MacGregor 26: to praise or bash - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-09-2005 Thread Starter
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MacGregor 26: to praise or bash

I have found a couple Mac 26''s for sale below NADA value. At first I thought it was a fluke, but now I''m not so sure. Is something wrong with these boats? Do they break apart or something? The boats I''ve seen have been late-80''s, early 90''s models. The one I''m looking at now is a "26D" . . .
MacGregor made a 26S, 26D, 26M and 26X -- I can''t figure out what the difference is. Anyone know?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-09-2005
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MacGregor 26: to praise or bash

You may not know it yet but you just opened a huge can of worms.
Okay, to a traditional sailor a Mac is a funny bird, neither fish nor fowl. There''s too much slabsided freeboard, it''s rigging looks light and undersize, and from what I''ve seen on the water they don''t sail well to windward.
On the other hand, you can waterski with it and put it on a trailer. The ability to motor out of difficulties at 20 Kts. provides a safety factor that appeals to many.
They are like an amphibious car, if it suits your needs it''s great. All boats are a compromise, if you need a 50HP outboard on a boat with a mast the Mac is it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-10-2005
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MacGregor 26: to praise or bash

The references by the prior poster are to the recent models - the 26X and 26M - these boats were designed to carry larger engines and have slab sides to maximise interior space. The earlier models were more traditional and as trailerable sail boats they worked fairly well. They have an owners group on the web that you can probably find with Google.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-10-2005
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MacGregor 26: to praise or bash

Definitely bash. I believe the Macgregor was one of the first boats I looked at buying in the 1980''s. I sailed Hobies and needed room for family. I crawled through dozens and dozens of boats over the years, educated myself, and realized the Macgregor is near the bottom of the barrell. THAT SAID, do NOT forego the opportunity to get what you can get and enjoy it, learn and move on. Just do it safely.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-10-2005
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MacGregor 26: to praise or bash

I have a Mac26D and love it. The "D" stands for dagger board "S" swing keel "X" and "M" well I class them as motor boats not sail boats. If you race the "D" is faster than the "S".
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-16-2006
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Beauty is in the eye - - - I just bought a 2006 MacGregor 26M (loaded for about 36K OTD) and I LOVE it! Sails at 6/7 MPH and motors at 20 MPH. Old sailors are not going to praise this boat - - - but it singlehands easily and is easy to learn on, which I did after 40 years of powerboats. Our local Macgregor clubs (in Marina Del Rey) have wonderful outings to Catalina, Lake Mead and other spots. The boat is not for the pure sailor, but it is GREAT for a beginner. What a great benefit it is to be able to trailer it easily (like to Morow Bay, Mopnterey, San Felipe, Mexico, Ensenada, San Diego Harbor and Mission Bay, Lake Mead, Lake Tahoe just to name a few spots.)
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-16-2006
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Part of the issue is that you often get what you pay for. If the boat is priced below book value, there is probably something wrong with it...

MacGregors aren't known for being a truly sailiable boat and the sailing hardware sometimes leaves a bit to be desired.

A lot depends on what kind of sailing you want to do. If you want to do long-term cruising, and make some serious passages, then, no the MacGregor is not the right boat for you. If you want a small, trailerable sailboat that motors well, then it might be worth looking at.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-18-2006
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Though the new Macgregor "Power sailers" have really caught on in some areas, the holy grail of fast motoring AND good sailing has never been achieved.
I have sailed a 26X and must say that it was a very difficult boat to get good performance out of, especially close hauled in a breeze. Dragging around a 50 HP outboard (all at the back of the boat) doesn't make sense to me. The tiny wheel doesn't put the helms person where they can see anything. And in the end they only do 12-15 under power at terrific rates of fuel consumption.
Sometimes I think the lack of affordable moorage is the one thing that drives the sales of these trailerables. But at $30 - 40K for the boat/motor/trailer package -Man!- there are a lot of good real sailboats on the market for that kind of coin!
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-18-2006
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I have sailed on an older Mac 26 (not the power boat version) as a sail boat it was adequate. It seemed very underbuilt and all the hardware was under sized. It would be ok for day use in sheltered waters and certainly give you an idea of what you don't want for your next boat.
The 26x (powerboat version) is a different beast. bulldog ugly, neither fish nor fowl. worthless as a sailboat and barely usable as a power boat. if you want a sailboat buy one and if you want a power boat buy one. but don't think you'll get two for one. there was a tragic accident involviing a 26x here on Lake Champlain a few years ago. A 26x capsized and two young children were drowned. the water ballast had not been entirely filled and this contributed to the accident. Good luck. Jim L
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-18-2006
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If you guys have been listening, this is what I've been saying about the Mac 26 for years, it's a wonderful yacht, hardly anything else compares, offshore, sheltered waters, this beauty has it all!
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