Ed, thanks for the reply. I have decided to buy the boat. It's in a slip, now that I think I can leave it in for a couple weeks. If that works out I am going to take the trailer home and go through it so thanks for the advice there. I wasn't thinking about the brakes. My V25 trailer doesn't have surge brakes and it weights more than the 26S. So I'm not really sure you need them. I've been towing with a Ford Explorer and it stops the V25 pretty well. I only had one instance when I wasn't paying close attention to highway traffic which had slowed down where I really needed to lay on the brakes. Trailer brakes would have been nice in that situation. But, I got it stopped without.
I sail in the midwest too. It sounds like you overnight more than I. I usually get one or two 2 or 3 night trips in a year. Otherwise all daysailing. When I started overnighting, I had the poptop cover so I put it on. I've never tried it without. It would certainly be cooler in the summer. You aren't swarmed with mosquitoes?
I built my own replacement rudder for the V25 to eliminate weather helm. Once I get some experience with the 26S I'll probably do the same thing. I've read a lot of posts about the 26's rudder. Weather helm wasn't too bad on my test sail last Sunday, but heavier than my 25.
I found someone on the Macregor Owners forum who is parting out a 26 that a tree fell on who has a pop top cover and agreed to sell for $50. For that I'll get it and see how I like it.
St Louis, Mo
Venture 25 and soon Mac 25S