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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brief overview - I am single mom of a 12 and 14 yo. We spent a week in SD and received our BB cert last summer - my 14 yo (son) was a natural and LOVED it. To get to the point - I have been offered a McGregor 26...for FREE...on the surface, this sounds like a dream come true as I can not afford to actually buy a sailboat right now. Unfortunately, I have a practical side and am well aware of the money aspect of boat ownership. My heart smiles...my brain cries...

Where / how do I start to figure out if I should accept / can afford this offer?

I know - the issues are many - slip all year vs dry dock part, maintenance, new sails, new motor...what kind, how much, insurance, how do I tell if I need new rigging, offshore sailing .... (maybe to Catalina), are we "skilled" enough to take this on... (practice makes perfect)...the only thing I am sure of is I'd rather be on the water then off....

Any help in making this decision or just figuring out HOW to make this choice would be most appreciated!!!!


Liz
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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One way to look at it is that if this boat isn't a total wreck then it has some value, so you can't lose. The worst case scenario is that after you graciously accept the generous offer if you find out why it was offered free and you don't think you can afford to fix/rebuild it you can either sell it or give it to someone else. On the other hand, if you don't think whoever is offering it to you would be offended maybe you know someone that has a lot of experience with boats and you could have them take a look at it and give you an objective opinion, or hire a surveyor to do a quick evaluation of it. That would probably be the best money you could spend right now. Good luck, hope it turns out to be a great boat for you and your sons.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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First of all, welcome aboard. Too bad giving you the advice you seek isn't quite as easy.

The first instinct is, that people don't give away perfectly good boats. It's hard, not knowing the circumstances, not to think there could be major problems with it. If there are, it most likely isn't worth it, as you could easily end up spending the amount needed to buy a boat in good condition on a free boat. I think that's what you need to determine first.
 

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Large Member
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Liz - do you know which MacGregor 26? One of the older 26's (D or S) or one of the newer motorsailers? (M or X)

Do you know what all it actually needs yet? You mentioned motor, sails etc.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is being given to me by my mother as my step dad is not on this earth anymore (hate "past away"...) anyway, I can't remember when they actually bought it but I do know it has been at least 10 yrs. It has been "dry docked" it's entire "life", has only visited "salt" water a few times. It has not been in any water for at least the past 4 yrs (he was in his early 80's and had to stop sailing d/t his illness). I mention sails, motor, etc as to just try and figure out maintenance costs (o.k. replacement) and such to help in the decision making process. I would like to keep it in SD as I am there frequently and would love to sleep there vs. another night in a Hyatt - plus my kids and I can hop over there easily for long weekends. A marina would be preferable as having showers; laundry etc. would be the only way weekends would "work".

So - no, I do not know what it actually needs but I would think it should be in fairly good shape as it doesn't really have a lot of sailing hours .....but again, perhaps I am being naive and wanting this to work out.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Ah, a bit more info ;)

If the mast is down, the sails in somewhere protected, and the inside isn't mildewed to heck and back, you're probably in fairly good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know the mast is down, the sails...hmmm...have to ask.

Re: the mildew - they live in the northeast (PA) so this might be an issue but I can't say for sure. Is this something that would be a deal closer? Something that can't be removed / cleaned with a little elbow grease and bleach?

I am not looking at this as a vessel to do more then day sailing ...to practice and become somewhat proficient, a boat my son and I could handle together and perhaps I alone when he goes off to college....something he could handle w/ a friend or 2 - when he shows / attains the proper level of responsibility...whatever that might be... :)

I have been looking on line at prices for riggings, hardware, etc to get ideas of $$$ - found mainsails run approx 700.00 which made me immediately go eeeekkkkk - this is not going to fit in the budget but I really don't want to give up quite so easily....maybe there 2nd hand "sail shops" if needed? These are just things I do not know about and think I should if I am serious about "sailing" (hehe) down this path...

Thanks so much for your input - I really appreciate your time!!!!
 

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So - no, I do not know what it actually needs but I would think it should be in fairly good shape as it doesn't really have a lot of sailing hours .....but again, perhaps I am being naive and wanting this to work out.
The boat is still valued at 5-10 grand at least
Used 1990 MACGREGOR MACGREGOR 26S/SL prices, values, specs and options at NADAguides

Get the boat, see what she needs. If very little then just use it, if she worthless, donate it. You can get a tax break.
Boats are quite expensive to maintain, however there is a big chance that your boat will need nothing for another five years. Do not attempt to sail it to Catalina unless you do clearly understand what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh noooooo - sailing to Catalina is WAY in the future - nothing I woud EVEN attempt for many, many "sailing days"! I am to much of a "mom" for that!

Thanks for your input - truly appreciated!!!!
 

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I have been looking on line at prices for riggings, hardware, etc to get ideas of $$$ - found mainsails run approx 700.00 which made me immediately go eeeekkkkk - this is not going to fit in the budget but I
Boats can be very expensive to maintain. However they can be relatively inexpensive if you know what to do, and do most of the job by yourself. I live in NYC and I'm a truck driver, so I drive around. I might be able to drive by and check the boat if you like. Contact me if you need evaluation.
CR
 

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Bender of Nails
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Welcome from another new guy Liz.

My question is: have you got a vehicle that can pull it ? Those boats were made to be trailered.

One other point: I'm about to start on my own boat (boatbuilder by trade) and I'm going to be looking for a used boat to salvage gear from. If it does turn out to be too much work to take on, maybe someone in your area is doing the same thing...

Otherwise, there's lots of folks on here who know their stuff and would be happy to help.
Ru, I repped you for your offer - most generous.
 

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Aquaholic
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Well, you can only lose what you put into it. Going in with your eyes wide open, keeping a close watch on what you spend, and not getting emotionally invested in the boat can make this a great deal for you to get started.
 
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