Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

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zoneboy
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Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Hey everyone, nice to meet you. I've been looking at MacGregor sailboats for a little while now and have an opportunity to purchase one this Saturday. This is a 1987 Macgregor 25, that has been docked in Florida bay. Saturday, I am going to meet up with the owner and do an inspection of the boat before finalizing the deal. The boat is going for a reasonable price of 2k especially when considering what she comes with, and having it professionally inspected is out of my budget. So, naturally I am going to try to draw upon the experience of those of you that have experience with these boats.

Where should I look for problem areas? Right now, I am a bit worried about the sailboat being docked in salt water and am unsure if she has had her bottom coated. I am also a bit worried about the steel keel, and how well these would hold up in salt water.

So, I will start with these two. What can I do to check for damage to the underside of the boat, will there be pimples that are pretty easy to notice? What about discoloration, would this indicate severe damage to the hull itself? Also, as for the keel what should I look out for as problem areas. If I can retract it, and lower it without a problem should this indicate overall the keel is in pretty good shape for the moment? Unfortunately, there is no way for me to do a visual inspection while she is sitting on the hard because there is no trailer and I am unsure how well I could do an inspection from under the water.

Other than these two areas, which I am most concerned with are there other parts of this boat I should check on?

I'm sorry about being so vague here, I am a complete noob when it comes to sailboats, or even boats in general, that should have asked this question a few days ago - but was still debating if I wanted to go through with the deal. I thank you in advance for any information you could give me.

Edit:
One more question, where is the boat number located on these?

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by Ixneigh » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:07 am

Where on fl. bay? I live in the upper keys area. If you want and the boat is near there I'll come with you to look at it.
Ixneigh

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:18 am

Thanks Ixneigh, the boat is located near Tampa bay. I appreciate the offer though, right now I am mostly concerned with the keel. I don't have any idea how much abuse these iron keels can take and am worried what salt water could have done to it if the owner did not take any precautions. It will be a few months before I can have her hauled out to do any work to the underside so I am hoping he took precautions before leaving her at the slip.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by Steve K » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:47 pm

zoneboy,

Buying any 25 year old boat carries some risk. I believe I would be willing to pay another grand more, for a boat that is dry stored.... that you can actually see the gel-coat on the hull (if you can find one...they will be rare). If the hull and keel are at their worst, you will spend, at least that (or maybe even a couple grand) to fix everything, doing all the work yourself.

Even if the boat is dry stored, it will be difficult to tell what kind of shape the bottom is in, if it has anti-fouling paint on it. Sometimes I think some guys keep glopping it on just to hide the blisters and boat pox. I just stripped my 1988 26D (that I've owned for around six years) down to the gel-coat and found boat pox. It was dry stored when I bought it, but who knows if prior to that. Another owner may have slipped it. Of course, I half expected this, as I'm not new to it and I did practically steal the D boat compared to the average going price.

This is, by no means, an attempt to discourage you, because when bitten by the sailing bug you may just need something that doesn't leak, for now. Then, when getting to the point where you want all the performance you can get from a particular boat, you'll probably spend some money on upgrades and repairs anyway. Really, any boat in our budget range is going to be 20 something years old and will need some work.

One more thing............ If everything you can see is in pretty good shape and seems to be moderately taken care of, chances are the part you can't see isn't too bad either. :wink:

Hope I helped some.

Best Breezes,

Steve K.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:17 pm

Steve K wrote: This is, by no means, an attempt to discourage you, because when bitten by the sailing bug you may just need something that doesn't leak, for now. Then, when getting to the point where you want all the performance you can get from a particular boat, you'll probably spend some money on upgrades and repairs anyway. Really, any boat in our budget range is going to be 20 something years old and will need some work.

One more thing............ If everything you can see is in pretty good shape and seems to be moderately taken care of, chances are the part you can't see isn't too bad either. :wink:

Hope I helped some.

Best Breezes,

Steve K.
Thanks Steve,

You have it pretty much pegged, I'm not sure why I have been inflicted with this bug - but I sure want a sailboat, lol. I hear you regarding spending the extra cash, but my wife wants us to go pretty cheap at first and I sort of agree with her. Well, I have to or else.. For now, as long as I get a sailboat that floats and moves a bit to the wind I will be slightly happy.. I just am worried about having a keel fall off on me.. I really wish the prices of the 26c were as low as the 25 because then I wouldn't have to worry so much about it.

Mostly, I just want something my two little kids, wife, and I can enjoy spending a few nights out on and get some bonding experience. I know, that sounds sappy lol. Plus, I look forward to exploring around the coast.. I dunno, the bug has landed though and wont let go of me. Thanks for your response, it helps.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by vizwhiz » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:25 pm

I'm up here kinda near the Tampa Bay area, as are a number of others on this site with much more experience than I have... And there is a place called Florida Bay, and a different place called Tampa Bay, which is probably why Ixneigh offered to look at your boat for you. :wink: (mighty nice of him, really!)

