MacGregor 26 not good? Water-ballast in general??

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by Tres Cool, Jul 1, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tres Cool
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

    Tres Cool Junior Member

    I've heard a few people say negative things about the MacGregor 26 and was wondering why?

    I'm looking to buy a 24-28 ft sailboat and would like to stay with a "traditional" sailboat and not a cross between sail and motor. Some are trying to convince me that MacGregors are REAL sailboats but I beg to differ.

    Thoughts on MacGregor 26 or water-ballast boats in general?

    Thanks!
    Tres
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Tres,-- you will not be looking cool in one of those things.

    People call them a reall sailboat?---really

    Ide have trouble calling them a boat.

    Dont mind me---- welcome
     
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    I think the McGregor is extremely ugly. I saw one at a boat show. I pushed on the side. It pushed in a half inch. The question to ask a McGregor owner is not "how do you like your boat?", but, "How much sailing have you done?"
    Nine times out of ten, the McGregor is a first boat (of any size).
    The outboard is a marketing idea. If most all the owners are neophytes, and no seasoned sailors are trying to design big outboards into their boats, then the marketing is geared towards ignorence and not wisdom.
    It is considered a niche market, and it is. It comprises a group of people who prefer to sail in fair weather, rarely going out of sight of land, who don't really feel commited to the idea of sailing, and often people who think about things as "products" that are "manufactured" by a "corporation" as the epitomy of legitimacy and reliability. It is a different way of looking at the boat, as if it were a car or a television set, as in, "We own a 2005 mcgregor!"
    This is entirely fine. If that is how you approach sailing, then a McGregor is the perfect boat. It is also a bargain, meaning so many are made that economy of scale makes them less expensive (though it must be pointed out that they are cheaply made also, and not built to do much serious sailing).
    This makes them very affordable indeed. I own a fifteen footer, a gaffer, and I would wager that it could not be built for less than the price of a new McGregor. You cannot push in the sides of my boat though.

    Alan
     
  4. Tres Cool
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

    Tres Cool Junior Member

    I appreciate your honestly.... its hard to find someone who'll give you it straight!

    I think the MacGregor is a neat concept but do think its made rather cheaply. The outside windows are actually not even real windows but rather a black mask.
     
  5. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    By the way, I'll add that a really good sailor could sail a bathtub to China and back, and there may just be some Mcgregor owners here on the forum.
    It is the combination of three things that would make a mcGregor a very poor choice-------- an inexperienced sailor, a cheaply constructed boat, and the hubris to sail that boat beyond its customary capability.
    Any two of the above factors, I say no problem. It's the three together that make for disasterous consequences.

    Alan
     
  6. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
    Posts: 595
    Likes: 25, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 289
    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Compromises

    The original idea was interesting: water ballast makes it a 'sailboat' and no ballast makes it a light planing 'powerboat'.

    But you better make real sure you know what mode you're in. We had a nasty accident five years ago up here on Lake Champlain where a young girl and her younger brother were drowned when the 'driver' started up at night, put the power on, did a sharp turn and capsized the boat. It's still in the courts, I think. The gory details are here:
    http://www.ne-ts.com/ar/ar-407capsize.html

    I personally like a very predictable, highly functional boat whose personality I get to know well.
     
  7. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 128, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    I'm always a little bemused by the outpouring of insults that always erupts when someone is brave enough to mention the M word. The response is usually the same and runs along the lines of it's not a real sailboat and would never be considered by a real sailor (no finger pointing at anyone intended).

    Like any boat, the Mcgreggor has its limitations. I doubt its designers intended that it cross oceans. It's no doubt incapable of pointing as high as a 'real' sailboat. Nor of performing as well under power as a 'real' powerboat. But (and leaving any build quality issues aside) for someone who wants a trailerable sailboat that can be used under power at reasonable speeds, in relatively calm conditions, I say why not?
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    The M word thing. Ille not say boat as I dont want to mis-discribe it,-- has to be the most obvious starter.

    To a yachty, and I dont include circumnavigators,the (M) is like one of those small bicycles for kids with stabalizer wheels on.

    I think one of its biggest failures is perhaps thought of by its designers to be its most attractive features. A boat can not be designed to satisfy 2 totally seperate uses.

    Ok you could have a compromise like a motorsailor which almost satifies two requirments but emphasis on compromise.

    A sail boat/ ski boat can do niether very well at all. To the inexperienced this would not be understood.
     
