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  #1  
Old 07-17-2010
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Good deal on a Macgregor 25?

I live in Michigan, and we're looking for a boat to travel along the shores of Lake Huron, probably some overnight excursions with the kids (6, 11, 16), and hopefully, we'll trailer it close to Mackinac and sail it to the island to stay the night. I've not sailed before, our family has always had power boats. But I've been looking to start with a sailboat for quite some time, and just this weekend someone in town put out a 1977 Macgregor 25 for 4500. I was hoping some people could chime in on a couple things I noticed when I went through it to see if I should be leery.

It doesn't have a very large galley stock. It's really just a sink and a water tank. The owner indicated that before he bought the boat, the whole top area holding the sink had been cut out and it never came with the water tank. They indicated they pack their own water and a small trough that fits in that area to serve for food prep. Is there a reason they would cut this out that I should be concerned about? Does the removal of the interior fiberglass in this area affect the structure at all?

The other thing I noticed is the hinged panel that acts as both access to under-bench storage, and as a step stool is starting to become a little "squishy" I suspect the fiberglass has had a lot of people step in it in 30+ years, and that it shouldn't be an indication of stress areas elsewhere (I didn't see any when we went through it. Am I wrong to think this? If we move forward we'll have someone inspect the boat properly before buying it.

Otherwise, the sails are relatively new, new lines, the rigging has been replaced where it's been needed, it all looks clean, the outboard (9.9 Mercury) has been gone over as well. Is this as good a deal as it sounds? Or are they a dime a dozen?
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Old 07-17-2010
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That price is really high, especially for an older Mac that has had some hackwork done. Compare here:

Macgregor 25 Sailboat Photo Gallery
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Old 07-17-2010
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25 sailboats

I would not consider a Mcgreggor if I were you, I hope I do not offend any one. I have onwned a Catalina 25 and sailed it many miles in all kinds of weather with my wife and two young daughters. You should check out the oday, Catalina and Seaward 25's with the swing keel. I think the only thing that you will find to be a little bit of a problem is steping the mast by youself it is nearly impossible and you might need a tongue extension for your trailer.
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Old 07-18-2010
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Thank you both for the input. I think we're going to pass on the Macgregor and keep our eyes out for something a hair bigger that would fit us and 3 kids a little better.
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Old 07-21-2010
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A little more information: We're a family of 5 looking for a cruiser to sail the Great Lakes, primarily Lake Huron. We've done boating, but not sailing, and this would be our first sail boat. So, we want something manageable, but something we're not going to grow out of anytime soon. I was also trying to keep the list to boats that might be off-shore capable, in case we wanted to take it on a tour along the Atlantic coast, etc. So, rather than get an intro boat (Macgregor) and then move up, I started looking at boats that might fit this bill using the list here Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat .

I have found 3 prospective boats in the Great Lakes area that look promising.

30' Morgan Out Island Sailboat

1978 Morgan 30 - 13k. I spoke with the owner. He is the original owner, and has babied the boat. He says there are no structural issues, the gel coat is in good shape, the interior is excellent. It has a 20hp Yanmar, and good sails. There aren't any pictures of the interior, but we'll get an idea of that when we visit the boat, and then we'll get a survey done. I'm leaning heavily toward this boat.

1967 Bristol Herrshoff 29 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1967 Bristol 29 9.5k. This one is on the list as a capable off-shore boat. It's older than the Morgan, and a little less expensive. I don't know what condition the hull is in, I'd have to check it out. The layout and space inside looks very much like the other Morgans I've seen.

1980 Pearson 323 sailboat for sale in Michigan

1980 Pearson 323 25k. It's more than I'm looking to spend, and I don't think it's in that much better shape than the Morgan. I'm sure it's faster (I don't see that as being a big issue for us). I'm a little worried about the glass on the inside. I would think that would make it a nightmare to work on if we had issues.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2010
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First-time boat purchases

You say you have no sail experience?

Go read Sailingdog's excellent checklist for prospective buyers - you'll find it at the top of the Boat Review and Purchase Forum. Then maybe read a little stuff from marine surveyor David Pascoe (google him) - some of his ideas are controversial but he'll show you the real-life stuff that hides in otherwise good-looking boats.

Point is, if you don't know what you're looking for, you could get burned with a lemon of a boat hiding all sorts of headache - rotten deck cores, failing hardware, unreliable auxiliary power - which could cost you more than your purchase price to fix and endanger your life if you ignore. A boat whose owners appear to have cared for her properly is a good sign but not a guarantee.

First, don't buy anything you haven't had professionally surveyed while on the hard.

Second, maybe you should spend a couple weekends hanging out at the local marina. Boat owners are friendly types and usually happy to talk your ears off about their ownership and maintenance experiences, as well as their likes/dislikes in a boat design - from rigging setup to galley layout - which may give you a lot to consider as you think about purchase. You're likely to even get invited to get your keel wet...probably also a good idea for a new sailor.
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Old 07-21-2010
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I'll go browse those sites and create a checklist. The owner of the Morgan is going to take us out for a sail. And we definitely aren't buying anything without a professional survey. It's too much money to get burned by a bad boat.
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If it was me I would offer 20,k for the Pearson, they might take it. But will the marina let you keep it in a 30 foot slip or make you pay for the larger slip. The Morgan looks pretty good and the price is o.k maybe a little on the high side, it all depends on the condition that the boat is in. Do yourself a favor and find the slip first or have a plan on where to keep it. Happy Sailing.
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Old 07-21-2010
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Quietriot, would you go for the Pearson over the Morgan?
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Old 07-21-2010
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I think the Morgan is a good choice for a Lake Huron/Georgian Bay/Lake St. Clair boat, simply due to it's shallower draft. Accomodations are better as well- the cabin is huge. The looks are, to some, an acquired taste. If she could be had for $12K and pass survey, she's a good bet. A boat you can enjoy for years and not lose a ton of money.

I wouldn't worry about whether the boat is off-shore capable at this point. Find a boat to SAIL for now, annd make sure that the whole family digs it. If you find yoruself on a boat with four seasick people complaining it is slow and boring and they really really want a SeaRay, you will be happy you didn't buy more than you need. If, on the other hand, everyone loves the adventure and you do decide to sail the thorny path, then look at beefier cruisers, although i will argue that barring an ocean crossing the Morgan will do all that you need in the future.
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