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post #6 of Old 01-16-2003
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hunter vc mac

Jeff, you don''t hear many horror stories about boats suffering structural failure, because most people understand the weaknesses and limitations of their boats, and they use them within their limitations. Some boats, like McGregors, smaller Hunters and smaller Catalinas are designed for inland lake sailing and fair weather coastal cruising. The hardware, design, and construction techniques that they use are not as robust as you would want on a boat in a storm at sea. Other boats are designed to withstand anything the wind and waves can throw at them. They are much more sturdily built, and they are likewise much more expensive. Putting a small fair-weather coastal cruiser at the mercy of big winds and stormy seas is foolish.

In a recent incident, a Mac 26x reportedly capsized, and 2 children were drowned. The boat supposedly wasn''t being used they way it was designed, but most boats are designed to forgive us sailors for our occasional stupidity. The Mac 26x might not have been forgiving enough.

For people who feel that they must have one boat to use for sailing and powerboating, the Mac 26x fills that niche. But its performance, both as a sailboat and as a powerboat, will be un-satisfying. You really should get experience with both, and decide between them.

The speed and noise of powerboating can be appealing at first to some people, but after you run up and down the lake a few times, it gets old. Learning how to use the wind to make a boat go where you want is a mystery that never gets old.
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