Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: Trailer sailer
That is a hotly debated topic here. What most will agree is that Macgregor built boats to a price-point, just like Catalina, Hunter, O'Day, and most other "production" boat builders. Roger built his to a lower price point than the others. Does that mean that the Mac's are bad? Not for some purposes, like lake sailing. Would I personally own one? Under the right conditions, yes. But they don't meet my needs. I add that so you understand that I'm not trying to be unfair. They are decent boats, but they are "entry level" and while there are AVID Mac fans (especially of the 26's) who trailer them everywhere and stay on them for weeks at a time, that's not really my idea of fun. The lack of headroom would make it uncomfortable for me for any length of time (I'm 5'10'), and the cabin lay-out isn't to my liking.
Generally, Macs are seen as being of lesser build quality than Catalinas, Hunters, or O'Days. To my eye (and everyone has their own take), Catalina tends to focus more on sailing performance, Hunter on creature comforts, and O'Day kind of split the difference. On ANY used boat, regardless of the manufacturer, the biggest thing you need to look for is how well it has been maintained. In some cases, a certain Mac will be a better boat than a Catalina, etc. if the Catalina hasn't been well maintained.
You keep jumping back to the "50HP engine". Most sailboats have displacement hulls. That means that their shape precludes them from ever getting "on plane" and thus going "fast". Most sailboats (except sailing dinghies, catamarans, etc.) max out at between 5 and 10 knots. You simply cannot push the boat to go much faster, regardless of how big the engine is. That being said, MacGregor, Lancer, and a few others have produced some motor-sailors. They are boats that can be used as powerboats when you want to (e.g., to tow skiers) and sailboats when you want. But they are almost universally panned as being not particularly good at either thing. That is, as a power boat, they go slow, don't maneuver as well, and the sail rigging gets in the way. And as a sailboat, the hull design that is required to allow it to work as a powerboat really doesn't let it sail well. All that being said, MacGregor sold a lot of those, and they are "great" boats for a certain segment of the market. If you're sure you fall into that segment, then they could be fun. But remember that, when you go to resell, most prospective buyers will be in the market for either a sailboat or a power boat, so you're going to have to wait for another "you" to come along before she'll sell.
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