Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I've sailed on a Mac 26S and was impressed with it's sailing qualities even though I was not impressed with the size of the mast and rigging. I am used to a heavier, beefier boat (mine is a Tartan 27' from 1967) but the Mac 26S can sail faster then my 27 footer in the right conditions and if handled correctly.
We covered 50 miles on the Atlantic in the M26S in very mild conditions and we endured a pretty harsh summer thunderstorm with it on the East River. It is not designed to be an ocean cruiser but would be fine on a lake.
The 26 'D' or dagger board version is probably more like the 'S' while the 'X' and 'M' models are the ones that can take up to a 50 HP motor on the back and are neither good sailboats or motor boats but do a little of both. They all have a niche following but I liked the 26 S which is often wrongly grouped with the X and M models.
The 26 D & S models are only rated to take up to a 9.9 HP engine.
Disclaimer: I have never sailed on the 'D', 'X' or 'M' model boats.
Of the other boats you mentioned I'd concentrate on the center board versions for your lake as they should be easier to get on/off a trailer and easier to get off any groundings you might encounter. Besides the Hunter 22 - 25 you might look into the O'Day 25' and even Tanzer 22' etc. Tons of boats out there in this size range.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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