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Seeking help to outfit a Mac 26S for gulf crossing.
As a Mac 26x owner in the Puget Sound area I can vouch for the Mac, it is not a bluewater offshore sailboat, but rather a very versatile hybrid motorsailer, it is great for its design and what it is design for... to get people into sailing.
It is perfect for SF BAY, Puget Sound, Great Lakes, any lake, the Cheasepeake Bay, and I even imagine daysails on either coastline in good weather conditions. Its 50Hp engine and ability to sprint 100 miles in 5-6 hours is key, hopefully you will decide not to get 100 out, but if you are 15 miles out you can reach protected waters in an hour or less, hence this is it saving grave in my eyes.
I am not as cynical about the Mac as other purists as they are usually either jealous or envious in a sort. If you are island hoping in good weather you should not have much problem, I have been through 6-8 foot swells in a light gale, while rough, it was very seaworthy as a power boat, not a sailboat under those conditions.
Good luck with yours plans, and plan appropriately.