Mac 26M, best sailboat?
I have a lot to learn about sailing but from everything I read and watched, I can't see what NOT to like about that 26M boat. That 55min video is incredible! Its like a major deal for me to unstep my mast, then I look in this video and all they do is crank it on down. Then this boat can be trailered, has awesome looking cabin setup and can be motored along with a 50hp. Plus they show it beaching! Then the awesome looks reminds me of like your own miniature cruise ship, its all just so modern. I watched some videos on youtube and this boat just moves along and along. I also find it amazing that the price is no more then a good new car. So what is the catch here? It seems too good to be true or is it? To me this looks like one bad A$$ boat period! As soon as I learn to sail well with my old cal 25, a 26M has to be my next boat, it HAS to be! Looks like a much better choice for a rookie too. So come on, whats the deal is it as great as it looks and they say it is?
It IS too good to be true..They are half ass power boats and worse sailboats..but they fill a niche...
Great multi-purpose, hybrid sailboat
The MacGregor, as it comes from the factory, is a no-frills blank canvas. The attractive purchase price gets you a basic sailboat. Fit and finish are less important than low initial purchase price. The theory being that the owner only buys and installs those items that they actually want/need. It is easy to launch, easy to retrieve, sails and motors adequately. It doesn’t point very high and its high freeboard makes slow speed handling at the dock a challenge in a crosswind. The motor you hang on the back will determine how fast this boat will go under power. The size & pitch of the prop play a big part in determining control at slow speed as well as top end speed. Our 50 hp Suzuki lets us get places in a hurry when the wind doesn’t want to cooperate but we hate to use it.
The good – with lines run aft, this boat is easy to sail single handed. The lack of mechanical systems on the boat keeps maintenance costs way down. It takes me, working alone, 30-40 minutes from arrive at the ramp to pull away from the dock.
The bad – very tender. It will heel very quickly before it hardens up. Not a problem for me but scares the hell out of most people (read my wife). The stock rudders tend to stall out if the boat’s making 1.5 knts or less.
The “it is what it is” – The boat can be made into whatever you want it to be. It has sold so well that there are a number of vendors that specialize in “stuff” you can buy to improve/enhance the boat. As you add stuff to the boat, the initial purchase price tends to climb. Look for used vs. new. You will find that most owners have already added items that you would want.
I’m at the point where I will replace the hank-on jig with a roller furling genoa and replace the OEM rudders with IdaSailor upgrades (roughly $2K) or … get a bigger boat. The Admiral wants a bigger boat for Great Lakes cruising and I think she will likely win.
Check out this site for a very active 26X/26M community. MacGregorSailors.com
They kinda remind me of a small street/trail motorcycles. Us "real" motorcyclists hate them. They are almost dangerous on and off the road with the tires that do neither road or dirt worth a darn. The engines are too small for the street and the bike is too heavy for the dirt.
But they are often the most fun riding a person will ever do.
Mac owners tell me similar stories, and if I was going to get a boat I could pull with the family car it would be on my short list.
So keep researching and maybe start shopping because the Mac seems to be a great first boat. Should let you find out what parts of boating you like, maybe it is the sailing, maybe it is the ability to get da heck out of the way of weather. The Mac can help you decide what you want in your next boat.
Though I have noticed many Mac owners end up with a bigger Mac so for some it is the perfect boat.
Search for Mac 26 over here Sailing Anarchy Forums -> Sailing Anarchy
If you want something from Mac, get a Venture 24. It's a sail boat. And you should always sail the boat before you buy it to see if you like it.
Friends of mine have been boatshopping for several months, waffling between powerboats and sailboats and of course the 26M/X is on their list. After giving them my best old-salt-true-sailor sneer, they laid out their reasoning, causing me to modify my opinion of the Mac 26.
For what it is, it is absolutely EXCELLENT.
The problem is, most people don't know what it is.
It is NOT a sailboat- too tender, rigged too light, too big an engine,too many compromises and a weird hull shape.
It is NOT a powerboat- it's got a mast, boom, too many compromises and a weird hull shape.
What it is is a "happy family boat." Sorta an iphone of a boat. Here's what I mean:
The kids want to get slaphappy silly getting the bejesus bounced out of them while hanging onto a tube for dear life and inhaling half the lake? No problem this boat has an app for that.
Want to enjoy a nice light wind sail and teach the kids about sailing, until they get bored and want to go tubing? No problem. This boat has an app for that.
Wind pick up, storm clouds threatening, everybody is getting a little nervous and you want to get back to the dock quick? No problem. This boat has an app for that.
Want to take the whole family on a sailing vacation for a couple of weeks in the Keys, but you live in Cincinnati? No problem. This boat has an app for that.
Are you a novice boater, unsure whether you will like sailing, unsure whether you will like powerboating, don't want to guess wrong and buy a sailboat when you would rather have a powerboat? No problem. This boat has an app for that.
How many of us have found our kids, once they reach a certain age no longer want to sail, instead they would rather hang out with their powerboat owning friends, because "sailing is slow and boring?" How many of us have spouses who won't sail because they get antsy when they see storm clouds on the horizon? How many of us wish we could cruise our boat in new cruising grounds but can't because we only have two weeks of vacation available?
It's not for me, but it may be the right boat for my friends, and at the end of the day, if you're on the water with a grin on your grille surrounded by a family grinning just as big, then it's the right boat for you.
I like mine.
Does heel, till you easy the sheets. Scares the wife , Kids love the feeling ( kids? The baby is almost 23 ).
Store it in the back yard. Haul it the 15 miles to the Long Island sound, Take half an hour to step the mast and put the main in place ( have the furling foresail ), drop it in the water.
It sails in winds you can barely feel. I single hand most of the time: Putting in in the water sailing and taking it out. No worries.
Too cold now. Haven't had it in the water since the begining of December. But, when the first day of 50 degrees or more happens: "half an hour drive and half an hour prep" ( and no cranes or other rigs involved ).
Don't get me wrong, I would like to have a 50-60 footer with all the bells and whistles. But my silly wife insists we have food on the table, medical insurance, automobiles , and an house. So one must make resonable choices. And the wife stays!
Re: Mac 26M, best sailboat?
I have commented on other posts about the 26M...and having owned one...The major fault is that the mast is too tall, chosen to try and gain sailing speed. And the rigging is too light...built to a price. The MAC26 is not a good or fast sailer.
If you want comfort...a big tick.
If you want sailing speed...go elsewhere,
And it needs a fixed tabernacle where the mast base stays attached...the mast raising system is very good, so good I have copied it on my 20 footer...where my mast base is fixed on a tabernacle.
No disconnection needed...not for the base or the nav light wiring.
Just stand in the middle of the foredeck and wind it up or down...and if you shorten the mast, it can hang over the transom when trailering...My little tub has a support crook at the transom...hope this helps...
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