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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-16-2010 12:14 PM
Mac 26

Our first family boat was/is a 1992 Mac 26 swing centerboard water-ballast boat. In the mid 1990s, MacGregor switched from making the "Classic" Macs to the 26X Powersailer, the one that can take a 50 hp engine. The X has a higher freeboard and more room inside, including the famous dinette. Then, just several years ago, Mac switched to the M, which can still take a big motor.

We're slowly getting around to fixing and selling our Mac in New Mexico; it's served us pretty well but we now sail on an Etchells (giant racing dinghy) and may be getting a bigger cruising boat in the next year.
08-16-2010 09:57 AM
Stillraining May of us learned on a MAC...I loved mine even though I was frustrated with hull speed ( I had no clue as to water line length back then)

I thought mine was a 21 Im now thinking it might have been a 19 with an added bowsprit...It was Safe forgiving and cheap.

Its deck to hull joint was riveted not bolted so that tells you something right there on build quality but for a first boat I have and still do highly recommend them.

I had mine out in a gale once and it brought me back home safe bucking 6' seas with my 1960 vintage 5 or 6 horse Johnson...

5 of us laid it over 3 miles from shore and she righted herself with a little help pulling on the keel with minimal water slipped below decks and that was with the companionway hatch boards they are designed proper IMHO...... ( 2 of us almost sunk and lost a knocked down 19/20' Bayliner Buccaneer a couple years ago so stay away from those.)

I could sail with the rail buried 6 to 8" all day long but the hull to deck joint would leak a tad.

Saddest part is I have not one picture of my early sailing days that I am aware of...we never thought about that back then.
08-16-2010 09:56 AM
MacGregor, a great way to get into sailing


We bought our 26M in 2007 and sailed it for three season on Lake Michigan and inland WI lakes. Loved the boat and its versatility. Sold it last month and moved up to a bigger boat because my wife wants to do extended cruising on the Great Lakes.

Although it never bothered me, the MacGregor is a little tender and heals to, say, 20 degrees RIGHT NOW before it hardens up. This is due to a combination of the water ballast and narrow beam. The new boat has a 12.5 foot beam, a big keel and the Admiral is happy in a 25-30 knot blow.
08-16-2010 09:38 AM
anniemac Chris,

I bought my 26X new in 1997. I sailed it for nine years in Lake Erie, I have coastal sailed the Atlantis and the Gulf. We spent two winters living aboard in the Keys. I sold it in 2006 and moved up to a larger boat. Would I buy another? In a heartbeat!

BTW...The boat was purchased and shipped to Romania.

Send ma a private message if you would like to know all there is to know about the Mac26X.....John
08-13-2010 09:15 PM
RickWestlake I learned to sail (well, after ASA 101) in a MacGregor 19, and after two years on the Potomac with it I moved up to a MacGregor 26X which I sail out of the Middle River (east of Baltimore) on the Chesapeake Bay. I've been pretty happy with both of them, but that's because their features match my wants and needs at this time.

ALL BOATS ARE COMPROMISES. Different boats fit different needs. And different budgets. They'er designed and built to accomplish certain goals; a J-Boat wasnt' beuilt for cruising, and an Island Packet wasn't built for around-the-cans racing. That is key.

The MacGregors are built to be affordable and trailerable. You can park it on its trailer, by your house, and haul it to "wherever" for a day, or a weekend, or a vacation of sailing. There's enough room belowdecks for a nominal family (say Daddy, Mommy, and two or three young children) to eat and sleep; the 26X and 26M have a small but workable galley, settees and a dining table, and berths enough to be comfortable for a few days & nights. They are simple and easy to take care of (no brightwork, no through-hulls, no inboard diesel). They sail reasonably well, and power fast enough to entertain the kids on a "pull toy".

