Macgregor 26

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by tonto, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Be careful of overloading the Mac26, it is design to be light, not an air condition liveaboard with genset, extra batteries and all kinds of stuff. It is a very light boat by design.
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Very true - its really an oversized dinghy in many ways. I think trying to set this sized boat up to be as comfortable as your living room is a bit unrealistic
     
  3. HakimKlunker
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    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    Similar to PAR I see this float as a full compromise. I have moved one myself for a while. It does not sail and it does not really motor. The building quality reflects the purchase price.
    But if one has no expectations on performance or quality it is indeed a cheap way to get you on the water.
    Although down below you may accomodate 6 persons, I very much doubt this to be comfortable in the cockpit.
    A thought aside: It appears to me as if you and your partner do not (yet) have the same goals on the water; you may want to continue model research and perhaps find something that is more agreeable for both of you?
     
  4. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    oh for goodness sake - why do you spread such inaccurate misconceptions !!

    I have sailed in a broad reach for nearly an hour next to an NIS Sharpie, and had no trouble keeping up. ( I had the genoa up, so that was a help )

    I have motored at a comfortable 15 knots for 3 hours on end, against adverse winds to get back to the home launching ramp.

    Please feel free to review the blogs of dozens of Mac26 owners who have undertaken much better documented and longer voyages.

    Feel free of extol the superior performance of any boat you currently own or want to sell - but I will bet you the price of a Mac that I could get to the other side of any harbor you name, against your yacht, when there is no wind, and back to the other side of the harbor against any motor boat you own, when you both of us have no fuel ( or a fuel line blockage).

    And - the price of the Mac would be less than 60% of whatever boat you bring to the competition with the same accommodation size.
     
  5. HakimKlunker
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    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    Sorry, Watson: My 'misconception' is my perception. Perhaps others have fun with the boat.
    I had not.
    Of course on a broad reach and with some fresh breeze ANY boat moves. A brick would do, too ;)
    As you say: SAILING back against adverse winds did not cross your mind on a macgregor.
    This has been my perception as well. Upwind had always been a struggle - especially in light wind conditions. With guests on board I always appreciated the (for sailing) oversized engine power because it enabled me to be back before midnight ;);)
    Under motor only, the boat acted rough; not much wonder with a flat bottom like that. Not to speak of the rattling and clattering of the rigging that suggested to come down any monent.
    I do not try to sell better products here.
    Mind you: The mac is - as you say - worth its money twofold. Only: that isn't much right from the start ;););)
    So: If one wants to have this boat - let him do it. But do not expect much in all directions.
    I personally would rather recommend a canoe with a tent: Even more value for even less money (and no issues with clogged fuel lines or adverse wind conditions...)
    ;);););)
    I mean that friendly!
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yup - that's true, so the Mac can sail !. I lost the NIS downwind with no spinnaker and the big fibreglass *** to drag.

    Well, I have never been on a yacht that could do straight into the wind, or even within 7 degrees of it. So no, I did not attempt to sail like that. By the way, before I started the motor, the GPS calculated a 8+ hour trip at 5 knots. The family were sick of the weather by then, so being able to get back to the car was a great asset. Try doing that on any yacht.

    I had no trouble going upwind. Mind you, I had a genoa, and a non Mac mainsail. I could keep up with a lot of more conventional trailer sailers, just not the fin keelers. I never saw any of the fin keelers anchored off a beach for a long weekend. There just wasnt the room on board. Even the Cole 33 I used to race on only went on day trips, it needed a crew of five to drive it, and it wasn't possible to get that many people out on the water for a long weekend. Even during the 3 day Geelong Cup (which we won) , all the crew elected to stay in comfortable motel rooms, rather than use the head and shower on board.

    You are a good story teller - I bet you are a great social asset at the bar. Macs are very smooth motoring, unless you go flat out into head seas. If you had rattly rigging, then it was due to bad seamanship.


    Thats OK - I am used to people making jokes. But, you obviously have never spent a long weekend on a kayak, not being able to get out of the sun or the cold wind, and no privacy. I can tell you as a fact, tents and kayaks make a poor weekend with a woman, while a comfortable clean Mac with an onboard toilet is a great environment.

