magregor 26

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by Welsh1ca, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Welsh1ca
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    Welsh1ca New Member

    I am a total newbie to this site but came across it accidentally and became enthralled in a discussion(trouncing) of the MacGregor26. Most of the discussion seemed to be with it's short comings in terms of build quality and it's inability to successfully wear two hats. I am currently a "wet sailer" but looking at getting my first "real" boat. I am wondering if all of the criticizims heaped on the Mac apply to the older models. I am looking at pre-1995 models like the 26 s or d. Do they suffer the same build quality issues? What is their sailing capability relative to the newer 26 m and x?

    Any info would be much appreciated. Alternatively, what might people recommend as a trailerable weekender?

    Bruce....totally novice.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I was really satisfied with the sailing abilities of the MacGregor 26. It is a great daysailor and weekender. Some people critisize it because they compare them to an ocean cruiser. The company never misrepresented them and you get great value for the price.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    As a "trailerable weekender" I consider it a really good solution. Very few boats or comparable size are truly "trailerable" ( narrow, water ballast, light weight etc) and even fewer of those are "weekender" - something with enough room that you would like to spend a weekend on.

    Gonzos comment on price is also a great point - you dont pay a dollar more on anything you dont want.

    This also applies as far as build/quality issues - its a simple, lightweight boat, and apart from leaks caused by badly installed deck fittings ( probably by the dealer ) which drain into the fully lined bilges, and the rust you have to polish off the very basic stainless welding, you arnt going to have a lot of hassles. I rebuilt the centreboard after I 'crunched' it on the trailer, replaced the rudder boxes of an 'M' model with sturdier ones. At least I have never heard reports of osmosis or foam delamination on any of the models. ( yeah, I know there is no foam in the hull)

    A couple of times I have heard people write "I pressed the hull with my finger, and it flexed". That is utter rubbish. You can do that with the inner liner, and the hatch cover and cockpit seat perhaps, but the hull never bent under anyones fist.

    Get onto the Macgregors forum, and go through the comments of people who own them - lots of great talk about adding improvements and happy sailing experiences. That is the best evidence. I think you will find that the X model is a better sailer.
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I myself did oil-can the topside with moderate hand pressure on one boat show 26 footer (and I commented about it to my friend at the time). The Macs are not my favorite boat--- to me they are ugly and chintzy---- but this is true of my opinion of most boats and it's got nothing to do with whether they are appropriate boats for others to own.
    Almost everyone who sails does so within sight of land and anyone can buy a radio and a GPS and a depth sounder, and so forth.
    The Mac seems to fit a valid niche in the market. It won't survive in rugged sea conditions---- but it has its place near shore where you can run for a harbor in a pinch, at relatively high speed if necessary.
     
  5. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    I think the newer Macs are a better boat than the earlier models were. Mac is one company that actually learned as they went along instead of not listening to their customers. The newer models also sail and power better than the earlier models.

    I always find Macs a bit interesting as are the folks who seem to buy them. Without question I find Mac owners to be enthusiastic about boating and for the most part defend their choice of boats. I find most of them to be suburban dwellers with small tow vehicles wanting a boat that will do it all as they did not know if they wanted to sail or power.

    I see them a few years later and if they still have the Mac its sitting in their driveway and they use it for the quick getaway and they are back. Of the one's who sold their boats and stayed in boating, they either went to sail or power only and looked back on their Macs as too compromised but a good learning experience.

    None of them seem to have any illusions about taking the Mac out in questionable weather. They treated them as a day boat/weekender and used them when the weather prediction for the weekend brought out the hords.

    The transition was always interesting. The one's who gravitate towards sailing feel the Mac is to slow in light winds, overpowers easy in gusty winds and too prone to wallow in everyone elses wakes and the one's who gravitate towards power only were anchored over the Perch fishing grounds or powering over to the islands to swim and bike.

    Another thing that I found interesting is that those who transitioned to a sail only wanted a cruising boat that was in the marina, more comfortable and larger. Those who transitioned to a power boat liked the Mac concept and wanted something similar in size, better ease and better function. The ideal power boat converted Mac owner is in love with the C-dory 22's and 25's Similar concept but very well done in power only. They still keep it in their driveways.
     
  6. tazmann
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    tazmann Senior Member

    A good friend of mine had one from the mid 90's water balasted with dager board style
    keel. didn't sail to bad and held it's own durring races provided the wind didnt get to bad. Rudder was to small, downwind with a lot of sail up and quartering sea's it was tough to go the direction you wanted to go. We did newport to ensinada, around catalina races with it and sailed Frisco bay in some bad stuff and she held together
    Tom
     
  7. Welsh1ca
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    Welsh1ca New Member

    Wow, thanks for all the input. Very interesting perspectives. I guess I am more committed to wanting a sailboat than a power boat hence the looking at the older models.
    The trailerable notion is because I don't really live near a year round body of decent water. I wonder if anyone might risk recommending anything other than a Mac that is in that 22 to 26 foot range? Again, great comments...really causing me to rethink a few things.
     
