macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan - SailNet Community

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Old 03-10-2012
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macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

My husband and I are looking to buy a sailboat that would be used on Lake michigan. We want to find one that is comfortable for us and family.

We like the idea of the MacGregor and what we have read, but are not sure if it's the right boat for Lake Michigan. We have read pros and cons but are looking for others opinions.
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

Which "MacGregor" are you referring to? If you want to get into SAILING per se, the high-HP 'dual purpose' boat is not the one you want. The Mac S series are decent starter sailing boats, however - not sure if they're still being made...

Are you shopping new or used? Makes a big difference to the options available to you, as does your budget. You'll get a lot more helpful info here with a few more details.. daysailing? weekending? racing? extended holiday cruising? Lake Michigan is a small ocean, really, so any of it's is possible, and that will have a bearing on recommendations.
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Old 03-10-2012
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

Which MacGregor are you looking at? They made many boats in various configurations.

I'm going to assume that you're looking at one of the 26' motor sailers.

It appears to be a rather robust boat for inland waters, and I've seen some pretty hairy video of them in less than ideal conditions. They don't sail overly well, but you can drop the engine and run if needed. The cabin layout is alright, but the cockpit felt a little off. I can't put my finger on it exactly, it's just odd. Perhaps once you got used to it...

I think of it as more of a cruising motorboat that can also be sailed, so it's not exceptionally quick but certainly faster than a sailboat.

If you're not looking to go onto L. Michigan in serious weather, and if sailing speed isn't of concern then I think it would be alright.

Think of it as a waterborne RV: It's no sportscar by any stretch of the imagination, and you wouldn't want to be around a tornado either, but it would be comfortable for weekending or perhaps longer.
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

Here's some more detail...

I do enjoy 'sailing' and have crewed on one-designs. However, we are also looking for a boat that willl allow sailing and have the comforts that family and friends would enjoy.

We would use it for daysailing along with weekend/overnights where we can sleep onboard.

We are looking at buying used and were looking at the 'S' and the 'X'.

We have read many pros and cons about getting the MacGregor...more cons from my one-design sailing friends. And more cons about MacGregors on Lake Michigan.
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

We had a Mac 26x, but sold it to buy a larger sailboat. We had it for 4 years, and sailed in the Chesapeake Bay. It sailed OK - not great, but still got us where we wanted to go, and we had alot of fun on it. What we enjoyed the most was being the shallow draft - we could anchor in places the 'regular' sailboats couldn't. And we often did - leaving Sat morning, sailing during the day, anchoring in shallow river overnight, then up and sailing again the next morning. There is a Mac forum MacGregorSailors.com that has people from all over the US and around the world that are Mac owners. Several of them sail the Great Lakes, so they would be a reliable source for you. Good luck - and enjoy!
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

We sailed a 2003 Mac M for a couple years. Very comfortable boat to day sail with but sailing performance leaves a lot to be desired. My wife loved the boat because of its interior amenities but the racer/cruiser side of me longed for a keel boat once again. Nevertheless, for someone looking for a comfortable day sailer for inland lakes with the convenience of trailering, the Macgregor 26M is a decent choice.
Just my 2 cents.
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

Another one of those endless, unwinnable debates...

However to their credit MacGregor has gotten a lot of people into boating, in moorage-tight areas they offer that other option, and they've certainly done a great marketing job.

In the end, though, the dual-purpose design brief really means that they are neither power nor sailboats, but hybrids that don't do either particularly well so in the end those buyers truly drawn to SAILING will sooner or later, for the most part, become 'former' MacX or M owners... and that's just fine too.

In the end it's getting out on the water in whatever way suits your needs best...
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

Unless you want the big motor hanging on the transom, I think you'd find either a Hunter 26/260 or Catalina 250, a better choice. Both have an enclosed head, and with the pop-top, have standing head room at the galley.
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

I have some concerns about the build quality.

I saw one that had been on salt water for two weeks and had corrosion on the chainplates. Another, in a repair shed, has a cracks right through the fibreglass where the coaming joins the bulkhead. Both were X models.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: macgregor or not to macgregor - lake michigan

We've had our 93 Mac 26S NON pwr sailer for a year now and love it. It does seem lightly built but works great for our family of 7. It is a tight fit!
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