I'm contemplating buying a Mac 26X or 26M. What kind of things should one pay attention to in checking out the boat before buying (yeah, I know waht some of you will say..."make sure it's not a MacGregor" :-).
Can't speak for the 26X as I own a 2006 26M ...
This boat is so basic, so simple, that there really isn't a whole lot to look for.
I'm in my 4th season and can tell you that the only weak area, for me, has been the dagger board. Pull the board and check the condition of the leading/trailing edge. Check the rudders for signs of cracking below the mounting point. I believe early M models had aluminum rudder brackets vs. the current stainless. I understand they had a habit of breaking.
Otherwise, look for the usual water leak sites: Chain plates, hose connections for the anchor locker drain and sink drain. Check the hull for signs of grounding and/or blistering. The boat is designed as a trailerable but some owners leave their boats in the water for extended periods without applying a barrier coat.
The real money is in the OB motor, the sails and any electronics that may have been added.
The MacGregor is a versatile, multi-purpose boat. Most "sailors" don't care for it but it does fill a nitch.
It heels quickly to 20 degrees before it hardens up and that makes some people uncomfortable (read my wife).
We sail Lake Michigan most of the time and the Admiral says we need a bigger boat
before she will head out too far on the lake or try week long trip.
Check out this site for a very active 26X/26M community. MacGregorSailors.com
Mine is for sail (sale) if you're interested.