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Last Sat I took a new boater out on his Mcgreggor. The first four hours were just rigging the boat. I've never had any experience with this boat before. It is supposed to be the older model, maybe an X not the newer M, if I got that right.

50 HP motor, water ballast, roller furling jib.

So for those of you who know the boat I have a bunch of questions. The last two owners were not sailors so I'm pretty sure a lot of things were not setup to factory specs.

To raise the main their are two very short stays maybe 4' long in line with the tabernacle. Do they typically stay rigged while sailing or only used for raising the mast?

The line to the block and pulley system to raise the mast was connected quite low right on top of the cleats. I'm thinking it would work a little easier if it was put just above the baby stays. Is that right?

There was no sail stop to prevent the slugs from falling out of the slot. I rigged a short line between the two cleats on the mast to fix this. What is the factory solution?

Adjusting the tension o the stays was tricky at best. The boat has crimped rigging rather than swaged shackles. Is that standard.

He had no main halyard so we used a piece of maybe 5/16" three strand that stretched so much as to be almost useless. What is the typically halyard. I use VPC for real boats but maybe that is overkill for this.

The jib sheet seems to route to a block on a short track on the cabin roof. I routed the sheets outside of the life lines but they seemed to interfere. We had a lot of wind so we had the jib partially rolled up so it may pull fair when unrolled properly.

Anything else I should know about this boat?

We really had too much wind and were playing doge ball with the ferry and boats waiting for the bridge so we only played with it for an hour.

He had a great time anyway but I'm hoping I can give him a better experience with lighter wind and my knowing the boat a little better.

I found an on-line pdf manual but it didn't answer many of my questions.
 

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El Chupa Nibre
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Last Sat I took a new boater out on his Mcgreggor. The first four hours were just rigging the boat.
Dang. It should take about 20 minutes, maybe 30 if you're single-handing.

To raise the main their are two very short stays maybe 4' long in line with the tabernacle. Do they typically stay rigged while sailing or only used for raising the mast?
They should be longer, but only rigged whilst raising the mast.

The line to the block and pulley system to raise the mast was connected quite low right on top of the cleats. I'm thinking it would work a little easier if it was put just above the baby stays. Is that right?
Yes, it should be much higher on the mast to facilitate raising it.

There was no sail stop to prevent the slugs from falling out of the slot. I rigged a short line between the two cleats on the mast to fix this. What is the factory solution?
A sail stop. I keep several on board as they are inexpensive and tend to wander into the drink quite often.

Adjusting the tension o the stays was tricky at best. The boat has crimped rigging rather than swaged shackles. Is that standard.
Crimped rigging is standard. Other than the forestay, the rigging should be "set it and forget it". The shrouds and backstay should always remain connected whether the mast is raised or down, although you should check the tension whenever it's raised.

He had no main halyard so we used a piece of maybe 5/16" three strand that stretched so much as to be almost useless. What is the typically halyard. I use VPC for real boats but maybe that is overkill for this.
5/16" double braid polyester rope is standard I believe.

The jib sheet seems to route to a block on a short track on the cabin roof. I routed the sheets outside of the life lines but they seemed to interfere. We had a lot of wind so we had the jib partially rolled up so it may pull fair when unrolled properly.
Jib sheets should be routed outside of the lifelines, but I'm not sure specifically how it's set up on that particular model.
 

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If she were equipped with a 50 hp, my guess was she's an X. You can tell the difference at a glance between the X and M with the black bandit stripe. The X has a single stripe where the M has two. I agree almost entirely with Bub except that I leave the "baby" stays attached once the mast is raised. It keeps them from getting lost or in the way and they are always at the ready when needed. Mine are 3-4 ft long also. DO NOT attempt to use the mast raising system without them in place! The gin pole of the mast raising system (MRS) should be approximately 45-50 degrees from the mast and attached to your jib halyard. The MRS line should be attached to the padeye right behind the forestay.
I just replaced most of the halyards on Chameleon but can't for the life of me remember what size they were. They definitely should not be "stretchy".
The rigging should be swaged with a Nico press. If it were hand crimped I wouldn't use it. IMO it just wouldn't handle the loads required of it.
For more info on these unique boats you can visit Chameleon's site at: SVChameleon - Home or for more in depth info: MacGregorSailors.com

Hope this sheds some light on your questions!
 

