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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > McGregor 36 Catamaran
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-11-2013 11:37 AM
TropicCat
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

Why is it that folks make up their minds about a subject they know little about and then search for expert advice in order to argue?

Although it's possible to cross oceans in a row boat, I don't know anyone who would advocate actually doing so. There are 100s of boat designs, each created for a purpose.

If you plan on being at sea for 30+ days at a time, it's best to buy a boat designed to do exactly that.

Light, 'go fast' boats were intended for folks to have weekend fun. The OP would be much better off finding a cruising catamaran and outfitting the boat for crossing oceans.
08-21-2013 06:45 AM
JomsViking
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

Wooohoho - We need to hear some more about your conspiracy theory there. If the Sh1te is going to hit US, I guess it'll affect a lot of other countries Again as well.
On your potential choice of boat: You should listen very carefully to the advice of others - even those without knowledge of the specific model, because those with experience can tell from the design and specification of it that it is NOT going to be the right boat for that job. Having some experience with multi's (although mainly Tri's) I too would consider that boat as a coastal-cruiser ONLY (and probably great fun).

On the Doldrums: Don't worry because a) A modern(ish) monohull has no problem with the Doldrums (with the right sails) and b) You probably won't make it there in the MacGregor.


Go sailing with others, gather some experience, heed advice (but keep being critical).
Go for it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigDC View Post
I'm looking for a "bug out" boat to go from Hawaii to the South Pacific.
There are some EXTREMELY disconcerting indications that the poop is going to hit the fan in a BIG way here in the US in the near future (this fall could be prime time), and I want an exit vehicle/home.
This will be a crisis boat, so I'm not going to get too particular when it comes to creature comforts. I want a good set of low maintenance hulls with an open deck. I just can't get very excited about a Wharram. I understand it's a decent option, but it will be made of wood and be much higher maintenance. It will also weigh a lot more and wouldn't do very well in light air (the Doldrums). I think a lack of wind is going to be the more likely scenario on the route I'm going. I think it will be very easy to avoid bad weather in the tropics, and if my boat is fast, I can easily escape it.
I'm anticipating a lot of beach camping, too.
I would really like something like the Kelsall KSS Lima 30, but I don't have the time to build it, plus it would probably cost more to build.
08-21-2013 03:59 AM
CraigDC
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

I'm looking for a "bug out" boat to go from Hawaii to the South Pacific.
There are some EXTREMELY disconcerting indications that the poop is going to hit the fan in a BIG way here in the US in the near future (this fall could be prime time), and I want an exit vehicle/home.
This will be a crisis boat, so I'm not going to get too particular when it comes to creature comforts. I want a good set of low maintenance hulls with an open deck. I just can't get very excited about a Wharram. I understand it's a decent option, but it will be made of wood and be much higher maintenance. It will also weigh a lot more and wouldn't do very well in light air (the Doldrums). I think a lack of wind is going to be the more likely scenario on the route I'm going. I think it will be very easy to avoid bad weather in the tropics, and if my boat is fast, I can easily escape it.
I'm anticipating a lot of beach camping, too.
I would really like something like the Kelsall KSS Lima 30, but I don't have the time to build it, plus it would probably cost more to build.
08-20-2013 09:14 PM
bljones
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

Craig,
I like the Mac 36. I think it is a great go-like-stink, very affordable weekender/daysailer/racer... but as a liveaboard it is a non-starter.
Seriously, if you want a camp-cruising cat, you can buy a decent, already- equipped Wharram for about the same money as a Mac 36. Where do you want to cruise?
08-20-2013 08:02 PM
CraigDC
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

I'm not sure what the picture proves, other than the Mac 36 won't sink and you can actually flip it back over out at sea, assuming the guy with the camera is willing to help.

Any idea why the boat flipped? The conditions seem pretty calm. Maybe it happened on a previous day? Hard to tell from a picture. Was that you with the camera? Are you suggesting it flipped as a result of being overloaded?

As far as water goes, there are a number of water maker options available. Also, given that I will be in the tropics, a rain catchment system will collect a certain amount of high-quality water. This will minimize the amount of stored water on board. In addition, I only intend to carry dehydrated food.

I'll have to work through some potential payload numbers. I believe having a lighter boat that sails well in light air would minimize the amount of fuel needed.

Please correct me if any of my plans/beliefs are unreasonable.

I'm holding out for a better live-aboard, but it's slim pickens in my price range!

Thank you for your feedback.
08-20-2013 05:38 PM
sonosail
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post

Now, having said that, they were successfully raced in a handful of serious long distance races in the 70s/early 80s.
The payload is way light, and i don't care how minimal your cruising needs, you can't dehydrate water to make it lighter. Unless you are primarily day cruising, one has to consider the weight of water and/or the power requirements of a water maker. Figure even lightweight cruising will add 100 lbs of payload per person/day (food, gear, batteries, solar, water, fuel..it all starts to add up) if you are thinking of a 10 days between ports, two people, figure on an additional ton of payload, which exceeds the Mac's capacity.