    I will leave these remarks for posterity to make up its own mind. I await someone to accept the previous challenge. evil laugh :D
     
  7. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I've posted similar before, but here is my idea for "Super MacGregor" w/out any

    changes in existing shape or functionality.


    1)replace the 300lb fixed keel with 300lbs worth of marine batteries, or any auto batteries, with easy access cover. 300lbs of bats and a Torquedo should allow you to get in and out of marina without firing up an engine, or explore "no motorboating" lakes. BONUS: in emergency you can toss overboard to aid the boats positive flotation feature.

    2)add some bladders, pumps or something to allow for transferring water ballast from side to side for better sailing. Even just air bladders to expel water from one side. But ideally you would have bladders able to be used for large quantity of fresh water(have shower rigged up in self bailing cockpit), or even fuel.


    I figure all this could be done by carefully cutting into the existing keel just enough for the rectangular bats, leaving the edges of keel intact.....

    and cutting in some water tight screw-in round inspector hatches on the interior floor/top of ballast tanks.
     
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member


    Not very helpfull suggestions in my humble opinion

    For a start,

    1)replace the 300lb fixed keel - the IS NO 300lb fixed keel. There is only 300 lbs of permanent ballast. It is very compact, and would take quite a bit of extra space to replace it with batteries etc. It would also mean that the batteries or whatever would raise the centre of gravity considerably.


    2)add some bladders, pumps or something - or Something ? What will move meaningful amount of water fast enough to tack with ?

    ... water ballast from side to side - umm - where on the side are you going to store it ? Sticky tape it to the walls ? There would be nothing more dangerous than giving the ability of a novice sailor to be able to throw even 200 kilos of water from side to side of a boat this size.
     
  9. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I suspect moving some of the water ballast would also be potentially dangerous. Once the lee side ballast tank passes beyond the center of gravity of the boat (I'm not sure what angle of heel that would be) it becomes additional righting moment. So if it were empty or partially empty, the boat would be less stable after a certain degree of heel. In effect, displacing the water in that tank would have a possibility of increasing initial stiffness, but would decrease stability and righting moment after heeling some amount. Ultimately when you really want the boat to have righting moment is in a knockdown situation and this would lead to a boat that would be more likely to have problems in heavy wind. Considering the nature of the boat as being fairly soft initially, I would not want to remove any ballast.
     
  10. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I've printed out "line drawings" from MacG's factory site and I'll

    sketch up what I'm talking about and post in a bit.

    Sorry, I meant the ballast, not the dagger-board/keel.

    http://www.macgregor26.com/drawings/drawings.htm

    Lead ballast is between #2&3 cross sections and looks like enough could be cut out to accommodate 4 of these "low profile" batshttp://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=1156300&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50523&subdeptNum=50543&classNum=50544#.UDJvl6PedyU which would weigh 200lbs, and I'm figuring the remaining lead would weigh about 100lbs, so it would still have very close to same weight in same place.

    I'm just going by general shape and size shown on their drawings for "permanent ballast" which appears far larger than 300lbs of lead, which should be less than 1/2 cubic ft., but the bats in my link are less than 7" tall.

    Unfortunately, doing that would require seriously butchering up the water-ballast compartment between the floor and lead-ballast. Maybe do all the butchery through the head compartment.

    True, the boat would "never be the same", but is is just some fiberglass work, careful chewing into the lead-slug, and nothing any handy person couldn't do.


    At the MacGregor dealership in Marin (N of SF) a tech told me he has customers who have had up to six batteries installed!, in the various storage compartments.


    As far as bladders, since the water-ballast is mostly centered, and never more than 2ft on either side of amidships, I think it would be a design challenge to get enough side to side difference for noticeable increase in sailing ability. Probably need to insert a semi-rigid member into the long bladders to keep them running fore-to-aft and probably drill down a few dowels into the water ballast compartment to keep them towards one side or the other.

    There exists myriad of plumbing and pumps able to handle things like the bladders I'm talking about, from low cost foot-pump to automatic electric or compressed air.

    Yes, this would be more tricky and "advanced" operation of the MacGregor for more experienced sailors, and for longer reaches, not jibbing back and fourth quickly(unless you got a nice compressed air system and hopefully a crew member dedicated to its operation).

