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

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

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  1. mattotoole
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    mattotoole Senior Member

    The Mac 26 isn't designed to win races or cross oceans, but it seems to do what a lot of people want to do with their boats pretty well. I've heard a bunch of stories like chinook's.

    Water ballast could work well for a lot of small sailboats. I'm surprised it's not more common. I've heard good reports about the Santana 2023, which has PHRF numbers better than most of its peers. I think there's even an "R" version that rates close to a J24.

    I liked Mr. Taunton's water-ballasted User Friendly 21 that he posted here awhile ago.
     
  2. Uanhanluke
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    Uanhanluke New Member

    I read a Lot of sailor prejudice but not owner postings of what they like or dislike about their sailboat. Are there any real owner's of this vessel around?
     
  3. chinook
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    chinook New Member

    Well, I'm a Mac owner, and have been since 2002. We were complete newbies when we bought our boat. A number of things about it appealed to us as newcomers to sailing. First was price. I never dreamed I could get into a new sailboat for what we paid. Trailerability was a huge consideration, since I couldn't afford moorage, but did have space at home to park the boat, and the Mac has the best design around for trailering (low weight and low profile on the trailer). Also, I didn't want to be restricted to home waters. We've hauled that boat all around the US, and sailed to Alaska, the Bahamas, and last spring from San Carlos to La Paz on the Sea of Cortez. Yes, it's lightly built. Yes, you can find some cosmetic flaws in the finish. Yes, it is a very basic boat. However, Mac owners love to mod them to suit their tastes. We've set ours up for long range cruising, and we have gone many of the places that bigger boats go. The trailerability, shallow draft (I can float in 1 foot of water, motor in 2 1/2 feet of water, and let the tide go completely out under her flat bottom if I wish. Most non owners seem focused on the Mac's speed under power, which usually isn't as high as advertised. We rarely run full throttle, preferring to motor at a more efficient half throttle, at around 5 to 6 knots, so we can extend our range. However, on occasions it is handy and fun to open her up and make that bridge opening, or get back to the ramp on a favorable tide. All boats are compromises, and the compromises that make a Mac what she is work for a whole lot of Mac owners. PS: Pictures of our boat and some of the places she's been, along with journal entries, can be found on our website: http://chinook.home.dyndns.org:8080/chinook. Enjoy!
     
  4. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Chinook thanks for the info :D

    it was an absolute pleasure to read your pages - brought back good memories of El and Bill on Halcyon and their travels

    http://www.geocities.com/bill_fiero/

    it is always fun to read about the wonderful boating opportunities all over the world and the folks who actually get out there and enjoy it :D

    nice to read positive notes on a Macgregor :D

    your website works very well for me - pure and simple - i love the entire setup :D
     
  5. Uanhanluke
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Uanhanluke New Member

    Thanks Chinook

    Most of the MC26 owners I have read about are pretty happy with their boats as is or have made adjustments. They are not hard core sailors whick explains a lot of things, including the rabid criticism by non-owner skeptics.

    Thanks for reply.

    Best
    U
     
  6. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Here we go again....
     
  7. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    :D

    I watched a couple of approx retirement age (though in these days of financial doom and gloom that makes for a pretty wide spectrum!) launching a Mac 26 (or perhaps 28?) just an hour or so ago.
    I have to say, they both had smiles on their faces.....
     
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member


    Mac owners have their own happy little forums where they dont get rubbished by the 'experts'.
     
  9. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Mac's are great as long, like any other boat, you know their limitations....
    No boat is perfect. I have a simple rule never be out more than 1 mile per every foot of boat. Or 1 foot of waves for every ten feet of boat. May not be perfect but it works for me. But apart from that every boat is murphy ready to happen. Knowledge and prepareness are the key. ALL boats should should have a big disclaimer....Do not operate while being an idiot, it is not a car - it is a sea vessel.
     
  10. SFO
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    SFO New Member

    Dear Sailors, I so wish more women would comment on the MacGregor 26.

    My goals do not seem to be in line with many of the first comments on this post. All I care about is the view, safety, marine life, and seeing San Francisco from water and not shore.

    My husband and I do not have any interest in speed, racing or sailing to Hawaii. This will be a first for me... For the past 20 years I have flown 54 different airplanes, flown thousand of flight hours and the SF Bay is now calling.

    What I like about the MacGregor: The interior is something I can keep clean. I actually like the idea that I can wipe down and keep things sanitized. With no interest in sanding, fixing, staining, I like the low maintenance that seems to go with the Mac.

