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  #151  
Old 06-16-2009
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We all have slightly different objectives in boating. While the Mac26 series does not fit my objectives nor many others' objectiives, for a certain group of boaters, it exactly matches their objectives. And, apparently, that is a fairly sizeable group, otherwise they couldn't have sold so many. Not the best motor boat, not the best sail boat, but a good compromise for someone who wants a bit of both worlds (without buying two boats as I did), plans to trailer it to cover expanded areas, including lakes and coastal /near inshore waters, wants a fairly new boat of relatively simple design/construction with lots of room for a modest up front cost. Now Hunter has come out with their version, so there's interest in these boats.

Something that really bothers me, in these forums and in boating in general, is when people who have other boating objectives and different opinions trash these boats, with no regard for the feelings of those who do own them. Mac26 owners know that their boat is not built like a Hinkley, and that it's not for extended offshore boating, or that it's not some bluewater boat of a time past that has to be restored/upgraded (lots of people enjoy restoring older designs, that's ok, but others don't want to do such work). And if you are fortunate enough to own that big expensive Hinkley, or one of a host of slightly lesser boats, that's great, but don't feed your own ego at the expense of other less fortunate souls. Some years ago, I had a Kells 28, which was what I could afford and which suited my needs just fine. On my pier, there was a guy who owned a Cape Dory 36 with all the bells and whistles. If and when he'd talk with me, somewhere in the conversation, there would always be a derogatory comment about a boat like mine. It really made me feel great. We are about the same age, and I've moved on to a Catalina 320 (lots of people don't like Catalinas either) which I continue to sail, and now his Cape Dory is gone and he sails model sailboats on the nearby pond.

Last edited by NCC320; 06-16-2009 at 10:55 PM.
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  #152  
Old 06-17-2009
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Review on the Macgregor. I am a Macgregor owner, have had one for about 3 years. That said I am looking to go to a bigger boat. Here is my detailed analysis for those looking to purchase a Macgregor.

The Good:

Very easy and cheap to maintain. Not a lot of costs.
Very easy to modify. You can add or modify things easily and cheaply.
You can trailer it anywhere.
Shallow draft so you can get to places most can't.
50HP engine so you can get where you need fast.
Sailing, ok, good for tooling around something like the Chesapeake Bay.
Lots of space and features: two births, galley, dinette, head.

The Not So Good

Sailing is ok at best...good for lakes, bays, and for those getting started with sailing (i.e. less then a few years experience.)
While almost impossible to flip or sink, it rocks around easily in waves.
Probably not the best if you are saiing longterm with more then one person.


In the end my experience as a newer sailer has been good with the mac. I'd recommend it for anyone who is new to sailing or has less then 5 years experience. I would also very much recommend it to anyone who wants a boat that is cheap and easy to maintain, dosen't want big bills or large expenses. No fees for haul outs, storage is cheap as it sits on a trailer. also great if you want to explore many areas....you can sail the Chesapeake one week, drive it down to the Keys the next, visit the great lakes the third, then sail to Marthas Vineyard the fourth. It's a good family expedition type boat. People even regularly sail these to the Bahamas. It's also very good for entering shallow areas and getting into secluded areas that other boats can't. Also very nice to kick on the engine and be back at the marina in a few minutes.

If you simply enjoy boating on the weekends and want some that is easy, cheap to maintain, and can go just about anywhere in sheltered waters then the mac is a good boat. If you want something for more longer term cruising, offshore sailing and rougher sailing or are very much into sailing big, then probably not. It's also good for first time sailers as these boats hold their value VERY, VERY well, and sell almost as fast as you put them up. This means that if you are newer and end up not liking it or want to upgrade within a year or so you probably wont have any trouble selling it and will probably loose little or no money on the deal.

The Macgregor is really in a class of it's own so trying to judge it based on other boats or simply throwing your nose in the air is not at all fair. It's like trying to compare a ford mustang to porche 911 or a lexus to chevy. It's right for what it is.

