Re: MacGregor 36 – Help to find out if it is the right boat for me.
My Mac has a rigid, foam-cored fiberglass deck between the center and aft tubes. It's very light and really makes the ride drier and more comfortable. There's still tons of net space forward of the center tube. I keep several big vinyl marine bean bags on deck for lounging--it's really luxurious in good weather.
I've thought a lot about overhead shelter above the aft deck, but haven't found a solution I like. The boom is low and would have to be raised to get standing headroom. I imagine that anything more than a lightweight bimini would require heavy structural modifications. This boat is very sensitive to loading. It needs to be kept light, especially in the stern.
As the Florida Keys where I sail are a no-discharge zone, I installed a head with holding tank in the starboard hull next to the galley. It's as elegant a solution as I have been able to come up with so far, but it has limitations, especially for people sleeping on the starboard side.
As for the spade rudders, we avoid any depths less than 3 1/2 to 4'. I know some Mac 36 owners have designed kick-up rudders, but I haven't heard good reports about their performance. Spade rudders really are sensible for high speeds; you just have to be extra careful about draft or you'll end up with a bent rudder shaft.