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Oh, hey Mr Bubs. I didn't see your location before. We are just outside of Kansas City so yeah, not too far away. I bet you have fun with all those big lakes in your area!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you all.
 

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In addition to Mr Bubs,
Low speed handling can be tricky, until you find the knack. When motoring around 0-7 mph, I have both rudders in the water to help with maneuvering. I also keep the board down a couple of feet. Any speed above this, pull the rudders up, as you can break them. I also keep the board down for low/moderate speeds on the motor. Anything above 10-12 and I pull it up. You can take on ballast for extra stability when motoring, but I find this unnecessary. Always take on full ballast for sailing!!
A loos gauge is used for proper tensioning of the rig. Their inexpensive and will optimize your rig. It's well known that it's not the greatest sailing boat in the world, so understand and optimize as best you can for the best results.
We love our Mac for lake sailing and motoring about.

Rich
 

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I bought a 2002 26X after keeping a traditional trailer sailor for a few years. It's a great boat for a family on a budget that wants to do a lot of different things...sailing included.

We've loved it and my family and I have spent more time in the water in the last year than we spent combined in the previous 3.

However, a lot of non-sailorly types do buy and use these things as cabin cruisers and I've helped other new (to them) owners with similar issues you describe.

. The first four hours were just rigging the boat. I've never had any experience with this boat before. It is supposed to be the older model, maybe an X not the newer M, if I got that right..
It should take an HOUR tops for the first time, most people can get it down to 15-30 minutes. Check for the black stripe, if it has 2, it's an M.

To raise the main their are two very short stays maybe 4' long in line with the tabernacle. Do they typically stay rigged while sailing or only used for raising the mast?
Those are there to support the mast while you're raising it, they don't have to be in place once the mast is secured, but unless you're planning to go forward a lot, I'd leave them in place just because it's a pain to secure them elsewhere.

The line to the block and pulley system to raise the mast was connected quite low right on top of the cleats. I'm thinking it would work a little easier if it was put just above the baby stays. Is that right?
The mast raising system should attach to a harness on the mast and to the forward cleat. A gin pole helps keep the angle shallow enough. I reccomend getting a johnson lever at the front. That way you can use the mechanical advantage to tighten up the forestay.


There was no sail stop to prevent the slugs from falling out of the slot. I rigged a short line between the two cleats on the mast to fix this. What is the factory solution??
A slug stop...I'm not sure what the part is called, but it sldes in the bottom of the track and tumbscrew secures it in place. I've had a version on every sailboat I've owned/sailed

Adjusting the tension o the stays was tricky at best. The boat has crimped rigging rather than swaged shackles. Is that standard.
Yes, but with the exception of the forestay when raising/lowering the mast, you don't have to adjust the stay tensions. Just check them periodically.


He had no main halyard so we used a piece of maybe 5/16" three strand that stretched so much as to be almost useless. What is the typically halyard. I use VPC for real boats but maybe that is overkill for this.
Yeah, he needs to get some new lines. I believe the factory provides a 5/16 cotton/nylon blend braided line. The sails are fairly light so it doesn't have to be overkill.

The jib sheet seems to route to a block on a short track on the cabin roof. I routed the sheets outside of the life lines but they seemed to interfere. We had a lot of wind so we had the jib partially rolled up so it may pull fair when unrolled properly.
I run the jib sheets inside the lifelines to jib cars then to the winches/cams on the cabin top. I run the sheets for my Genoa/Spinnaker (when I fly them) outside the lifelines to blocks on the cockpit gunwale to the winches/cams on the cabin top.

Anything else I should know about this boat?
Keep part of the keel/daggerboard down (4-6 inches) when motoring, it helps with tracking and low speed control. When docking or in close quarters, drop a rudder, it really helps but raise it before you go over 5-6 mph to keep from damaging them.

As for sailing, the X doesn't point as well as I'd like and can be frustrating, but the M didn't seem to have that problem. The X also tend to round up when overpowered which can be a good thing for a beginner.