But back to the point, knowing that the boat is in Tampa Bay, you might find others who are over there who might be willing to go with you...I hear pizza and/or beer goes a long way to getting help! :wink:

Also, I suggest you take your mask/snorkel along and go under the boat and check it out...worth looking at that way, as you'll be able to see a lot...and if the slip is deep enough to drop the keel even partially, you can give it a decent cursory inspection that way...take a soft-bristle nylon brush along with you to brush away any green/brown scum so you can see the bottom of the boat clearly without leaving marks, and a small (cheap) waterproof flashlight. The light will make a really big difference in how much you actually see under there (the bottom of the boat will be a big shadow, don't forget).

As for the bug, my wife and I are doing the same thing...we have a C (swing-keel) model, and plan to do exactly the same - go out, watch the sunset, fall asleep listening to the water lapping against the hull...not sappy at all! That's exactly what makes sailors happy! 8) You and your kids will love it - until they're a little older and want to go fast... :( But enjoy it while you can, take your fishing rods and binoculars and have a great time!

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by Bob McLellan » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:28 pm

When I bought my 1976 Venture off e-bay, it had been abandoned at a marina in California. Best I could find out is it had been there three years and since it did not have a trailer I am not sure how long it had been in salt water. If you can open the SAILINGAZ account in Photobucket you can see the shape of the hull and keel. Some pretty interesting stuff growing there. But mine cost a little less than what they are asking for your boat. Took some scraping and sanding and epoxy work, but now my boat is in good shape (and has a trailer). You will not be able to tell what shape the boat and keel are in until you have the boat out of the water. On mine the line to raise the keel was broken, but the keel folded under ok when it was dragged onto the trailer. With all the added critters attached to the keel I was worried that jamming it back into the keel well would cause damage, but it turned out fine. They are tough little boats.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by snotnosetommy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:26 pm

zoneboy,

2K isn't much for a decent M25. They're great boats. If it floats and you can raise and lower the keel, and the mast isn't bent, that makes it sailable. While it's true that saltwater ain't good for 'em, you'll find that most Macs that age have some osmotic blistering below the water line, even in fresh water. It's not so bad, you can leave it alone or strip it & paint it. Just clean off the barnacles and sail it for a season.
Take a flashlight. If you look under the forward dinette seat, you should be able to see if there's serious fiberglass damage to the interior of the keel trunk. Also pry off the plastic keel bolt cover and look in there. You can see it down low in the cabin, by the door to the head. You will also see the keel bolt and rubber seals. Also look at the keel-raising cable. Before you sail it, check the condition of the plastic cable tube and hose clamps for watertightness. (Is that a word?)
Same with the cockpit drain hose & clamps. Very important.
Walk around on deck a lot and check for soft areas. The cabin top and foredeck should be very firm. If you have to replace the plywood core in those areas, you want to pay less for the boat. It's a real PIA. The cockpit seats and floor may "crackle" a little, however. They're not reinforced. Hopefully the tiller & rudder are functional.
Buy it right, and make it your own. :)
Best of luck, and keep posting.
Tom

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by Catigale » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:35 am

The hull number will be on a plate on the transom (rear) starboard side... If the plate is missing or doesnt look "right" he boat could be stolen or otherwise badly karma-ed.

I would worry about the keel....there are lots of posters on this board who find the proverbial cheap boat and "just need a keel"

That's about a 2k need btw.

If you aren't budgeted for a survey, I wulld consider buying a day sailor for under 2k to get my feet wet rather than a wet slipped trailerable of unknown condition.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:03 pm

Thanks everyone, the seller had to delay till tomorrow but I will be sure to jump in and check out everything you all told me to. If the keel is missing, I'll pass her up because that is just too much of an investment. I spoke with the seller today for the first time on the phone, and he seems like a pretty decent guy. 2k includes an 6 hp outboard that was just rebuilt, and 4 sails.. I would like a trailer, but am limited to a Ford Windstar and just don't trust it to tow anything that could accommodate my family for a few nights here an there.

I've checked out a local marina, and they charge 200 a month for slip fees, and a free haul out if you have a flat bottomed vessel. The manager told me I could work on the boat all I want, so long as I purchase the paint from the marina. The thing is, I would need to sail the boat from Tampa Bay, to where I live in Spring Hill Florida.. it is 60 miles by road, I imagine by boat it will probably be twice that. The owner of the slip is likely to let me take over payments until I feel confident enough to make such a voyage.

