It would probably be honest to say that your lack of experience has contributed to a very narrow perception of the sailing world.
There are inexperienced boaters of every ilk and no platforms are exempt.
These threads just seem to come alive with people that have no experience with a Macgregor making statements about one. The same ignorance tends to be focused on Hunters and then expands to all production boats ... It's too bad as there is no value in these statements and they tend to confuse people trying to research.
As most knowledgeable people will state, the Macgregor 26M is a unique hybrid boat. It does what it does very well but as with every boat, there are trade offs.
Here's some stats on the 26M I owned:
- Top motoring speed: 17 knots (60 eTec)
- Cruising motoring speed: 11-13 knots
- My top sustained sailing speed 7.3 knots
- Cruising speed ~6 knots
- Beating ~5 knots
Medium winds is where this boat is really happy: 8-14knots - it will still sail in 4-8 knots. It doesn't take much wind to find 5.5 knots and good winds will let you cruise at ~6 knots. This boat is tender as it is water ballasted. What this means is that it has a quick initial movement and then it stabilizes. I ran with a C&C 30 in some decent winds ~20 knots and he was having lots of stability trouble nearly broaching - guess he didn't know when to reef!
Off the wind, this boat is fast. That's because it weighs very little. I have caught and passed lots of bigger boats reaching.
I find the "it doesn't point" rhetoric to be yet another sign of the posters inexperience. When you have a 60hp engine, you don't have to sail to windward to get where you are going. If you want to point, you will need a boat with a deep fin keel. That pretty much eliminates it as a light weight trailer sailor and probably 90% of the boats out there.
To close this out, I have never met a "real sailor" that actually hates this boat. The "real sailors" found my 26M quite interesting and were surprised by the space inside and storage. Once they sailed on it, they all commented that it sailed way better than they expected.
It really helps when people with actual experience comment.