All that said I love the features of the mac, but am compelled to upgrade soon...in the next couple years because of the follwing reasons: Need something bigger. Need something more stable. Need something that sails better.
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  #153  
Old 06-18-2009
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I wish they still made a 26 ft pure sailboat in the price range of the mac motor sailors. When I was new to sailing I looked at a new mac26 and liked it. but i only wanted to sail so it wasn't the perfect boat for me. I ended up buying an 80s used sailboat. But if i wanted an new sailboat could i find one in the price range of a mac and get the same size? I like my used sailboat and you can get a lot of boat for 20 to 30 the price of a new mac. I can understand why someone just getting into sail boating who wants a new boat but wants to spend less then 30 with standing head room would start at the new mac26. Maybe you can get a new 26ft sailboat for 30 or less i just don't know.
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  #154  
Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnc33voodoo View Post
Imagine joining a motorcycle club and showing up with a vespa.
Fine if you want to have fun and ride one but dont go on about how its just as good.
Yet another nose in the air eltist attitude.
In some ways the Vespa is superior to the other motorcycles but they generally have their own Vespa club and have no desire to join the motorcycle club.
Here in the PNW we have our own MacGregor club with well over 30 boats membership.
The MacGregor is still a sloop sailboat in it's own right and is in a similar class as any other 24'-28' trailerable sloop sailboat. It is not comparable to a Vespa like a Sunfish would be.
I pulled into a very crowded bay one evening as other larger sailboats were leaving because there was no room for them. It was low tide and there was really not much room for the 30'+ sailboats leaving but I knew I could get closer to shore than they could so I cruised in closer, pulled up my daggerboard and rudders then ventured closer to the shores where there was plenty of room. Since it was low tide already I dropped anchor in about 2-3' of water and settled in for the night.
So much for the motorcycle club.

The Mac does everything it is advertised to do and does not pretend to be something it is not even if the odd eccentric owner does try to make it so. Those that buy it are not interested in your motorcycle club, they just want to get out on the water and enjoy sailing.
The view from the cockpit of a Mac is the same view others get from their cockpit and the sailing sensation is also similar albeit a bit corkier. I go everywhere the big boats go in the PNW at a lesser cost and faster motorsailing speed. I usually get that last available slip at the marina because I got there first. It does not cost me an arm and a leg for parts/maintenance or moorage and I can sail in shallower waters than other keel boats. I also have sailed past some of those other slower sailboats while on the same tack so I know there are slower sailboats out there. I have more room below than any other 26' boat out there and I can take on most anything the Georgia Strait can dish out with a few exceptions, I don't care for storms, but then, niether do the big boats.
Bottom line is The MacGregor is still a sailboat and always will be a sailboat no matter how many people bash it. If I had the $$ I would go out and buy a Morris 42 but still reminice over the fond memories of my 26' MacGregor.
I have seen a lot of sorry looking sailboats out there at different marinas and take pride when I look back at mine, I keep it well maintained and outfitted and it serves my purposes.
Bashing any boat be it a Mac Catalina or Hunter tells more about the person bashing than the boat they are bashing.

FWIW
I used to ride a 650 Kawasaki for a few years and never looked down my nose at smaller bikes, not even the scooters. Today I am seriously considering a Vespa for retirement because it is not only just as good as a motorcycle but economically, far superior.