  9. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    I think if someone sells their motor boat and buys a McGregor, that is better than buying a new motorboat. Sailing is probably quite an adventure for a lot of Mac owners. Sailing teaches and rewards patience and ability.
    It seems that what bothers many sailors about the Mac is that one of the chief elements of sailing is the utter commitment to the conditions presented.
    Knowing you can't speed home in a matter of minutes breeds a kind of self-reliance. This brings one closer to the elements, to study weather, to inspect the boat thoroughly, and to understand navigation. Nobody goes sailing any more because they have to. We drive our cars at sixty miles an hour to get to our boats so that we can manufacture a destination and proceed at six knots towards that destination, working all the while tweaking sheets and scanning the water to get that last tenth of a knot.
    I know that sailing, for me, is the one thing I do that puts everything in proper perspective. I see it as the ultimate expression of freedom, perhaps exactly because I have chosen to place myself in a position where there is no forgiveness for mistakes. This causes you to become more aware of what's going on.
    I don't know if having a big motor and an easy way out will prevent Mac owners from experiencing that communion with the sea in the same way--- I doubt it. But maybe some will stop using the motor so much, and one day remove it entirely and replace it with something much smaller, or even get a real sailing boat. I hope so.
     
  10. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 128, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    Oh....what a load of plop!
    80% of cruising sailboats spend 80% of the time under power (observation, not statistical, I admit - but probably on the conservative side, if anything)
    And just because a Mac doesn't sail as well as many others doesn't mean you can't enjoy the challenge of eeking out the last 1/2 knot of its potential....the same as you would on any yot.

    Frosty - how did you learn to ride? What's wrong with a boat that is aimed at the beginner? And who says you can't design a boat to do 2 different things. Granted, there may be more compromise than normal here, but so long as the buyer understands this, what's wrong with that?

    Alan - I shan't bite at the 'better than buying a motorboat' line;) - other than to say that I'd never consider buying a snailboat....unless it could do 20 knots under power.... oh...that's rght a Mac can! Sadly, it still suffers from that seemingly insurmountable yot problem - its got no windows in it, so you can't see out when you'r inside....

    oops....I think I bit afterall!:p

    On the skiing thing, I absolutely agree - I reckon it'd be a pig both to drive and to ski behind.
     
  11. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 128, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    I just read Tres Cool's original post and realise we've not directly addressed the 2nd part of his question - whether water-ballast is good in general.

    In short, to increase stability, you place as much weight as deep as you can. Water ballast has two disadvantages - 1, it's not particularly dense so requires a large volume for a given weight. 2, it can realistically only be placed inside the boat, so can't be located very far down. It can, and is, used very successfully to provide additional righting moment to some very high performance yachts. But as a sole means of keeping the boat upright, it definitely has its limitations.
     
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    A water ballast is kinda Ok. Its the oldest method of ballasting a boat and of course a most obvious one. Just not often used in sail boats.

    The only thing I got to say about it is that as Will says its restricted by the hull and that it not a partial ballast option.

    Its iether full or not otherwise the water will be sloppping around and make worse the problem you are trying to cure.

    Unless of course the tanks are sided as in port or starboard, which would be a good idea but I doubt if the M has that>
     
  13. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 2,457
    Likes: 64, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 711
    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

  14. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
    Likes: 32, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 458
    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    McGregor needs to be there in order to give meaning to the bottom of the boat scale in terms of quality and practicality. Who would we put there if it wasn't for McGregor.

    I have known a lot of McGregor snailboat owners. It's true that for most of them they are first time buyers and bought at a boat show. During the first year of ownership, most of them that I talk to rave about the McGregor and its unusual design characteristics. They rave about its affordability and trailerability.

    The second year brings them to wanting to keep the boat at a marina and enjoy the company of other sailers and boaters. Seems the McGregor is a lot to launch all the time for many of them and is just the wrong size to store in their driveways. Their disposition always remains positive towards the McGregor as long as they own it.

    Soon the McGregor owner is out of boating, has a new or near new Sea Ray or an older fixed keel sailboat. Their disposition towards the McGregor has changed from raving about the design to bad mouthing the whole boat. They now do not have to justify their purchase.

    After 40 years of boating they finally realize that Morris, Hinkley and Oyster build real sailboats.
     

  15. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Alan - I shan't bite at the 'better than buying a motorboat' line - other than to say that I'd never consider buying a snailboat....unless it could do 20 knots under power.... oh...that's rght a Mac can! Sadly, it still suffers from that seemingly insurmountable yot problem - its got no windows in it, so you can't see out when you'r inside....

    I said that's what I think. Read it again. It isn't a line I'm selling. There's no arrempt to convince anyone. you'll note I always preface my opinion with "I think,,," or something luke that.
    Don't assume just because someone says what they feel personally, that thay also want to ram their opinions down people's throats.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.