...what would you guy/gals personally pick for sailing accross the Stright of Georgia (my wife loves Vancouver, and we live on Vancouver island and im trying to enjoy it just was much)...What would you feel most safe in....as it gets fairy windy here ?
As was mentioned above, MacGregors don't exactly have a great reputation for high build quality or high-end components. They build to a price point, and as long as you understand what that is, and your use case meets the build of the boat, then they can be fine. For example, if you live in Arizona and do mostly lake sailing, they can be a perfectly adequate choice. That being said, watch the video on this site:
That's a MacGregor 26 out in Southern California in gale force winds. There's a common saying here, that the boat will outlast the crew, and I think that video helps prove the point. Now, would I want to cross an ocean in a Mac26? No. Wouldn't want to do it in a stock Catalina 25 either. There are too many things that can go wrong, and with the risk of being exposed to REALLY nasty weather for several days in a row without being able to seek shelter, those just aren't the boats I'd pick. That being said, it's nice to know that even a boat with purportedly poor/mediocre build quality can survive being in those conditions for a while.
Unfortunately, I have no experience with your proposed sailing area. That looks like a big body of water, though, so I can see how the wind could build depending on the direction. Of course, you're smart enough not to intentionally go out in really nasty weather, so what you're looking at is a boat that can take a beating from a freak storm that might come up. I think most boats will meet those needs. But, if you want a good barometer, look on Kajiji or eBay for the boats that are for sale in your area and in your desired size range. The ones that you frequently see for sale will PROBABLY be fine for your intended use. In my area, that's the Catalina 22-30, and some Hunters, O'Days, and Irwins. Once I identified those, I read the owner review forums (here and on other sites), and helped affirm that the boat I was looking at (the C25) would keep my family and me safe, and she did. She even survived a hurricane. Or at least she would have, if the tugboat hadn't sunken in the slip next to us and listed into our slip.