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  #1  
Old 10-31-2006
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MacGregor 26 X/M Impressions

Greetings!

I'm looking for people's impressions on the above. These would be considered, own, owned, sailed (especially) and compared to other boats. It seems like a lot of boat for the money (interior notwithstanding).

Please, no flames - bad experiences OK.

I've read the "capsize" related threads. Bottom line is, capsizing was due to no ballast in tank and crew inexperience. That can happen on ANY boat.

Thanks!

Sincerely,

/s/ Jon C. Munson II
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2006
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Try the Macgregor Forum

If you scroll down the list of forums, you will see a series of boat builders including Macgregor. There is a thread in progress discussing the Mac 26 and M.

Good luck
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Old 10-31-2006
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I say great topic. I've only sailed once and I looked into a bunch of sailboats for beginners. I like that boat.

But expect to get flamed from the gang of sailors in this forum.
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Old 10-31-2006
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Macgregor performance

Macgregor is an affordable boat, and is largely for beginners. My concern with Macgregor is that may new sailors may be turned off by the lack of stability. Heel is an unnatural experience and can be unnerving. Also, a new sailor may carry too much sail inadvertantly. It doesn't take long to out grow a Macgregor in terms of sailing performance.

There is no substitue for draft and ballast for monohull sailing.
Kevin.
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Old 11-01-2006
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If you want a sailboat you should buy a sailboat. If you want a power boat you should buy a powerboat. The Mac 26x is neither. There are plenty of nice sailboats out there in the price range of the Mac. Jim L
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Old 11-01-2006
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If you want a sailboat that can go fast under power yet sail well—get a multihull, or a really big boat. If you want a power boat, get one...but the MacGregor is really a very basic boat with little going for it, and probably going to be outgrown fairly quickly. Assuming you want to get a MacGregor for its trailerability, you may want to look at the Catalina 22 or 25, preferably the non-water ballasted models, which are very nice little sailboats.
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-01-2006
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Also, they don't really represent a lot of value for the money, not in terms of performance and comfort - A new one with trailer and 50HP engine goes for around $30-40K around here - with that kind of budget it's quite possible to get a decent all-around used sailboat with many more amenities and good sailing performance.

And as for the "15 knots under power" - there's a significant cost to that in fuel consumption.
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Faster's got a really good point too.

If you consider that you can get a pretty nice Grampian 26, a Cape Dory 25 or a Pearson Ariel, for less than $10,000, then you have $20-30,000+ left over, which will pay for many seasons of docking or mooring the boat and winter storage.

You get a much better sailing boat and no hassles of trailering it....more time spent sailing, less time spent trying to setup the boat. A win all around IMHO.

The Cape Dory, Grampian and Pearson Ariel or Triton are all very good solid little boats, and capable of the occasional bluewater passage IMHO, as well as being fun to daysail or weekend on.
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Old 11-01-2006
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All very good points to consider.

I am not actively looking to purchase a boat at this time. A small problem of not having found that money tree or even a bush as yet. And, if I did find that magic money tree, I'd be after a 35-50' cat, or a 50'+ monohull for a liveaboard at this point.

I am, however, researching for that day when I can get a boat (assuming my brother does something else with his boat that precludes my use of it).

So, all opinons are welcomed.

And yes, I had considered all those things about the Mac.

Also, the MacGregor thread would not have sufficed in returning the opinions I seek as it might have pidgeon-holed the responses.

Every boat represents some sort of compromise in some respect. You simply cannot have everything in one boat.

In having looked around at used Mac's, I didn't really see a plethora of them - so they must not be all that bad. And, with the production as high as it is, they must sell quite a number of them. So, the product can't be all that bad either - it does sell after all.

Owning any boat has its cost - "Break Out Another Thousand" after all. Generally, the bigger the boat, the more costs one has to bear.

Obviously, this type of boat has its plusses as well as its detractors.

I personally see no issues with trailering a boat that is meant to be trailored (you can go from lake to lake or sea to sea, etc., rather easily/handily). Neither do I see issues with a boat that requires a slip. What matters is the intended use of the boat and the budget, current and future, of the prospective owner.

As for performance - yes, anytime fuel, especially gas, is used to go fast, you are going to pay for it. Part of the territory. If one doesn't get that, then one shouldn't be boating.

As for set up, a good bit of time is spent readying our slip-docked boat for our day's outing, and, honestly, I don't see how the Mac would be that much more really. What's a few minutes? If you are that pressed for time, why are you sailing? Not trying to be a Mac advocate here, but simply making a point.

A used boat can indeed be a good value. My brother's Bayfield was $10,500. It only lacks a shower to be a really good boat (needs a few more feet for that accomodation). I personally think for the price he paid he got a good value. I think we've spent about a grand on little things to make it sailable and there will be more in order to recondition a bit of her. Depending upon what he wants to spend, that could be a little (some is mandatory) or quite a bit (feathering prop anyone? Dacron cruising sails? Spectra line? New lifelines? It goes on...).

Sometimes reconditioning a used boat can cost quite a bit - in which case, if a Mac was being considered but forgotten on account of price, the Mac may have been the smarter choice.

Again, it goes back to intent and use coupled with budget.

That aside, the main question is, really, how *is* the boat itself?

Sincerely,

/s/ Jon C. Munson II
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Old 11-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmunson2
As for set up, a good bit of time is spent readying our slip-docked boat for our day's outing, and, honestly, I don't see how the Mac would be that much more really. What's a few minutes? If you are that pressed for time, why are you sailing? .....
That aside, the main question is, really, how *is* the boat itself?
Jon

I would suggest that the dockside prep time you speak of would be required with the Mac AFTER you've spent 40 minutes or so getting the rig up. Another aspect of trailering time is the occasional wait for the busy ramp areas to be clear for your turn.

And to turn you're own question back at you, if you're in a hurry, why are you sailing? If you're not in a hurry, why go for a boat that does 15 knots under power - go sailing instead.

Your brother's boat, while not the spriteliest performer out there is an honest character sailboat with loads of charm and a comfortable weekender.

Having sailed a large number of different boats from 8 feet to 40 feet, one hull to three, including a Mac 26X, I can say that boat certainly stood out as one with very weird sailing characteristics. Add to that the poor righting moment of the high-in-the-boat water ballast and the rather poor helm position given the tiny wheel I have to say it was a less-than memorable experience (except in a bad way)

I'm probably hurting someone's feelings, but my impression is that most Mac buyers are new to boating, or non sailors that don't really know enough to tell whether the boat sails particularily well or not.

That said, there is definitely a niche market that they have filled, the moorage-free trailerable advantage, the perception that they can "fly" home at the end of the day and an effective marketing program have sold lots of them. I'm just saying if it's sailing you're after, you can do much better for the same money.

We met a couple this summer who dove in with a Mac 26, used it one year, sold it and bought a nice well-found 28' sailboat and had money left over even after taking the initial depreciation hit. They were much happier with this boat.

Last edited by Faster; 11-01-2006 at 09:37 PM.
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