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post #3 of Old 03-06-2002
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Water Ballast/Manufacturer

On the small side, the MacGregor 26x is a waterballast/centerboard "motor-sailor"; it is advertised as being able to take up to a 50 hsp motor.

I own a ''67 Westerly 25 heavy displacement sailboat very capable of coastal cruising, I sail inland. A good friend has a Mac 26x, with a 25hsp. We have sailed on both extensively on inland waters. (The Mac has the advantage when it comes to fishing; with the electric trim on the outboard, we have trolled very successfully in shallow waters with the sails down and centerboard up.

The Mac is fine for inland sailing if you want a relatively inexpensive new boat. If you drop the water ballast and "cruise" with the motor, the Mac will plane if you have a light enough load on board. However, be aware, empty the water ballast ONLY in calm conditions. You loose most of the boat stability when the ballast is empty. I know others with the MacGregor who only have a 10hsp. Go with a 25 or more.

My preference is a displacement hull, even if slower. I like the stability, but end up riding out summer T-storms with a sea anchor or under storm sails on occasion. Simply, I don''t have the speed to run for cover.

The MacGregor can run even with the water ballast. It did 13-14 knots with a full five-day load of provisions on board and the water ballast full. It''s a bid tender in brisk winds under sail; a lot of weather helm.

On the other hand, the MacGregor is emminently trailerable (it''s light without the ballast), fairly easy to rig up and launch,and can be moved easily. It not very heavily built.

In short, I wouldn''t own one, but I''ve had one heck of a lot of fun sailing and fishing on one.
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