Read the manual,
http://www.macgregorsailors.com/manu...c36_Manual.pdf
and you can see the the scantlings are light, and the hardware is light as well. A lot of work is done by the two relatively thin wall crosstubes. Now you can upgrade all of that stuff, but now you are adding weight, whihc cuts into the available payload, which cuts your cruising capability, etc.
Wow. Harsh.
A little different from the photo in the sales brochure!
MACGREGOR 36 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

So maybe these aren't for the beginning sailor. Still, I think they were ahead of their time and it might still be an option for for someone looking for a bigger cat on a budget.
08-20-2013 03:59 PM
RobertKWFL
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

I do own a Mac 36 in the Florida Keys, and, unlike most other owners, actually spend a portion of every year living aboard. It is minimalist living, but in fair tropical weather I do spend most of my time above deck. It's a joy sleeping under the stars or lounging on a beanbag on the big bow net. I've had a dozen guests out for a day sail, with enough room on deck for everyone to lounge comfortably. A lot of larger, more expensive boats don't allow that. Sailing at 15 knots or more is common and still always a thrill. 10 knots feels like a relaxed, leisurely sail. The fun to price ratio is very high.

Now for the trade-offs. I sail every chance I get, but I'm not looking for punishment. In rain and high seas I'm sitting safely at anchor. I'm never out for more than 4-5 days at a time, and that assumes very frugal provisioning. I'm never too far from a protected anchorage, and I keep a careful eye on the weather forecast. The risk of capsizing can be mitigated by prudent, conservative sailing. I've never come close to capsizing, but am aware that it could happen and sail accordingly. I flew a hull once, unintentionally, and don't intend to let it happen again. I've been caught out in rough conditions and managed to get back to the mooring safely, but I wouldn't want to be in the middle of an ocean days or more away from shelter. The layout of the boat just doesn't allow reasonable attachment points for durable shelter for helmsman and crew. It's a wet, windy ride in high seas. At 36' and 3000 pounds, it's a very light boat and very sensitive to loading. You have to keep it light or you're pushing it beyond its designed limits. Unless you're looking for a stunt, I'd stick to a boat that was actually designed for offshore sailing. The Mac 36 is a daysailing/costal trekking racer.
08-20-2013 10:29 AM
bljones
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran


Now, having said that, they were successfully raced in a handful of serious long distance races in the 70s/early 80s.
The payload is way light, and i don't care how minimal your cruising needs, you can't dehydrate water to make it lighter. Unless you are primarily day cruising, one has to consider the weight of water and/or the power requirements of a water maker. Figure even lightweight cruising will add 100 lbs of payload per person/day (food, gear, batteries, solar, water, fuel..it all starts to add up) if you are thinking of a 10 days between ports, two people, figure on an additional ton of payload, which exceeds the Mac's capacity.

Read the manual,
http://www.macgregorsailors.com/manu...c36_Manual.pdf
and you can see the the scantlings are light, and the hardware is light as well. A lot of work is done by the two relatively thin wall crosstubes. Now you can upgrade all of that stuff, but now you are adding weight, whihc cuts into the available payload, which cuts your cruising capability, etc.
08-20-2013 03:56 AM
CraigDC
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

Aloha Robert and thank you for the reply.
Do you have first-hand experience with the Mac 36?
A number of people have made seemingly subjective comments about the idea of blue water cruising in the Mac 36, but I have not heard from anyone with an objective reply.

I need to receive detailed, objective reasons why the Mac 36 will not suit my needs before I rule it out. It offers many attractive advantages over a Wharram, and many other options. I understand that it has minimal space in the hulls, but given my lack of interest in sleeping in the hulls, since I intend to sail only in the tropics, I don't see that as a big negative. The same is true for a bridge deck cabin.

I would like to receive objective information related to sailing comfort and safety.

Is overloading a Mac36 unsafe? (Not that I intend to do that.) I may be unique in that I intend to do ultralight cruising, so I don't expect to be carrying a lot of weight.

At the price point of the Mac 36, it seems it's a much better option, at least for me, than any mono-hull. Other catamarans are MUCH more expensive.

Thank you!
08-19-2013 02:02 PM
RobertKWFL
Re: McGregor 36 Catamaran

The Mac 36 is a fast, fun boat. It's a thrill to sail. Great for daysailing, gunkholing, and light coastal cruising in favorable weather if you're okay with minimalist accommodations. The big open deck is indeed great in good weather, but it's hard to build suitable shelter for harsh conditions. The boat shouldn't be overloaded. More than a week's supply of food and water for two people is probably too much. The Mac 36 was never intended to be a blue water cruiser, and no amount of modification is going to get it there.

I would consider instead a Wharram. They are designed for ocean crossings and if built well are capable of that. They give you the minimalist approach to a catamaran, but oriented toward cruising instead of racing. Newer models have nice deck pods for shelter.
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