Last edited by CaptKermie; 06-18-2009 at 04:59 PM. Reason: additional comment
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  #155  
Old 06-18-2009
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Sorry you feel that way.Im no elitist and respect you and your opinions as a fellow boater.
Truly, I believe a mac has its puposes and im sure they serve them well as I can see you and others in this thread love your boats.When i say "just as good", im referring to sailing ability.
However, as far as sailing goes I think a mac would have as hard of a time keeping up to say, a j24 as a vespa catching up to a kawasaki ninja.
I personally have never seen a mac involved in any club races or even flying a spinnaker for that matter.
People who are buying boats with sailing put first do not buy macs.
My brother has a powerboat and so do some of my freinds with boats.
They also go on about how they got to the marina or anchorage first and like to run cirlces around me when out on the water and make a point to have the bbq running and beer in hand by the time I get there.
They also anchor in 4 feet of water while im a dinghy ride from shore and are tied to the dock playing cards while im still returning in a storm.Good for them.
However, I like to sail.
I dont like the smell and sound of an engine when im in that zone.
Personally, I dont care how fast I get there because im already where I want to be.I wait all week to get on my boat,not to get somewhere and get off it.When at anchor I dont want to leave sight of my boat.
The mac has made many sailors and their families happy for all the reasons you mentioned but I truly believe that if someone wants a boat for the thrill of sailing and has learned to sail a laser or even a j boat and then sailed on a mac afterwards they would think twice.
But your absolutely right, a mac sounds like a good boat, if you buy it for the right reasons.
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Last edited by cnc33voodoo; 06-18-2009 at 10:21 PM.
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  #156  
Old 06-19-2009
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Motorsailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnc33voodoo View Post
Sorry you feel that way.Im no elitist and respect you and your opinions as a fellow boater. Thank You and I in return respect yoursTruly, I believe a mac has its puposes and im sure they serve them well as I can see you and others in this thread love your boats.When i say "just as good", im referring to sailing ability.
However, as far as sailing goes I think a mac would have as hard of a time keeping up to say, a j24 as a vespa catching up to a kawasaki ninja.
I personally have never seen a mac involved in any club races or even flying a spinnaker for that matter. They have two versions of spinnakers
People who are buying boats with sailing put first do not buy macs. I did
My brother has a powerboat and so do some of my freinds with boats. I don't much care for powerboatsThey also go on about how they got to the marina or anchorage first and like to run cirlces around me when out on the water and make a point to have the bbq running and beer in hand by the time I get there.
They also anchor in 4 feet of water while im a dinghy ride from shore and are tied to the dock playing cards while im still returning in a storm.Good for them.

However, I like to sail.
I dont like the smell and sound of an engine when im in that zone.
Personally, I dont care how fast I get there because im already where I want to be.I wait all week to get on my boat,not to get somewhere and get off it.When at anchor I dont want to leave sight of my boat.
I couldn't agree more
The mac has made many sailors and their families happy for all the reasons you mentioned but I truly believe that if someone wants a boat for the thrill of sailing and has learned to sail a laser or even a j boat and then sailed on a mac afterwards they would think twice. There are many Mac owners who have owned and sailed on a variety of other sailboats.But your absolutely right, a mac sounds like a good boat, if you buy it for the right reasons.
One of the most glaring examples of hypocracy I witness is the amount of sailboats out there motoring. My wife and I do several extended trips of 4-6 days each summer and once we get among the islands the winds and currents are never cooperative, not only for us but every other sailboat out there. We all motor most of the time when going from bay to bay or marina to marina because of time, current and weather constraints. Once we get to the next marina we drop the dinghy at our slip and head back out for a couple hours sail, just like the other sailors do. All of us sailors are up against the same hurdles and yes I consider myself a sailor first and foremost.
Even though I have the HP to travel somewhat faster I rarely exceed my comfort zone which is between 3000-4000 rpm and that gets me about 6-8 knots, the exceptions being when I am late for slack tide in the passes or late making it to the next marina.
I just got my new Musclehead/Fathead mainsail this season. It has a larger roach than the oem main and carries an extra 30 sq.ft. of sail where it counts for a total of 200 sq.ft., add the 205 sq.ft. genoa and I am carrying 400 sq. ft. of canvas. (on a 26' boat) I had my first tryout with it last weekend and can say that it is a big improvement, I can really move now in those light winds we get here. Of course there are many other improvements I have and can make for sailing performance but all in good time.
I get the sails up and shut the engine down as soon as I am clear of the marina and much prefer sailing over motoring. But the sad truth is I only get to sail on weekends or when daysailing, once extended trips arrive I am in the same situation as every other sailor and reduced to motorsailing. That is just how it is out in the islands, you can get strong winds in one channel then dead calm in the next channel or winds and current going in the opposite direction you have planned and it is difficult to plan around the tides and currents. It is in these situations that the Mac shines brighter. I do get lucky though when mother nature is cooperative and facilitates me sailing to the next marina or anchorage. So what is that saying again... the journey is the destination??? oddly enough though, the sailors in my area all seem to have a destination, it is the next anchorage or marina.

