We are considering buying a MacGregor 26. Since we are somewhat "land-locked," trailerablility and launching ease are important considerations. What would be your first choice for a small cruiser?
Mark Matthews responds:
I’ll be happy to weigh in with what I know about small boats, having sailed a similar size boat—a Westerly Centaur, also 26 feet, from California to South Carolina. We were about the smallest boat on that circuit. Obviously inland lake sailing will differ from a coastal tour, and while I'd favor other late sixties classics, such as Pearson Tritons, Cal 25s, Coronodos, Columbias purely from a construction stand point (boat manufacturers of that time were still uncertain of the strength of fiberglass and over-built a lot of boats), my criteria for sailboats might be quite different from yours—I tend to think of sailboats in terms of how they would fair in smash-up derby like situations, although hopefully these conditions won't be on your itinerary. The MacGregor certainly has appeal in terms of trailerability and performance. I'd suggest you consult our e-mail discussion list and query other boat owners there or view our owner reviews in Boat Check.