Martin1901 re: Mac 26C
I sailed regularly with a friend who had a 1991 Mac 26C on a lake with periodic strong winds--a good sailing lake. The Mac 26 is a good beginner boat--reasonably well designed and built, and very practical and easy to sail. It sailed very well in lighter winds (up to about 10 knots), but in heavier winds (18 - 20 knots) it developed weather helm and would heel alot and round up on its own, so would be quite challenging. As it is a relatively light (water ballasted) boat (I think about 2800 lbs), it was affected by waves over 2 - 3 feet, more than other boats might be. I had a san juan 23 mark II (fin keel, tall rig) which handled the heavier air better than the Macgregor. But I like the Macgregor for regular day sailing or weekends, in moderate winds. From what I have seen, I think the Mac 26C sails better than the 26X.
Hope that helps.