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  #1  
Old 08-31-2012
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New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

hi, I'm new to sailing and need some advice. I want to get my first sailboat, and since it may be my "retirement toy" I need to get the purchase right the first time.

As I've studied the internet the MacGregor seems to be a good option for me, but I would appreciate any recommendations for other models that will fit my needs:

1. I will only be sailing in the inland waters near Orange Beach and Pensacola. I have no desire to take it into the ocean off shore.

2. I will only use it for day sailing - will never stay overnight.

3. I will nearly always be sailing alone so need something I can handle by myself.

4. Because the weather comes up fast, and I have a job where sometimes I have to get home a hurry, I REALLY like that I can put a large out boat motor on the MacGregor - I can't find another model of sailboat that takes a large motor.

5. I would prefer as much space above decks as possible, and the MacGregor seams very small. The below deck is not as important.

6. I like that I can take down the main sail by myself on the MacGregor and so I can store it in my boat house, or get it on a trailer when the hurricanes threaten.

7. I want it large enough so that it "feels stable".....probably at least 22 but no larger than 32 feet.

8. I like that I can beach the MacGregor so I can get out to fish.

9. I like the price of the MacGregor.

So, am I evaluating this correctly, or have I missed something? Anything you can tell me to help me make this decision would really be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Get a powerboat or a sailboat. Don't get a MacGregor. It will not give you the satisfaction of either. It sails horribly compared to a real sailboat. If you search this site, you will find a lot of discussion of this boat. I would strongly discourage it.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Roger builds a boat for a specific market niche. He has value engineering down to a science. He is a manufacturing genius. The basic layup and fit is very good. The hardware and fittings are not the most robust, but perfectly serviceable.

However, his boats do not have that big of cockpit, and then don't reay sail that well. The boats are a mix of compromises in performance. If all you want to do is putter around a bit, then the Mac might be a good choice. If you really want to sail, then look further.,

Where will you keep the boat ?
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Water balast is a little different than realy balast. Lead weighs more in water than water. So really you would have no balast until the boat was realy healed, do you want to sail or be a motor boat? Their are alot of great shoal draft boats out their like the Sanjuan 21, Catalina 22, Captiva 240. I realy think the macgregor is a substandard boat. Trying to do so many things to so little effect. Hunter also built a waterr balast boat and so did catalina for a while, but I think they stoped for abvious reasons.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post

1. I will only be sailing in the inland waters near Orange Beach and Pensacola. I have no desire to take it into the ocean off shore.
you will take it into the Gulf, don't get a newer MacG, the water balest will not handle well
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
2. I will only use it for day sailing - will never stay overnight.
hummm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
3. I will nearly always be sailing alone so need something I can handle by myself.
there are other boats the MacG might not be the boat for you
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
4. Because the weather comes up fast, and I have a job where sometimes I have to get home a hurry, I REALLY like that I can put a large out boat motor on the Mac Gregor - I can't find another model of sailboat that takes a large motor.
The fact that it is a want-a-be powerboat kind-a-be a sailboat means it will not preform well as ether, look for a 27 to 30 in your area, i am guessing your in the boot heal of AL
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Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
5. I would prefer as much space above decks as possible, and the MacGregor seams very small. The below deck is not as important.
Start looking for a Catalina 27 to 30, even the Hunter name will for sailing the Bays and the Gulf coast, don't limit your self to a MacG, and yes i have an older Mac Venture 25.
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Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
6. I like that I can take down the main sail by myself on the MacGregor and so I can store it in my boat house, or get it on a trailer when the hurricanes threaten.
The Mast, sure you can but with the right setup you can do so on a 27 to 30 foot Deck stepped Mast.

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7. I want it large enough so that it "feels stable".....probably at least 22 but no larger than 32 feet.
then you need at ad some beam to the boat your looking for, my 25 Venture, she rolls a bit, my boat is what Mac Gregor was before the name change.
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8. I like that I can beach the MacGregor so I can get out to fish.
you dont have to leave the boat to fish, yes beaching is nice, i dont beach to fish, i still anchor out and wade or swim in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
9. I like the price of the MacGregor.
you have not said what price your looking at so from $100 to $21,000, there is a lot of room for more Boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
So, am I evaluating this correctly, or have I missed something? Anything you can tell me to help me make this decision would really be appreciated.
Let's see you have see a boat that you think fills your bill and it might, Is it the Only one that will?. If all your going to do is Sail the Orange Al to Pcola area then look for something a bit more, you will soon want to spend the Weekend out on the boat and the Mac Gregor will let you, you will also get tired of bending over all the time, look around for something that has a good track record and have standing hear room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Beach View Post
Thanks!
I hope you find a boat that fits your needs, but with the info you posted i will not go more into what I think might fit your needs. for one thing do you know how to sail, are you planning on taking Classes?
Fill in more details so the members might have a better idea as to what limits you have and can then maybe offer more advice to help you beside what boat might fit you best. Fair Wind and have a Good Weekend.

Check the WWW for ASA sailing classes or the the local Sailing Club.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

The MacGregor certainly fills a market niche, and people that have them really seem to love them. Perhaps one will work for you since it seems to check off alot of boxes on your list!

The problem is they have a bit of an identity crisis! Are they a sailboat? well, technically yes, but they are a very mediocre sailers. Are they a power boat? Well, you CAN put a big-a$$ outboard on it and it goes, but they are a mediocre power boat too! In other words, they can do both, but do neither very well.

I would say broaden your horizons and look at what you can get in your price range in the way of a proper sailboat! Don't worry about getting shiny new, just get something good! Maybe re-think how important it is to be able to power home at mach 1 when you are supposed to be out sailing. (retirement boat...remember?) Sailors just aren't in that big a hurry!
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Go take a sailing class before you buy a boat. Then rent a few. Go out on others boats. There are gennerally lot's of used Mac Crapers for sale for a reason. Buy a good small sailboat that you can handle yourself and also a small fishing boat, you'll be happier.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

The Mac does a little bit of everything and is not a bad introduction to boating and sailing, in spite of some disdain from purists. There is a big difference in sailing performance between different eras/models of Macs, and many people are not familiar with these differences.

The Hake Seawards have a shallow-draft ability, and would perhaps be more of a pure sailboat, but of course they wouldn't do the big motor thing.

Maybe another consideration is finding out how big a pair of motors you could put on a moderate-size cruising catamaran.
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Old 08-31-2012
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New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

As others have said, this is not a well built vessel nor is it a sail or power boat. But the price is right and it gets people on the water. So for this reason alone, you may wish to buy it and pick your weather very carefully. Don't worry about the big engine, get one big enough to bring the boat to hull speed. Learn how to sail and reef. Spend practically nothing on upgrades beyond what's absolutely necessary to be safe. Sail the daylights out of the boat and in 2 or 3 years you'll have been on the water enough, seen enough other boats, and talked with enough people to make your next choice based on experience instead of what us yahoos on SN tell you.

Just go sailing.
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Old 08-31-2012
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Re: New to sailing - MacGregor or other is best?

Reading through your criteria, it really sounds like a powerboat will fit your needs better. The only thing you say about sailing is that you want to get your first sailboat, but then everything you want out of a boat aligns better with a powerboat. Just some food for thought before you take a plunge.
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