I just joined the forum after reading this thread in its entirety. I found it on google, while looking for a Mac 26. I've owned a Mac 25 for about 2 years. I was pleased to hear that it was recently inducted into the sailboat hall of fame!
I've put a lot of energy, money and time into modifying her. The Comfort Rose has been everything I could ask for minus air conditioning. She has proven to be sturdy and stable. I'll tell you how I know.
The first 40 knot blow I weathered scared me, but it was also my first time to sail more than five miles from shore. Even after letting the squall surprise us, catching us offguard while sailing downwind and hooking the boom on the backstay, we were able to recover and point into the waves, during the worst of it. I was AMAZED to see my GPS read 10.5 knots with our main doubled over the mast and the boom's leach cleat hooked on the backstay, job flapping loosely, planing downwind!
My second blunder, affording a test of the Macgregor 25's toughness, was set into motion by missing the word BREAKERS on the chart as we planned our course. We ended up cutting across a vicious inlet, during an ebb tide with 10 to 15 knot winds from the sea. For nearly 3 hours I fought into the 6 and 7 foot waves. We slammed the bottom twice in a trough and yanged the keel cable, when we were lifted again. It took me 30 minutes to remember not to head straight into the breakers. The bow falling 6 to 8 feet into the troughs couldn't have been good for her, but her bilge still gets dryer the longer she sits in the drink. Even with a keelbolt, she only leaks from the top! I will never make the mistake again and was very happy to finally slip behind Egmont Key, but the Comfort Rose escaped a situation that destroyed two 50 foot sailboats and numerous powerboats, so told to us by our dockmaster the next day.
As to only receive criticism for reviving a thread and not for also hijacking, the prior paragraphs were to express my first-hand experiences with my Mac's heartiness. I'm looking for a Mac 26 because:
1. The 600lb keel on my current vessel puts a strain on our Jeep Cherokee, which hauled us from Texas to Florida and back in June '07.
2. I'm interested in the 20mph. Even 50 foot blue water vessels should run, sometimes, if they could. Katrina... Even the best captain has been caught with their pants down.
3. The two rudders are said to offer great maneuverability as well as maintaining control at a steep heel.
4. Does the 26X have a pop top? If not, is there full headroom without it?
5. If grounded, does the dagger board break or does it absord the impact/retract? The 25's keel simply pivots. (We hit a shipwreck at 2 am, 12 miles off shore in 15 ft. of water doing 6 knots. I swear I heard the keel beat out a steady rhythm as it bounced alond the railing of the submerged shrimpboat.) In that situation, I would hate to lose my dagger board or crack the hull in a 26.
6. Is there much storage in the 26X? The 26's aft berth takes the place of our primary storage in my 25. Is there much room to install a marine head with much water storage (Bad and good water
)? Room for 4 batteries?
7. Lastly the most difficult question. Will the Mac 25 sails fit well enough on the 26? I have two mains, two foresails and a spinnaker. I'd like to keep three of them, if I sell the Rose.
I would really appreciate some info, if the advice and knowledge is out there. I'm looking forward to my membership at this forum. It seems like a wealth of experience. If anyone is interested in the Log of the Comfort Rose, chronicling her adventures and ours, visit: www sundancecsc com/mac25mods htm (Put dots where the spaces are) Our 6 week, 500 mile voyage dredging the coast of Florida is a good read for someone interested in what NOT to do.
If you made it this far, then I must say thanks for your interest and trudging this far. I'm looking forward to the replies reguarding the Mac26 vs. the Mac25.