Join Date: Jul 2001
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First time sail boat buyer
MacGregor 26 as a first boat?
So am I crazy to think that a MacGregor 26 would be an ideal first boat for me?
I live in Santa Cruz, CA where the waiting list for slips 3-4 years for the upper habor (<35-40'' and a bridge to contend with) and almost two decades for the upper harbor.
I am looking for a first-time boat with the following requirements:
1) Liveaboard 3-4 days/week (more of a floating bed and place to hack away on my laptop than anything else)
2) Economical & reliable - I don''t want a British sports car-type boat ... something needing constant maintenance. And I could afford a new one (approx 27k with 50hp outboard).
3) Versatile - something that can be trailored to other locations, i.e. Santa Barbara, Lake Tahoe, San Juan Islands, rivers and other semi-protected waterways. The MacGregor can be pulled behind my Toyota Previa van (a 4-cylinder, no less!), works as a powerboat, sailboat, and even a house trailer while on the road.
4) Motoring capabilities - the ability to sail is fine, and I will. But I also want something that is a reliable and versatile powerboat. Because of the MacGregor''s shallow draft, it can be beached, taken through shallow waters, etc. It also supposedly planes and does 24 knots when empty.
5) A good boat to learn with - it seems a basic boat like this would be a good "starter boat" because it is relatively small and simple. -- Most of the owner reports I''ve been reading reveal happy, contented folks that are happy with the inherent limitations and advantages this rather unique boat offers.
I''m thinking this boat would allow me to:
1) Explore western lakes, rivers, and coastal areas relatively easily and economically.
2) Do 1-4 week trips in areas such as Sea of Cortez, etc.
2) Discover if the reality of living onboard and dealing with the hassles of a boat are the lifestyle I want.
3) Because of the high resale value, get out from under it if I decide it''s NOT what I want.
Though I have my dreams about becoming a permanent liveaboard and perhaps cruising the world someday, this seems like it could be a good "cruising starter kit" boat.
My sailing experience is pretty much confined to growing up with what we called "the tug" (6'' row/motor/sail-boat that my Dad bought), racing on hobie cats, and wind surfing.
I''m acutely aware of boat hull design/dynamics through 15 years of whitewater and sea kayaking, though how much of that would transfer as "good sailboat knowledge" would remain to be seen.
Any feedback, suggestions, etc., would be mucho appreciated.
Thanks! And Happy Cruisin''