Oh, BTW I do have the priviledge of sailing the magnificent San Juan Islands and beautiful Gulf Islands of the Georgia Strait in the Pacific Northwest. It is a sailors paradise during sailing season. I sail out of Point Roberts Marina, google it and eat your heart out!
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  #157  
Old 07-09-2009
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Dont be scared, the Mac is quite ok,,,,

I have long looked at a new Mac26 from 2009. And therefore read this long thread with interest.

I am a trained sailing instructor, have had Chris Craft 27 (92) Dufour 33 (05) and Elvtrøm 1/4t, (open racing 250 KG), but I do not want to spend all the hours there are in preparation on the boat every spring and autumn.

I will not spend 2500 dollars a year on a space for the boat, up and dismantling, painting and much more, just as I was tired of having to spend 1500 dollars to insurance.

With statement here from the thread in the head, I ordered the test ride in a new Mac26.

From the outside it looks like something designed by a partially blind man whith color confusion (the blue and the high freeboard superstructure) But inside you can see that few designers have as much space from 26 feet.

It is to say the least, unsurpassed in space relative to all other 26 feet I have seen (+ / - 3 feet).

To start with we just had to try sailing characteristics of the motor, 50 hp.

It did well, but there were only 6-7 in the wind and small waves.

There after we switched off the engine and tried the famous (or infamous) sailing characteristics.

Compared to a Elvstrøm, this is comparing a VW beetle in relation to a Ferarri, so it does not help much.

Compared to a Dufour 33 (very similar to a Bavaria 33) I will not say that it is as bad as the rumor. But both of these types of boats are also Blue water boats, but yet they are tour boats. (and costs in Denmark from 150 to 170,000 dollars .compered to a new fully equipt Mac 60.000 USD)

Against the wind, It seemed to sail ok, but by a control on the GPS, you can see there is a great drift. It is expected with the type of keel.
Momentum could be maintained at 5.5 KNT, which is nice. Wind entering from the rear, it would beat most sailboats, but we also used all the sails.

With the wind from the side, there was considerable drift, until we came up to speed, and then drift was no greater than on a modern tour sailing boat with high sides and topedo keel.

Second day I tried it, was in 12 KNT wind, a little more challenging, and the ease of construction makes it needed to quickly be put on smaller sails, otherwise it is very down on the side. It makes the side effects, that i will give some drift. Against the wind, it sailed incredibly stable, and actually with nice speed (7-9 KNT).

After that, there are several here who say it is dangerous in high winds, it should also be tested.

The owner saw some worry out when I said we had to sail in the weather, it blew 18 KNT.

And let me say it right away, it is more fun and challenging than comfortable and safe in all boats to sail in that weather.

But the little Mac26 made it incredibly beautiful, very stable boat, which due to its high sides are sensitive to the wind (just like any other modern tour boats) but having said that, I would be able to appoint many other boats

I wanted to try out the Mac26 in 18 + wind. Mac26 advantage is clearly that it will be "dancing" on top of the waves, where a modern or lead keel boat would be washed several times. The price is of course that we get lyfts bit more round and do you get seasickness, then this helps not exactly on it.

Now I have tried, tested and must then decide me.

Would I buy a Mac26 family?

