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  #11  
Old 08-09-2010
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Having had a few trailer sailors 14ft and 18 ft the issue becomes the setup time at the ramp

While you can walkup the mast on and 18' boat fast and easy a 25' boat becomes a chore requiring much more time
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2010
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I researched and looked at trailer sailors for a few years before making the move. After we took ASA courses in Abaco in spring of 2009 I went obsessive, my Wife couldn't take it anymore and said "Please just go out and buy a sailboat!". I had one within a few weeks. We bought a 1993 Macgregor 26S (swing keel). We love it! I was a little concerned after reading some bad opinions against them but rolled the dice and bought it anyway. Good decision. After a month of making strictly comfort based modifications, I went out in the driveway poured Yuengling beer on the bow, sprinkled some beach sand from Tilloo Cay Abaco Bahamas through out the interior and we launched. These boats are basically a blank slate in original from the factory condition. There is LOTS of online support and ideas from another site called "The trailer sailor" that deals with trailerable boats of most all brands and is invaluable for reasearch. I saved a lot of money and frustration on their Macgregor forum. One pleasant surprise was that all the deck hardware goes through solid fiberglass and not simply bolted through the balsa core. I thought this might not be the case since it's a boat that many seem to dislike due to bad press probably helped along by companies building "worthier" boats.

Yes it's an economy based boat but with some imagination you can customize it to YOUR liking...and on the cheap too! Some people enjoy them just the way they are originally as our previous owner did. It's probably best to find one close to that original condition so you know how it's put together if you infact decide to change anything.

Any flack you receive will be on the net, I've received nothing but conversation and questions about our "Nauti Time" on the water although I wouldn't be surprised if one day I ran into a snob who knew all about them without ever being on one (Which is usually the case with snobs). There are all kinds of reasons for opinions, the one that makes most sense to me is some people may get upset seeing you enjoy yourself doing everything that they can do and you payed a fraction of what they paid.

On the Chesapeake our 26S has proven to be a very nice boat, we've stayed out when others started to head in due to it getting a little rough and windy. BUT know your limitations, you're not going to sail through hurricanes! Most non trailerable boats of this size will be capable of heavier weather, but they're non trailerable. I personally bought a trailer sailor to get my Wife more into owning a slipped boat in preparation to buying "THE BIG ONE", I wanted a newer boat that had a good resale market, I also wanted something I could have near my garage in the off season. This fit the bill perfectly.

We will get a bigger boat, but after owning our Mac 26S I don't think I'll go as large as originally planned...another savings!

The 26 foot "Classic Mac's" will be refered to as 26C (Classic) they will be subcatagorised as either a 26S (swing keel) or 26D (Daggerboard), I preferred a swing keel for what we call "Gunkholing" in the Chessie, although it's said the 26D's are a little faster (The way my Wifes loading our boat down with supplies it doesn't matter anyway (I do appreciate those supplies when needed though!). The 26X and 26M come with large outboards around 50hp or so, these are WAY more expensive that the "Classics" but thats all I know about them. Our 8hp Nissan pushes us along quickly and efficiently, we can go miles and miles and miles on a 3 gallon tank. One other note, we went to Pennsylvania for our boat, somehow it was registered as a 25 footer, in MD the DNR registered it as a 25 footer. I said it was a 26 footer and wanted to make sure I wouldn't get in trouble if ever checked out by the marine police or CG, they replied I'd be fine and if PA registered it as 25 then MD will follow suit unless I got 3 witnesses to swear it was a 26 footer (Makes no sense to me either), I said I'm happy being called 25' it will save on slip fees. I ended up saving $300 a year for a one foot differance!

I looked at a West Wight Potter 19 and it was way too small for us, but I'm 6'+. They're are many people who do own and enjoy them though and thats the point. Get what suits YOU!

Good luck!
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Last edited by swampcreek; 08-09-2010 at 04:13 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2010
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Hi alll, thanks for the quality responses!! I will look at all of the boats posted (at least on the internet).

Answering a couple of questions:

1) I am looking for low draft because the lakes I am likely to be in will have some issues with depth near the launches. I don't expect to be sailing in shallows, just motoring through them. To me the wing keel makes the boat less stable on the trailer (it is very windy here in the midwest), but this is a lesser concern.

2) I am really looking for cabin over cockpit. It is a very good question and I might not be considering it correctly (my life might have changed and I haven't caught up to it yet). That said I need at least 4 comfortable in the cockpit.

@BobMcGov too funny on the RocNa anchor. I stuck our catalina-18 wing in a particularly muddy cove. My solution was to hop out (moving 250lbs out of the boat) and I physically pushed us out. I appreciate the information on the close haul capacity of a wing-keel I wasn't aware of it.

It is a real conundrum, I want it all. I want a large cabin, capacity to pull it behind my vehicle, and configurable sails for casual racing.

Is the initial instability of the WB while you are waiting to fill the tanks or is there something else to be aware of?

@CapTim - I wish I was closer as I would take you up on that. Do you know if there is much a difference between the CAT-22 and the CAT-22 MKII. I think the goal is to have a roomier cabin.

@SwampCreek - nice writeup on the macs. I have no interest in the 50hp version, I currently own a powerboat and. I didn't understand the differences in the models so that is very helpful.

