MacGregor 26M Rotating Mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-18-2007 Thread Starter
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MacGregor 26M Rotating Mast


I've been reading about the scientific wonder that is the rotating mast on all of the MacGregor dealership sites for a little while now. The physics of it sounds good to me, but my question goes out to any Mac owner with the rotating mast: does it really make a noticeable difference?

Any owner's testimonies as to whether it is just a gimmick or whether you would never buy a boat that didn't have one (or anything in between) would be appreciated (for informational purposes while I am in the market for a boat). Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-19-2007
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I occasionally sail with a friend who has one of those. Although it is a cool feature, it isn't obvious to me that it makes any real difference. And occasionally it fails to rotate, so someone has to go manually twist it. Perhaps his just needs adjustment or lubrication though.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-19-2007
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Thumbs up Scientific wonder ???

I don't know about the scientific wonder term. All Roger MacGregor did was take the rotating mast off a catamaran and adapt is to his boat design.

Does it work? Yes it does give the Mac 26M better speed ... when it works. It hinders performance when it doesn't. The mast sits on a stack of three washers and rotates to follow wind pressures on the main (at least that's the theory). In reality, improper tension on the standing rigging and/or "dry" washers can lead to a mast that rotates to one side and stays there (and that really screws with the air flow).

Like anything on a boat, it is a maintenance issue. Some people report problems, most don't. Blue Water Yachts sells an after-market ball bearing assy ($20) as a replacement for the washer stack. Took me 15 minutes to install and my mast rotates freely in even the lightest of winds.

`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Milwaukee, WI
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-25-2007
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yes the rotating mast works well. good for .5-1 kt. The bearing conversion works but is known for failure due to uneven pressure applied to it...but will make it rotate freely (til it fails). As long as it is rigged OK it will be fine. Manually rotate it if you like, or wait for a gust to 'adjust' it for you
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-07-2007
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Rotating Mast

The 26M is not a fast sailing boat but the rotating mast does help; I've tried it centered and rotated and noted about 10% difference in speed on the GPS. I've had to deal with rotating masts on C-scows and Hobie 18s. In very light air like any rotating mast you might have to do it manually.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-07-2009
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sailing speed

You said the Mac wasn't a fast sailboat. We are looking for one so how fast will it sail in say a 10 knot wind?
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-03-2014
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Re: MacGregor 26M Rotating Mast

Simple answer...NO.
When I owned my 26 M ] blue] I quickly realized that the rotating mast and the mast height [ 9 mt] was to TRY to increase sailing speed...which I did not want anyway...
However I did enjoy the shallow water capabilities...rudders and board UP...and the creature comforts.
My racing mad mate hated it...
Accept it as a comfy slow [ and good looking] cruiser and you can be happy.
Take two metres off the mast and beef up the rigging...what is there is too light.
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