+ List:
Price
space
versatility
idle cost
opportunity to sail across Europe via trailer option

- List
appearance from the outside
deck not suitable for subsistence
kitchen could be made smarter
create room

Properties on a scale from 1-10
50 hp engine with 3 men on board 6
Sail with 3 men on board in different wind 4

But the little mac26 has room for much improvement opportunities in relation to the sail properties. Not least the keel, a stainless and heavier maybe 1 / 5 longer keel would do much.

Should I make the design I would have made a heavier keel was slightly shorter and was longer in proportion to length of the boat, but then it will be geeky.

Overall, Mac26 has an ok properties of a sail boat with lifting keel. Only small dinghies such as the Lazer has that type lifting keel with success, but I have not seen another boat with lifting keel and toilet, so dont try to compare.

I would buy myself a Mac 26, and realize I did not win the match race with it, but after having sailed many competitions for the last 20 years, so I would still like to take a challenge. 80% of them I've sailed against can not use their boat sails capacity more than 70% anyway, and in those cases, an experienced sailor could win over many with a Mac26.

Now, I have had fast speed boats, big 33 feet boat, fast sailing boats and has admitted that I only come out at the 2-week summer holiday and 3-6 weekends per year. Theese needs of mine, the small mac easily meet. Should I get urge to speed up on the wind power, I have always my KITE with me in the boat.

I am fluent in English speech, but not strong in writing, so I've used google to translate. It can probably be notet in the text, but I hope it is understandable.
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  #158  
Old 07-09-2009
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I have seen a Mac26 out sailing a LOT this year in Northport and while its not my thing i think it sailed pretty dam good and a LOT better than i had thought it would
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  #159  
Old 08-05-2009
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Threms, nice response and very understandable. It is for the reasons you listed that I am soon to be a 26M owner. I have very little sailing experience, so I would not be able to get the most out of a truly good sailing boat. I live close to several lakes and the ocean (the beautiful gulf islands in British Columbia, Canada), so I can take my pick of which waters to enjoy any time I want and don't have to worry about moorage fees. It is a great beginner's boat if you are new to sailing and it's a spacious cruiser (for a trailerable 26) if you're interested in just enjoying being out on the water and not trying to squeeze every last knot out of the available wind. It's great for weekend getaways in comfort and is very inexpensive compared to other boats of its size.

It is not a racing sailboat
It is not a speed boat
It IS a very versatile, inexpensive, safe and fun boat letting you get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors, which is what it's really all about.
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Old 09-01-2009
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Wink Mac powersailer

First, this thread seems to span many years - and 2 models of the Mac 26 powersailers. One as the 26X which went out of production around 2001/2002 and the 26M which is still in production but had several upgrades during the production process. The Mac 26X was a terrific sailor, down wind with empty balast tanks. (that is very dangerous so don't do it.) It had a fairly flat bottom much like a power boat.

The 26M has more of a V shape and is a bit more rounded. I hear it is somewhat better as a sail boat.

I have a MacGregor 19 - the precursor to the 26X. It has a very flat bottom but still sails ok. Sure, the 35-50 ft. sailboats in the ffice:smarttags" />lace w:st="on">Chesapeake Bay sail faster than my Mac 19, but that is to be expected with a shorter displacement sailboat. My boat is still a lot of fun. I have had it heal 80 degrees so I had to hold on to the upper rail so as not to be tipped into the water. I have sailed through 3-4 ft Bay chop taking waves over the bow and spray into the cockpit. I have run it aground, and got off by simply raising the centerboard. And I have run home at full throttle on my 40 HP after realizing I was Way Late and still made it back in time to load the boat on the trailer in daylight. And I have passed power boats, and watched them do a double take and rev up and take off to catch up and pass me - can't have a sail boat passing a motor boat that is on plane!!!!

I do have to admit that space and comfort on the Mac 19 is short. Right now I sail with a local club on 30+ ft sailboats, but I still hope to upgrade my Mac 19 to a 26M - or a MagGregor 36 Cat........

Last edited by MadMacMod; 09-01-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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