I am trying to figure out what Macgregor gave up for all the weight difference. The cabin layouts I have seen are huge compared to the other boats I have seen (on the internet). Have you done any casual racing with it and are you happy with your ability to shape the sails?
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  #14  
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@tommays agreed on the setup issues. I had a small 14' racing boat that we could setup in about 15 minutes. The cat-18 we had took a bit more doing and I am sure a larger mast will take even more time.

The goal for trailerability isn't that I intend to store the boat in my driveway and head out each weekend with a new destination in mind (although that would be cool if it worked well). My goal is that when I need to move the boat around (perhaps for a particular vacation) I can do it without alot of additional services required. I want to be able to launch on an unattended boat ramp.

I intend to find a good lake home for the boat, get a slip and probably even store the boat nearby. With my cat-18 I left it rigged and stored it at the lake. This made for a quick launch.

best regards
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  #15  
Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Is the initial instability of the WB while you are waiting to fill the tanks or is there something else to be aware of?
Water-ballasted boats generally exhibit adequate ultimate stability -- how far they will lean before going all the way over. But the truth is, water just isn't that heavy (1/11th the density of lead). It IS bulky, so you can't concentrate its mass at the bottom of a lever arm. The CofG is higher. Upshot is many water-ballasted designs may feel initially tender compared to lead-ballasted sailboats, as it takes longer for the righting moment to grab hold. You get used to the angle, but such boats may always suffer from the leeway, weather helm, depowered sails, and unsettled feel that accompany excessive heeling.

And if you forget to fill the water ballast, these boats are indeed dangerous. But the same can be said for lead-ballasted boats that forget to lower their keels.

Glad you muscled your 18' wing keel out of the mud. Ain't so easy with a 2-ton, 26 footer. That, I suppose, is the point of most comments in this thread: everything is harder, heavier, fussier, and more expensive with a larger boat. If your goal is trailering all over, launching anywhere, taking off on a whim after dinner, and spending more time sailing than futzing with boat bits, I'd suggest choosing the smallest boat you can stand to be on for the time periods you expect to be on it. We spent ten days camping and sailing on a SJ21 Mk1. I would not want to do that trip on a smaller boat. It was primitive. But for hooking up to our small cars, zipping 2 hours to a mountain lake, and launching on dodgy ramps, it's terrific.

You ask what MacGregor 'gave up' to build such a lightweight boat at 26'. A little bit here, a little bit there. Spars, rigging, deck hardware, hull thickness, interior fitout.... Some people might add durability, sailing qualities, and motion comfort to that list, but Macs outsell damn near every other sailboat, so Roger knows his customers. Macs are a solution for owners who want lots of cabin space in a lightweight boat and aren't too hung up on aesthetics or pure sailing qualities. The boats' construction is described as "generally underbuilt but just adequate for their intended purpose." Primarily the Mac26 WB models leave their ballast at the ramp, so that is how they trailer so light. Tradeoff is complexity, performance, and the horror of deliberately introducing water into your boat. Which freaks me out. Though I suppose our keel trunk is just as bad.
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  #16  
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The cat 22 mk ii is a little beamier, has a standard 'pop-top' at the companion way (handy for camping/anchoring/adding spaciness in the cabin), has a gin-pole mast raising system, and comes standard with a centerboard. Basically, they took the best options of the cat 22 mk i, and made them standard.

If you are going to leave the boat in the water for the most part, splurge and go for a mac 26-something. I'd reccomend the D, as I've raced on the x, s, d, and m, and the d is probably the best racer. The s is also good, but I think they made more d's, and so you can probably find a better deal on one. I wouldn't pay much more than 3 grand for one, maybe 4 grand. Gotta love the modern economy.
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  #17  
Old 08-11-2010
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Swampcreek...

"One other note, we went to Pennsylvania for our boat, somehow it was registered as a 25 footer, in MD the DNR registered it as a 25 footer. I said it was a 26 footer and wanted to make sure I wouldn't get in trouble if ever checked out by the marine police or CG, they replied I'd be fine and if PA registered it as 25 then MD will follow suit unless I got 3 witnesses to swear it was a 26 footer (Makes no sense to me either), I said I'm happy being called 25' it will save on slip fees. I ended up saving $300 a year for a one foot differance!"


If you look at your paper work/ specs, it should show your 26s is actually 25'10"

This also means technically, your requirements for safety equipment etc would be for a vessel UNDER 26 feet.
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  #18  
Old 08-11-2010
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@bljones. Hawke Seaward 26RK just became my favorite boat ( from pictures of course ). If only the budget could handle that beauty!
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Old 08-11-2010
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jim2553, about racing. Well I really can't say for sure, when we go out my main concern is getting the crew to put on her sailing uniform...she was born in it . Anyway we're pretty loaded down with stuff but I've passed a few boats in my size and I have been passed by others. I'm happy...as long as the crew has her uniform on!!!
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2010
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Originally Posted by jim2553 View Post
@bljones. Hawke Seaward 26RK just became my favorite boat ( from pictures of course ). If only the budget could handle that beauty!
What is your budget? You should be able to find an older Seaward 25 for under $15 K, or an even older Seaward 23/24 for under $10K.
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