But the compromises that made this possible on a budget mean that they're tender and not particularly sea-kindly. Instead of a fixed keel, they have a narrow, light centerboard (19, 26X) or daggerboard (26M). Instead of massive lead ballast in a fin, they have water-ballast tanks in the hull. They are limited to an 8-foot beam, to be trailerable without special permits; that gives up the extra room & stability you'd get from a broader-beamed vessel. And the lack of fancy woodwork (of ANY woodwork) makes them look plain as a Clorox bottle, compared to many other boats out there.

They are not designed to be ocean-rovers. I just checked Delfini Yachts, the MacGregor importer to Italy, and they show it with a CE category of "C" ("Inshore" - winds up to 27 kts, waves up to 6 feet). The manufacturer has a video posted on their website, though, of a Mac 26M being sailed in 45-knot winds and 18-foot seas....

Chris, it depends on what you want of the boat. If you want something fancy and impressive, look elsewhere; if you're fairly new to sailing and you'd like to spend the weekend out on the lake, the Mac will probably do just fine. And if you're in the Baltimore area, PM me and come out sailing on my Bossa Nova.
08-12-2010 10:47 PM
swampcreek We bought our 1993 Mac 26S (swing keel) last year. We LOVE it! I was surprised how well it sailed after reading different opinions on them. That might be because people get the newer 26X and 26M models (With 50hp engines) mixed up with the more traditional "Classic" models (Production on the 26S I think ended 1995...last of the classic models). BUT I never have been on a 26X or M so I can't honestly say what they are like, the pictures of the cabins look huge and Hunter boats has recently come out with a boat such as this, so there might be something to it. Anyway ours suits us, it's GREAT for a couple and sometimes some guests. I would't do more than daysail with guests but my Wife and myself love to weekend on it, we plan to do a vacation on it just bumming around the bay in September. The boats are not as cheaply built as you will hear, they are designed for inland bays, lakes, close coastal and such so they are not rigged like an off shore cruiser. It might not suit all but we're happy. Like many have said it makes a good entry boat and many people are content simply staying with it. We bought ours knowing we are going to move up, but we are happy learning what's out there, talking to other boat owners, and in a few years will move up to a larger boat, but now we're happily sailing in our "Nauti Time" and in no rush.

Our boat DOES seem to leave the marina many more times than the vast majority of our neighbors.

For other trailerable boats you might want to check out this site...The Trailer Sailor - Discussion Forums It has gobs of information on many trailer sailors.
08-12-2010 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by 75R20 View Post
A "sailboat" with a 50 hp outboard that planes ????????
NOT a sailboat in my opinion.
Water ballast ???
Best of luck
Fastest sailboat under power, fastest powerboat under sail. Not good sailing or powering but does have the capability to run and hide when the weather turns. Important for the inexperience sailor. The engine can overpower the sails when you can't figure out how to tack and you're approaching the lee shore.

Ballast is ballast, makes no difference what. The water tanks to take up a lot space relatively, but I can leave my ballast at the dock, tow a single axle with a smallish vehicle (I have a Durango.) At 70MPH I can be in the Keys in a few hours.

For the beginning sailor, I think it's perfect. One foot draft, I never sail in the channel. Anchor where no one else can. If I want to go to the Bahamas I don't have to wait for absolutely good conditions and hope it doesn't get bad crossing the Gulfstream. Just burn 24 Gal and I'm there in 5 hours, refuel, and go sailing.
08-12-2010 12:40 AM
sailingdog The older ventures are pretty decent sailboats, as are the older 26S and 26D, but the newer hybrid 26M and 26X are not really good sailboats. They're powerboats that can sail somewhat....
08-12-2010 12:13 AM
75R20 A "sailboat" with a 50 hp outboard that planes ????????
NOT a sailboat in my opinion.
Water ballast ???
Best of luck
S/V Mariah
08-11-2010 11:53 PM
CapTim They're cheap. And they are inexpensive. Made a million, sold most of them for a reason. Good entry-level type boat, for mild wind/water sailing (nothing with more than a few feet of seas or 25-ish knots of wind)

I've got nothing against them, but I'm in the minority.

Of course, there are a lot of things that go into choosing a boat. But there's an open-ended answer to an open-ended question
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