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Old 18-12-2007, 10:31   #16
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Hunter makes a good boat in your budget!

The boat I am talking about is the Hunter 26 and the Hunter 260 both are said to be great boats.

I am in a simular position as you are. I currently have an 83' Macgregor 25 that I have owned for a little over a year and have worked on it and fixed it up nicely. I have sailed it multiple times and it seems to do fine. It has a swing keel which allows for shallow draft. I am selling it for 6k so while this is under your budget I am just saying it does sail nicely.

The next boat I am about to purchase is a Hunter 260. Since I am buying one I have done HOURS and HOURS of research and probably looked at ever single picture of them on the internet. From what I have gathered they are great boats. Their draft is shallow due to water ballast simular to the Mac 26 and the swing keel. The cabin room in them is really open which makes them seem alot bigger than the Mac 26. To me they look alot better. They dont have the motoring characteristics but who wants to spend the gas money? Macgregors are generally referred to as a "light" built boat and I agree with having owned one they are "light" built, and to light in my opinion.

You can get a very nice Hunter 26, 260 for under 30k and that is the same as my budget. Take a look at them and you can see there are many differences that make the Hunter a better choice for a sailboat.
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Old 18-12-2007, 10:46   #17
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I would seriously look into Cat boats for your situation. Very shallow draft with the board up - draws less than one foot, one sail to deal with which is very easy to handle and lots of room and the final positive point, it's a real boat.

Check out this site:

CBA Home Page

Last note: Stay away from the Macgregor.
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Old 18-12-2007, 10:46   #18
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The trailerable part of the Mac 26 is it's only strong point. It's about as big a boat as you can trailer. They were built to hit a price point in a larger trailerable boat that could provide some accommodations for a small crew. It's perhaps what kicks it up on a lot of peoples list. To say it is a coastal cruiser is overly generous. They can take a strong wind but not heavy sea conditions what so ever. It's not so much the size as the design. There are many heavy duty under 30 ft boats to cos from.

Centerboard boats are probably going to get you into some serious boats. Around here the Tartan 36 with a centerboard is a pretty fast and popular boat. With the board down you can get 7 ft and up I think it's 2.3 ft. Centerboards add some additional maintenance but where you need a shallow draft it's a hard choice to pass up. Centerboards can give you a lot better performance than a flat bottom boat. With say three feet at low tide I would seek out a centerboard. Living in the Caymans I would also have a 19 ft Cat for fun in the afternoon.

I've not sailed a Cornish Crabber but I wouldn't let the sail plan make you think it's overly complicated. Given you are not familiar with one it's easy to see why you would say it since it looks different. Any boat with an auxiliary motor and fitted for extended trips will at first look appear complicated as there is a lot on the boat to learn.

You probably have a full season of sailing ahead of you to get familiar with any boat. Just make the budget work and don't forget the annual costs and the bottom paint (every 2 years at a minimum). Check the forum archives for all the issues with maintaining a boat in the water.
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Old 18-12-2007, 10:56   #19
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Many thanks to everyone!!! I have lots more boats to look at now and that is exactly what I was looking for (please keep them coming :-). Coming into this I really didn't expect to find a lot of other options as I thought I had looked around a lot already (shows exactly what a newbie I am).

Perithead, before getting married I was playing with the idea of a liveaboard (not so much for sailing just because housing can be so expensive here), and I remember looking at larger Hunters which I was very interested in. I had no idea they made a smaller boat with less than 2 foot draft! That certainly merits futher looking into!

Again, thx to all!!!!!
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Old 18-12-2007, 11:57   #20
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How about expanding your search and look into a smaller catamaran. A Catalac 8m, Heavenly Twin 26, Iroquios(31 ft), or Hirondelle(24 ft). It would give you the cabin space to please your wife and the shallow draft for your sailing area. They would also be capable of making offshore trips. Maybe an older Prout cat may fit in your budget. Someone listed a 36 footer for sale on one of the multihull threads (which old cat)for 35k. Maybe a little bigger than you wanted but..
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Old 18-12-2007, 12:38   #21
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While I haven't sailed the newer sail/powerboat Macs, I do still own a Venture (Mac) 21 that's been a great little boat for me. I've had it out in 30 knots and 6' seas without issue (except pucker factor). That's too small for what you want but the Classic Mac 26's are decent boats for little money. For the poster wondering about the lack of a barrier coat, my V-21 doesn't have one, is 31 years old and has zero blisters. Of course, now that I've moved up to a larger keelboat, the little Mac just won't cut it. I'd check out the Hunter 260. It's a nice little boat with decent performance.
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:57   #22
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A lot of the British sailors are moored up estuaries, rivers and tidal streams. What about some of the twin keel designs. I've seen pictures of some of these moorings where basically all the boats are on the ground in the mud waiting for the tide.

Wasnt there a young lady around here for a while with a small twin keel boat she was sailing around Mexico?
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Old 18-12-2007, 19:47   #23
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Don't buy the Macgregor! Keep looking.
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Old 18-12-2007, 19:50   #24
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I'm not a young lady, nor am I in mexico, but I do own a twin keel boat, and I should have suggested it earlier as it has a draft of only 2 feet 6 inches. They're a bit hard to find outside of europe, but if you can find a well designed one(as with all boats, there are some that aren't very good and some that are great), then it's well worth it. I love mine and I love the idea that I can take it places that few sailboats can go and even run it to a beach and simply get out and walk, no dinghy needed.
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Old 19-12-2007, 00:50   #25
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Welcome aboard!! Good to see you are getting lots of advice. Keep looking and the right boat will find you.
I agree that there are many tough seaworthy centerboard vessels out there. Many of the Tartans and C&Cs have that option and they are definitely well built vessels. You can get a lot of boat for $30K.
Macs and Hunters are built to meet the nitch for light, trailerable modern sailboats for close inshore work. Although they might do fine for 90 miles of open ocean I don't think I would trust them between the Hawaiian Islands for 30 miles in our notorious channels. Just my very humble opinion.
Good luck in your quest.
Kind Regards,
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Old 19-12-2007, 16:51   #26
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You will find on this forum and others a disrespect for the MacGregors. These are coastal cruisers. Pushing it more than that will get you introuble as it will with any coastal cruiser. They and other coastal cruisers are just not designed for Heavy wind and seas for any lenght of time. If your budget is just 30K US Dollarsthen a new Mac 26M is not in your price range unless you can get a really good deal on a motor. Space wise you will find it hard to beat. The interor room is large compaired to other 26 foot blue water boats.

As with most boats, people move up or down or out in a few years. You can do the barrier coat and bottom paint yourself as well as any other modifications that you may want. I know of a man and his wife in a MacGregor 25 in the Bahamas now for the season (a 12 year old boat). I am in my 06 MacGregor 26M for the season in the Bahamas as well. Will another boat fit your needs better than a MacGregor. With what you have wrote, I do not know. It is a strong and forgiving boat but not for everybody. If you cannot live with people saying what they are on this board, then do not buy it as you WILL get it. That is just how it is, just to many people who looked at boats and not bought theirs but bought a MacGregor instead.

The trailer comes with the boat. If for some reason you cannot use it, all that you have to do is put it on the trailer and it cost little, unlike other boats that do not come with a trailer.

Here is a pro MacGregor Forum. :: Index

Best wishes on what ever you choose,
Lynx, currently in Marsh Harbor Abacos Bahamas and soon to move again.
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