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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat Reviews
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Boat Reviews This forum has all types of boat reviews. Take a look, Dream, Agree, Dissagree.... but enjoy.


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  #1  
Old 12-29-2009
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First sail boat...

Hi folks,

I am looking at my first boat, completely new to sailing and am considering the the MacGregor 26 . Its appeal is the price and potential ease for a newbie to learn to sail on.

From trawling through the internet, I've noticed a consistent theme of how unsuitable it is to coastal waters. I plan to use the boat for my wife, small dog and I on weekend trips form Auckland here in NZ up around the Bay of Islands etc...

Be great to get thoughts on this, or possible other alternative boats around the 30ft mark...

Cheers
Matt
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2009
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Some of the owners seem to love them, most other people don't seem to have a very good opinion of them. Have never been on one so can't help much. Interesting idea (assuming you are meaning the new 26M model?) but can't help thinking a boat like that will neither sail nor power particularly well.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2009
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I have read alot of threads about the Mac 26 and it's various models. I also know that a couple years ago an American couple trailered one from Texas to near Seattle,Washington and then motor-sailed her all the way to Juneau,Alaska and back. With their hi-speed motoring capability they can obviously cover alot of ground for a sailboat in this size category. This could be of benefit to a new sailor with little weather knowledge or those who value near-coastal or inshore utility and especially speed....more than what might be called the more subtle aspects of sailing a pure sail hull shape , saving on gas, and not having to rely on a 50 hp smoke-farting bomb hanging on the stern to get you home quick if things get froggy. From what I can gather I think the Mac26 can be a great boat for certain types of sailors and it seems to have a decent holding re-sale value. It is a mutant though and many in sailing circles find it abhorrent ...trust me. I am not among that group but find the spaceship shuttlecraft aesthetics of its futuristic windows and overall "plastic" looks to be a turn-off more than it's
motorboat/sailing hybrid design. That's my take...might be a great first boat...take your time and read as much as you can before you lay down a boatload of cash on anything... and have fun out there...

Last edited by souljour2000; 12-30-2009 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010
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I have a 2003 MacGregor 26M sailboat and it is just fine for its' intended purpose, inland lakes or protected coastal waters. I sail in the Pacific Northwest just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada and on the inside of Vancouver Island among the Gulf Islands and San Juans. It is perfect for this venue. It is a price point boat and is targeted at a specific income level but I have found it to be a very good first boat and very forgiving. It is cookie cutter manufactured and has some unfinished aspects when new but if you buy it used the PO will have rectified this. Take a look at some used ones with lots of extras added to them so that you do not have to do it. If you decide you don't like it after a season it will sell literally overnight, people are always looking for them because of their price and versatility. I have enjoyed mine for seven years now and my biggest pet peave with them is the skinny beam and lack of fit and finish but I have already taken care of the fit and finish with my own creativity. Like all other boats it is a compromise, just moreso because it is a hybrid, but that can be a blessing for many folks. Try one before you take the advice of someone who has never been on one, they are not as bad as some make them out to be. They also have more room below than any other boat in the 26' range bar none. For a beginner boat you can not go wrong.
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Old 01-07-2010
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There's no denying that the M26M and such are finding/filling a market niche. The promise of sailability and high speed powering is tantalizing to be sure. This boat has gotten a lot of people out on the water and that's a good thing... Capt K is a good example of a happy owner.

But if you're interested in SAILING then I'd be looking for a SAILBOAT, not a do-everything-hybrid. As for the price point argument, I can only buy into that if one is buying new. Consider picking up a good T-bird, or a Ranger 26, C&C 25 etc etc for less than $10k, you're barely over the price of a 50 hp motor alone for the Macgregor. There may be a little less room below, but the cockpit arrangement and sailing habits will far out weigh that.

If trailerablilty is a requirement there are other, better sailing less expensive options too on the used boat market.

