Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New England
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Tips on checking over and identifying a MacGregor 26?
I’ve been born and raised a marina rat (all power) and now want to get into sailing. I recently found a killer deal on a 1986 MacGregor 26 that’s been sitting for a few years. It was abandoned by a previous tenant, and the owner of the property wants to get a title based on it’s being abandoned and sell it to me for a song.
I’ve researched these boats some and am aware of some of the compromises, but for my use I think they’ll work just fine. I won’t be doing any serious weather or going far offshore, and the river I’ll need to navigate to get to and from port can be shallow at times. I figure this could get me started, allow me to fix her up a bit and then likely sell it and move on in a season or two.
My first questions is, how do I know what model 26 it is? Apparently there’s a 26C, 26D, 26X, 26M, etc. I do know that it has a swing keel and an outboard mount on the port side of the transom. Any suggestions on how to tell which model it is?
I’ve got an old extra long shaft Suzuki 9.9 kicking around that I figure could push it well enough to get me in and out of the no wake zone and into the bay.
The boat has sails in storage, condition unknown until I get down there to check it out. For the cost of the boat and trailer I wouldn’t mind having to have the sails repaired, and would even consider replacing them if I had to (although that may cause me to reconsider this particular boat). The seller seems to think the sails are in good condition, which would be a nice bonus.
I’ve grown up on and around boats of all ages, and have been a liveaboard on a 1976 Silverton 34’ Sedan Bridge, so I know quite a bit about woodworking, glasswork, teak, general repair, electronics, etc.
Anything in particular I should be looking for in this boat besides the usual when inspecting it? Hull integrity, sail condition, structural soundness, etc. is all a given. I’ve heard the fresh water tanks are collapsible jugs that are of poor design, but I don’t mind installing a real fresh water tank and pump. Any advise on other things to check would be greatly appreciated.
Also, what should I pay special attention to when checking the water ballast setup? Are there seals prone to leaking, or are there any other known issues I should be on the lookout for?
Thanks in advance for any help!