

Jim
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Old 07-03-2020, 23:35   #159
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

I've been a professional mariner for many years in Alaska and own a Downeast 45 (currently in Mexico), but I can tell you that there's nothing like cranking up that 70hp Suzuki and hauling ass for cover when the wind comes up and the tide starts running in Chatham Straits. However,... I don't relish the though of toughing it out when the engine fails or there's no place to go.

I just got the boat (in Alaska) at the end of the season so I don't have much experience in it, but will report here after I've got some time in it and something to add.

Years ago, I visited the McGregor factory thinking of adding a 65' to our charter operation and was actually impressed with their workmanship. If you can make and sell something like 34,000 M26s, you must be doing something right.

Right?
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Old 02-05-2022, 02:25   #160
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

Let me resurrect this discussion with this video, someone documented taking his MacGregor Florida to Bahams, and know what I call that offshore I have asked the owner in the video about details, not response yet, but still the further I saw one taking this boat, could be a proof of how useful it can be under right conditions and hands https://youtu.be/lP5JVJrwt0o
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Old 02-05-2022, 12:01   #161
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Re: Is the macgregor 26 on Sea really so bad as they say

These guys found one in a barn and bought it for cheap, then stripped it down and revealed pretty much what most of us suspect:
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