For the record I have sailed the Macgregor 26M in what should have been ideal conditions, good breeze and flat water. Lets just say I was not converted.....
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Old 01-07-2010
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Faster
You're obviously not a water skier.
Here's a link to a test of the Hunter Edge, new competition to the MacGregor 26
Sailing Magazine | Hunter Edge
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First sail boat...-power2.jpg   First sail boat...-poweringj_casino_large.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
For the record I have sailed the Macgregor 26M in what should have been ideal conditions, good breeze and flat water. Lets just say I was not converted.....
Well, if I was accustomed to sailing the boat Faster has you can be darn sure I would not be converted either, that would be like trading my Lincoln Mark VIII for a Chevy Cavalier.
Buying your first boat is much like your first car in high school, you buy what you can afford and learn to drive. It does not have to be a peformance car to learn on, just something to have fun with and drive around the school with all your freinds in it and show off to the girls. Remember how much fun you had with it and how proud you were to have it. Remember how it opened up a whole new world to you, took you places you had never been before?
Well the MacGregor can do the very same thing, but being a hybrid, when the wind dies down, or the current runs against you, you can still make way at a decent clip and get to your destination. If it turns out you enjoy motoring more than sailing then you have that option too, not every boater who tries sailing stays with it, some of them switch to power boats because they discovered sailing just does not quite do it for them.
You don't need a pure sailboat to learn on, but it does help to buy something you can divest yourself of easily if it does not work out for you. MacGregors sell themselves, out of the driveway....not the costly marina slip. They are much like a little sport utility, not pure car nor pure truck, but hybrid.
They will provide you with all the fun and excitement you need to get started and then some. At the same time you have the option to discover wether you prefer powering over sailing! For a power boat they sail pretty good and for a sailboat they power better than most, what more can I say, nuff said.
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Old 01-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt77nz View Post
Hi folks,

I am looking at my first boat, completely new to sailing and am considering the the MacGregor 26 . Its appeal is the price and potential ease for a newbie to learn to sail on.

From trawling through the internet, I've noticed a consistent theme of how unsuitable it is to coastal waters. I plan to use the boat for my wife, small dog and I on weekend trips form Auckland here in NZ up around the Bay of Islands etc...

Be great to get thoughts on this, or possible other alternative boats around the 30ft mark...

Cheers
Matt
Hey Matt,

I'm another happy MacGregor 26M owner. I sail on Lake Michigan and those waters mimic your coastal waters. CaptKermie gives a very acurate view of Mac 26M ownership.

There are a number of owners from down under and they are pretty active on this board MacGregorSailors.com One thing they have noted is a set of standards for boats that are different from those in the States (same for the EU). I would check with them on that site and see if NZ may have the same requirements.
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Old 01-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptKermie View Post
Well, if I was accustomed to sailing the boat Faster has you can be darn sure I would not be converted either, that would be like trading my Lincoln Mark VIII for a Chevy Cavalier.
Capt Kermie... first, I hope you're clear that I meant no disrespect to you or any other M26 owners - whatever floats your boat (whichever boat) and all that. I agree they have a place in the entry market esp when buying new. The "bring it home" convenience is a huge factor, esp in moorage-tight markets like ours.

Secondly, thanks (I think? ) for the boat compliment - though on the car scale I'm not sure I'd put our boat in the Lincoln category... she's a decent mid-range-cost cruiser with a layout that's easy to live with and she's not too hard on the eyes either. More Impala with options than Lincoln, though.

If you see us out there, pop over and I'll buy you a beer.. anytime!
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Old 01-12-2010
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It depends on a number of things. The Mc Gregor was aimed at the most boat for the buck..They made thier own fittings... functional but not the industry standard. A trailer-sailer is great as you avoid marina costs, can do the maintenence in your back yard, and it lets you go to sailing areas at 60 mph. The downside is they'll not give you as much stabilty as a keel boat. If you're going into waters where you can expect fairly heavy seas or high winds you may be be less comfortable in a trailer sailer. I've found that you learn to sail more quickly in a smaller boat. Annother consideration is whether or not there's a local class organiations for the boat. A strong class organiation means a lot of support, advice and group sailing adventures that are invaluable to those new to sailing.
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