Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pasadena MD
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I researched and looked at trailer sailors for a few years before making the move. After we took ASA courses in Abaco in spring of 2009 I went obsessive, my Wife couldn't take it anymore and said "Please just go out and buy a sailboat!". I had one within a few weeks. We bought a 1993 Macgregor 26S (swing keel). We love it! I was a little concerned after reading some bad opinions against them but rolled the dice and bought it anyway. Good decision. After a month of making strictly comfort based modifications, I went out in the driveway poured Yuengling beer on the bow, sprinkled some beach sand from Tilloo Cay Abaco Bahamas through out the interior and we launched. These boats are basically a blank slate in original from the factory condition. There is LOTS of online support and ideas from another site called "The trailer sailor" that deals with trailerable boats of most all brands and is invaluable for reasearch. I saved a lot of money and frustration on their Macgregor forum. One pleasant surprise was that all the deck hardware goes through solid fiberglass and not simply bolted through the balsa core. I thought this might not be the case since it's a boat that many seem to dislike due to bad press probably helped along by companies building "worthier" boats.
Yes it's an economy based boat but with some imagination you can customize it to YOUR liking...and on the cheap too! Some people enjoy them just the way they are originally as our previous owner did. It's probably best to find one close to that original condition so you know how it's put together if you infact decide to change anything.
Any flack you receive will be on the net, I've received nothing but conversation and questions about our "Nauti Time" on the water although I wouldn't be surprised if one day I ran into a snob who knew all about them without ever being on one (Which is usually the case with snobs). There are all kinds of reasons for opinions, the one that makes most sense to me is some people may get upset seeing you enjoy yourself doing everything that they can do and you payed a fraction of what they paid.
On the Chesapeake our 26S has proven to be a very nice boat, we've stayed out when others started to head in due to it getting a little rough and windy. BUT know your limitations, you're not going to sail through hurricanes! Most non trailerable boats of this size will be capable of heavier weather, but they're non trailerable. I personally bought a trailer sailor to get my Wife more into owning a slipped boat in preparation to buying "THE BIG ONE", I wanted a newer boat that had a good resale market, I also wanted something I could have near my garage in the off season. This fit the bill perfectly.
We will get a bigger boat, but after owning our Mac 26S I don't think I'll go as large as originally planned...another savings!
The 26 foot "Classic Mac's" will be refered to as 26C (Classic) they will be subcatagorised as either a 26S (swing keel) or 26D (Daggerboard), I preferred a swing keel for what we call "Gunkholing" in the Chessie, although it's said the 26D's are a little faster (The way my Wifes loading our boat down with supplies it doesn't matter anyway (I do appreciate those supplies when needed though!). The 26X and 26M come with large outboards around 50hp or so, these are WAY more expensive that the "Classics" but thats all I know about them. Our 8hp Nissan pushes us along quickly and efficiently, we can go miles and miles and miles on a 3 gallon tank. One other note, we went to Pennsylvania for our boat, somehow it was registered as a 25 footer, in MD the DNR registered it as a 25 footer. I said it was a 26 footer and wanted to make sure I wouldn't get in trouble if ever checked out by the marine police or CG, they replied I'd be fine and if PA registered it as 25 then MD will follow suit unless I got 3 witnesses to swear it was a 26 footer (Makes no sense to me either), I said I'm happy being called 25' it will save on slip fees. I ended up saving $300 a year for a one foot differance!
I looked at a West Wight Potter 19 and it was way too small for us, but I'm 6'+. They're are many people who do own and enjoy them though and thats the point. Get what suits YOU!
2000 Catalina 320
1993 Macgregor 26S
1981 Hobie H16
19?? Sol Cat
Many, many power boats
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Life should be an adventure, not a guided tour!
Not all of us in the herd are sheep.
Last edited by swampcreek; 08-09-2010 at 04:13 PM.