    Rwatson asked if I was going to attach bladders to the walls with Velcro. Since I'd want more side to side action than easily obtainable with bladders in existing water-ballast compartment, I might want to add bladders on either side of the under-berth storage compartment show in section #1 of Drawings, since it is accessible and at same place as most of the existing water ballast so boat's trim should still be OK. I'd also be looking at installing bladders along the "chines" of the storage compartments of #3&4 sections, to get more 'leverage' and further from amidships, securing them however the MacGregor dealership guys secure the extra bats they install (and still keep the boat under warranty). They say "Intelligence isn't knowledge, it is knowing where to find knowledge".

    The big criticism of the MacGregor is the water-ballast scheme means it will never be good off-wind or upwind, and thus has little to offer the serious sailor, but I think with 1/3 of normal water-ballast, and that 1/3 all 2ft or more off center the boat would take on a whole new sailing ability, more like a large planing dingy.

    That could be tested without butchering up a nice new MacGregor, just by installing a few "phat sacks"(used by wakeboarding boats to increase displacement) installed in sections #1 and 3. I'd only need to test how the boat does with no water in the ballast compartment but 1/3 of that amount in the sacks on a long reach.

    Any MacGregor owners want to try that for me?


    I guess I could just have three good sized crew(250lbs+) in forward berth, central cabin and aft berth sift their weigh from side to side on a reach with no water ballast.
     
  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Jetboy - yes, the 'transition phase' of the water ballast is the tricky bit. When you have two tanks both half full, then you get real dangerous 'slosh' potential. There is no way to get machinery to move ballast that quickly on a boat this size.

    Samsam - the location of the permanent ballast you mention is correct, but it does not occupy much space. I understand they simply epoxy in some heavy metal, and it uses very little space. 130 kilos is only a fat sailor, it doesnt take much metal. The rest is all water ballast. Sure, you can fill water ballast space with battery - but why ? You don't need to run an airconditioner, and re-charging the suckers from the sun would be a big ask. Not to mention the expense.

    The whole concept of the mac is to have a light towable vessel - and another 5 batteries would put it over the two axle, cheap trailer concept. I wouldnt want to have to move half a dozen heavy marine batteries out of the boat every time I launched and recovered.

    Both of you seem to have the impression that using water ballast makes for a soft righting moment. in my quest for the 'better mac', I have had stability calcs done on this shape hull with the same ballast, and the curve is very impressive.

    look at http://www.macgregor26.com/safety/safety.htm with the guy standing out one the edge of the boat. It doesnt lean. I have seen a lot more movement on heavy ballasted boats.

    Where the stability is an issue is due to the width of the mac - it has to fit in a container, so it sacrifices valuable width (stability ) that more conventional yachts can use. But, this is for a reason.

    After four years of investigating the sophistication of the mac design, I am impressed with the complexity of being able to shoehorn so many features into such a small hull. I have had NA's admit they couldnt design such a hull. Its hard to add 'improvements' as the design has been pushed so many features to their limit.
     
  12. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I wasn't talking about the transition phase. I was talking about when the lee ballast tank passes the COG. At any point of heel beyond that, you now have less righting moment than you would with both tanks filled entirely. So unless you make the tanks larger to hold the same total volume of water as the original tanks, you make the boat less safe in terms of ultimate stability.

    To better visualize this, imagine the forces on the boat in a knockdown situation. If you could transfer all of the water from one tank to the other and only use 50% of the original water volume, I suspect the boat may not right at all after a 90* heel situation.

    In effect you would compromise ultimate stability for some marginal gains in initial stability. On this boat I would not go that route.

    I would build some fold out amas if I were looking for greater stability. I suspect the hull shape and freeboard are going to limit performance no matter how much righting moment it has.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    OK, point taken.

    Besides, its physically impossible to do anything like this on a Mac due to the limited space, the ballast location and the energy required.
     
  14. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    One other little detail: the Mac has no curtains to keep the morning sun out and to fix a curtain rail you have to drill through the skin.....
     

  15. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Hmm, not a big problem. I presume the skin you are talking about is the inner liner. You certainly don't need to drill through the hull.

    How is this different from any other boat ?
     
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