  8. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    You might look for a Tanzer 22 shoal keel built in Kingston ON. They are good quality and sail very well. I am sure the older ones have probably held up well. They made both a fin keel and a shoal draft keel. The shoal draft is much easier to trailer launch. These boats are all over Canada and you can find them through the owners association. They have held their values well.
     
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    It must have been you who I read before - I personally cant think of a single place on the outside of the topsides where you could 'oilcan' it. Do you remember where exactly ?

    I agree, they are not an attractive boat - and I had people say that to me when I owned mine.

    Funnily enough, the first time I saw one pulling in to a dock one day, I thought it was a very good looking. After a year or so of ownership, I thought it was quite ugly, but I put up with that for its practicality.

    Half of any boats appeal seems to be eye candy. I have lost track of the number of times I have read where someone has 'fallen in love' with a design. It would be a lifetimes labour to analyse the phsychological appeal of the 'looks' of boats. I think a lot of it is the ego factor of being admired for owning something beautiful by other people. Like owning a Jaguar motor car V a Toyota.

    I force myself to buy long lasting, reliable Japanese built cars even though they have that 'awkward' look. I just bought a new Isuzu ute because it could tow 3000 kilos, whereas the much better looking Jeep was only rated for around 2000 kilos.

    I guess it depends how disciplined one is to adhere to functionality over form.

    My sister just told me how to use this 'eye candy' effect to avoid being robbed. Stick a bit of duct tape on that expensive camera or mobile phone, and no-one will bother to rip it off because it looks 'broken - but you will know better :)
     
  10. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Welsh,

    Exacally what do you mean by trailerable, and weekender?

    Depending on how you define those I can think of quite a few boats in that size range.
     
  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    The Tanzer is a nice looking boat, but if ease of launching and interior size are important, the shorter length and shoal keel would be a downside. Every inch higher on the trailer means that the trailer and car will have to go 12" farther down the ramp for the boat to float free. So a mere 5 inches more of height means 5 feet further into the water to launch. The average car seems to be able to launch a Mac with the rear wheels 1 foot in front of the waterline (my experience, and as per the picture on the Mac website). Another 2 feet further back, and you may have the wheels on that slimey, slippery weed covered part of the ramp - but certainly your wheels and maybe exhaust in the salt water ( especially in incoming waves) . There were a few times I wished I had a four wheel drive to launch the Mac, so I dont know how I would have been with a shoal keel boat .

    Lets not forget the ability to beach the hull (hard with even just a shoal keel), and do 15 mph, and that mast looks quite heavy to raise. The permanent ballast of the Tanzer is between 500 and 600+ kilos, that you have to tow and winch, as opposed to the mac's zero ballast once you dump the water ballast. Dont forget, the 'working' weight of the Mac is just under trailer specs for having to have an expensive 'breakaway', two axled trailer. The tanzer is about 150 kgs heavier than a Mac with a 50 hp ob, (while being 4feet shorter), so that trailer payload margin is even less.

    I suspect in a sailing, there wouldnt be much between the two boats, as the mac has a longer waterline, and the latest model Mac has the pivoting mast. It would be great to get that verified - I cant find much on comparative class sailing on the web.

    Lots to consider, good luck with the mental gymnastics :)
     
  12. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    The oil-canning was on the stern quarter about mid-cockpit. May have been a fluke, possibly due to quality control issues, like inconsistent layup.
    The sides are quite flat there if I recall. You would have to stiffen such a flat area with either a heavier layup or some extra partial bulkheading, I guess.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I am guessing that the picture below is around the area you are talking about. As you say, its quite flat, and no curving to impart stiffness. Its also hollow, and provides 'headroom' in the aft stern quarter.

    I guess we would need to get a few owners to test their boats to see if it was a one off, or typical. I would have been very worried to observe it in my boat, so hopefully, it was one boat or 'batch'.

    The Macs are built by 'labourers' typically, in a production line environment ( makes for a low price), so errors are very possible.
     

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  14. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    I owned a Tanzer and I have sailed a Mac. The difference in how the boats feel is a world apart. The Tanzer wins hands down. Let's not forget that he is sitting in Alberta Canada and the Tanzer 22 is one of the classic Canadian built sailing boats out there. I guess you just have to understand a bit about the Canadians and their pride.
     

  15. Tantalus
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Tantalus 1963 kauri cruiser

    Bruce, have a good look at the Corsair (Farrier) F24MK II.
    'nuf said.
    Pierre
     
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