Re: Why all the fuss about mcgregor 26's
I see this is an old thread, but wanted to add what I've learned.
I've been sailing since 1984. In 2010 after some research, I brought home a brand new MacGregor 26M which I have now had about 5 years of experience with that I can share for the benefit of others.
I have an engineering background (not engineering related to sailing) so I look at things with a different eye.
I've taken her on lakes, rivers, bays, and off the coast of Georgia and Florida and the Bahamas. Most of my sailing has been in the SouthEast US with this boat.
The very first launch she weathered storm, went below, rode it out smoothly.
We have traveled with some other MacGregor's on the coast and being able to land on the beach and let the tide go out.. and stepping out on the sand for an impromptu BBQ was a wonderful way to use its unique abilities.
I had an experience in the first year of ownership when I was tied up at the fuel dock in Florida and was hit by a 45' trawler. hit broadside while tied up, the bow of the trawler had the damage, the side of my 26M had scuffed gelcoat. I believe the long strand fiberglass gives them more strength than people suspect in a thin hull. It flexed a little instead of breaking. (Engineering note: thick and stiff = brittle )
I have had it out in the gulf stream in 4-6 foot swells. The boat handled it wonderfully, although some people may be uncomfortable with the motion. It actually rocked less then expected as the sharp bow cut into the crest of each wave.
I like to squeeze out that extra half knot, so I replaced the shroud attachments with turnbuckles to be able to tune the rig more accurately. The rotating mast helps with performance on the 26M that the 26X didn't have for sailing.
I consider the chosen rigging appropriate for the boat, being too heavy can be just as dangerous as going to light from an engineering standpoint.
The major drawbacks for the design are more in creature comforts and storage. When bought new (although no longer available new), the head is just a room.. you decide what type of head/shower/etc you put in. There is very little headroom in the head.
After adding required equipment, there is almost no space left for storage or tankage, it is all given to the open cabin space. If you want to travel any distance with a 26M you will have to be very minimalist, and likely find a source of water to refill on the way. I'm aware of some owners who have simply used the rear berth as a lazarette for storage to get around this.
positive: I've gained a lot of trust in the boat based on real world experience and would trust it to take me anywhere.
negatives: Not designed for comfort on long trips or crossings.
caveat: The manufacturer, insurance, etc. do not recommend non-protected waters. I believe this is simply required legalese due to liabilities. (Similar to pickup manufacturers who say keep your pickup out of the mud)
Last edited by tek; 03-12-2015 at 04:17 AM.