    As with all weather conditions a pilot/sailor must know their equipment and limitations. Again, my goal is to see the Golden Gate Bridge from below. Just yesterday the weather was marvelous and being on the water would have been so much fun during the Fall warmth.

    So my goals are: View, Little maintenance, safety and marine life.

    What I have read on this post: The Mac is not a sailors boat. If this means expensive buy in, well I can not justify this. We can afford the hundred thousand dollar boats, but I refuse. That money could go to more important causes, than the "size of my boat." - Just like in aviation... there are planes that serve various missions. My mission is to be out on the water, possibly with two friends and enjoying the view. The alternative, is to remain on shore, for I can not justify the horrendous costs and hate the idea of paying someone to maintain my boat.

    Since I am new to sailing, do you find large egos in sailing? Like what do the Jones's own and on which dock? I could care less about this. I just want to know the MacGregor is safe and appropriate for 15-20 kt winds in San Francisco Bay, not sailing to Hawaii. Again, I wish women would comment about these boats. I would like their sailing management and ownership cost opinion.

    Thank you,
    SFO
     
  11. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Hi SFO, welcome aboard :)
    Many of us would appreciate a more gender-balanced forum; however, this is unfortunately not the case at present.
    So they say. Folks who are after sheer speed and excitement sail over-canvassed multihulls and racing dinghies. Folks who are after trophies and the respect of the "Traditional Yachting Establishment" buy keelboats designed around a rating rule. The Mac26 and its kin aren't aimed at either of these groups- they're aimed at the causal day/weekend sailor who just wants to get out there on nice days without much fuss.
    There's no need for boating to be as expensive as the racing magazines (and the chandleries) would like us to think. Take a pass on the latest gadgets, borrow a few old and proven tricks from the working/fishing fleet, and a decent cruising boat doesn't need to break the bank.
    I'd say yep, that's what it's meant for. It's a simple, versatile motorsailer for taking the family out on lakes or near shore. Most of the controversy surrounding the Mac comes from two problems: (1) It often attracts the sort of people who can't be bothered to learn good seamanship; (2) As a result, it's often seen in dumb situations- like trying to cross to Hawaii- for which it is not suited. As an entry-level boat for near-shore use in nice conditions, it should serve fairly well.
     
  12. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    SFO I can assure you that the egos in flying are far greater than they are in most of the sailing circles.

    IMHO there is no comparison between airplanes and boats. In planes the more expensive a plane is for the size, the higher the maintenace bills. Because a boat sits in a harsh corrosive environment the higher the cost per lb on a boat the lower is the general maintenance. This is because better quality items last much longer in that enviroment.

    There is also a drastic difference between airplanes and boats when it comes to depreciation and lifespan.

    The Mac is fine for light use but with the goals you have in mind a pure power boat would be a better fit.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Oh yes - women. The side of the equation so brutally ignored.

    If you go through the more ..... um, "masculine" posts over the years, you find a lot of reference to using boats for ... um, "romantic pursuits" (to be polite)

    The missing factor in that kind of activity is getting the female of the species to actually get on the boat, more than once.

    When it boils down to it, a lot of the luxury boats are designed to be inhabited by sweet young things in very little clothing. (Check out any yachting magazine)

    So, getting a boat that is not grimy, claustrophobic, with bearable toilet and washing facilities etc etc should be uppermost in all boat designers minds (excepting full racing enthusiasts of course)

    For this, Roger Macgregor has provided the perfect low cost solution - bless him.

    To have a boat that you can experience the challenge of learning to sail, and enjoy the tranquility and economy of sail - and still get to somewhere in a hurry or to cope with non-co-operative winds, is a brilliant combination.

    Great comment SFO - and lets get more civilised criteria uppermost in the minds of boat designers and builders everywhere.
     
  14. SFO
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    SFO New Member

    Sailors: Thank you so much for your comments and I look forward to reading more about the MacGregor26. At this time, I am trying to stay away from power boats as I like the idea of "burning" wind power versus fuel. With winds at 15-20 in the Bay it seems like I should learn to manage this skill versus relying on complete engine power. - Trailering the boat to Tahoe has also become an appealing idea.

    Thank you further for the comment about people sometimes not being bothered to learn good seamanship. I promise you, this will not happen in my case.

    SFO
     

  15. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Well said! A boat is only as good as its crew.

    Be very welcome! As Mark, I also would like to find more women around these sometimes 'testosteronic' forums.

    Cheers.
     
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