My advice while the owner is learning to sail, keep the motor down for awhile, not only does it take the wieght on of the steering mechanism, the engine is already in place for when stupid beginner mistakes happen (and oh how they happen)


I found an on-line pdf manual but it didn't answer many of my questions.
Check out MacGregorSailors.com, it's an active community with a lot of knowledge and some very innovative/knowledgeable enthusiasts.
 

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Last Sat I took a new boater out on his Mcgreggor. The first four hours were just rigging the boat. I've never had any experience with this boat before. It is supposed to be the older model, maybe an X not the newer M, if I got that right.
I sailed a MacGregor 26X for two years, and sold it for a regular keelboat. Here's a picture of mine under sail, for comparison.



To raise the main their are two very short stays maybe 4' long in line with the tabernacle. Do they typically stay rigged while sailing or only used for raising the mast?
You can leave them rigged, but it's awkward to get past them. I removed them after I raised the mast. By the way, they are NECESSARY for raising/lowering the mast, but when the mast is up or down, they just get in the way.

The line to the block and pulley system to raise the mast was connected quite low right on top of the cleats. I'm thinking it would work a little easier if it was put just above the baby stays. Is that right?
There's a "gin pole" for raising and lowering the mast. It bolts to the base of the mast; it's attached to the jib halyard on top, and the block-and-tackle attaches to the bottom. It should be at a 45-to-60-degree angle to the mast, before you raise it.

There was no sail stop to prevent the slugs from falling out of the slot. I rigged a short line between the two cleats on the mast to fix this. What is the factory solution?
I'm not aware of a "factory solution." I used a Davis sail stop. I removed it after lowering the sail, so I could bring the slugs down to the boom.

Adjusting the tension o the stays was tricky at best. The boat has crimped rigging rather than swaged shackles. Is that standard.
The boat is rigged with the same Nicopress slugs that are used on control cables in aircraft. Yes, it's standard. It holds up well enough for a trailer sailor; the rig is optimized for a boat that's going to have the mast raised for sailing and lowered for trailering.

He had no main halyard so we used a piece of maybe 5/16" three strand that stretched so much as to be almost useless. What is the typically halyard. I use VPC for real boats but maybe that is overkill for this.
I used 5/16 Sta-Set. A line with less stretch might be worthwhile, but yes, it might be overkill.

The jib sheet seems to route to a block on a short track on the cabin roof. I routed the sheets outside of the life lines but they seemed to interfere. We had a lot of wind so we had the jib partially rolled up so it may pull fair when unrolled properly.
The 100% working jib sheets to those cabin-track cars. A genoa needs to sheet outside the lifelines.

Anything else I should know about this boat?

We really had too much wind and were playing doge ball with the ferry and boats waiting for the bridge so we only played with it for an hour.

He had a great time anyway but I'm hoping I can give him a better experience with lighter wind and my knowing the boat a little better.

I found an on-line pdf manual but it didn't answer many of my questions.
It's light; it's tender; it has little enough mass and inertia that it can be hard to tack in heavier winds. I used to say it's a 26-foot, sleep-aboard sailing dinghy. But it's a very enjoyable boat in light winds, and it's small enough and light enough that you don't need to winch in the genoa sheets on a tack - just be nimble and pull them tight while you go through the eyes of the wind.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that every boat is a compromise. The Mac 26X was built as an affordable boat that gets you out sailing, gives you the choice of running it as a powerboat, and can be stored in your driveway if you don't mind raising and lowering the mast. It also works as a reasonable, if funny-shaped, travel trailer, and you can sleep aboard in a truck-stop's overnight lot as easily as at a dock or at anchor.

The biggest reason I moved up to my present Bristol 29.9 was to own and sail a real-deal keelboat. It's a whole lot more boat and a whole lot nicer belowdecks; it was worth it. But I won't be trailering her down to Florida, as I've done a couple of times with the Mac.

I strongly recommend MacGregor Sailors as a go-to website. There's a lot to learn, there, about how to get the most out of the Mac, about modifications that others have made to their boats, and about trips and adventures that other Mac sailors have enjoyed.
 
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