I did see a Newport of Venture (or venture 23) for sail, with trailer for $2,000 in the same area, but it looks like it needs quite a bit of work. I offered $1,500 in the event that this deal falls through but am second guessing because it doesn't have the outboard, and the sails look like the originals, plus there looks to be an indent on the hull in one of the pics. Just as a note, was not leading the owner of this one on I told her I was still looking around, and checking in case my deal falls through.

Wish I had some photos of the Mac 25 to share here. If I buy it, I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress. Thanks again for all of the comments.
Last edited by zoneboy on Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:19 pm

Bob McLellan wrote:When I bought my 1976 Venture off e-bay, it had been abandoned at a marina in California. Best I could find out is it had been there three years and since it did not have a trailer I am not sure how long it had been in salt water. If you can open the SAILINGAZ account in Photobucket you can see the shape of the hull and keel. Some pretty interesting stuff growing there. But mine cost a little less than what they are asking for your boat. Took some scraping and sanding and epoxy work, but now my boat is in good shape (and has a trailer). You will not be able to tell what shape the boat and keel are in until you have the boat out of the water. On mine the line to raise the keel was broken, but the keel folded under ok when it was dragged onto the trailer. With all the added critters attached to the keel I was worried that jamming it back into the keel well would cause damage, but it turned out fine. They are tough little boats.

I found the pictures, picture #10 looks pretty insane. That must have been quite a bit of work to get it all cleaned up and smooth again.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by vizwhiz » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:00 pm

I just looked at those pictures too...it looks like messy cast iron, but I see that in my business all the time (messed up cast iron pump casings)...a little sand-blasting will have it back to a pretty gray (lol) in no time.

Was the original keel in those boats covered in fiberglass to protect it or just a heavy epoxy coating? I thought I remembered reading in here that some were epoxy coated and then they switched to fiberglass covered - or vice-versa...

Unless the cast iron is actually damaged, meaning cracked or broken, then it should be able to be repaired. The weight is important, as that keel provides all the ballast weight (no water ballast), so if a significant amount of metal is missing then it would be important to re-build (as in, fill in the pits and holes by welding) before re-shaping (grinding, etc.) and then coating (fiberglass or heavy epoxy). But unless you're completely replacing with new, it should be hundreds of dollars and not thousands... Something else to keep in mind is that rust is MUCH larger in size/volume than the amount of metal that made the rust, so a thick coating of rust is actually only a small amount of the actual metal.

As for the other boat you posted pics of, you can almost disregard the dirt inside the boat - it's almost all fiberglass in there, and you can powerwash and scrub out the interior pretty quickly when all is said and done... I would be more concerned with unseen wood damage in that boat rather than other issues. it looks like a very pretty boat.

I bought my 9.9 4-stroke used Yamaha motor (1993) from a reputable local engine rebuilder in Zephyrhills for $400...the outboard is one of the easier parts to come by!

Don't be discouraged! Have you checked the tow capacity of your Windstar? A short trip, taken slowly, might be okay to get the boat back to your yard!

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by abruzzi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:50 pm

vizwhiz wrote:
Don't be discouraged! Have you checked the tow capacity of your Windstar? A short trip, taken slowly, might be okay to get the boat back to your yard!
Since the distance is short, a $30 UHaul local rental is the easiest way to get the boat home. Then you start worrying about tow capacity.

Geof

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by snotnosetommy » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:02 pm

Since the distance is short, a $30 UHaul local rental is the easiest way to get the boat home. Then you start worrying about tow capacity.

Geof
Second that motion. We had a Windstar, liked it alot. As with so many vehicles, though, the tranny was the weak link. 1400 reales worth. Not built for towing. Not saying you can't, just maybe not worth the risk if it has a lot of miles.
It won't be long before you think 60 miles by water is not so daunting if you do your homework & keep a sharp weather eye.

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Re: Possibly buying a Mac 25 and looking for some advice

Post by zoneboy » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:28 pm

Hey again everyone, I got to take a look today and really liked her. Mind you, this is the first sailboat I have ever set foot on - so I was just happy to finally see it first person. The deck, as far as I could tell was sturdy. There were a few stains, which looked like someone was hammering something on the deck, they were blackened and circular. On the inside, it was sort of messy. Lots of stuff in there, but there was enough room to maneuver around in. This would be the perfect sized boat for me, as I am only 5'9. I was a bit surprised, because it was bigger than I expected her to be. My kids absolutely loved it, and I really enjoyed it as well.

On the down side, the owner had friends with him and they had planned to take the boat out so I felt a bit out of place and didn't really get the chance to ask the questions I wanted to or do a full inspection. They had offered to take us out with them, but my kids didn't have life jackets so it was a no go. On the inside, I noticed what looked like the paint cracking, where I could see the fiberglass under it which was intact but thinner than I thought it would be. There was no leakage as far as I could detect under the windows, no strange smells, or stains. The cushions were the factory standard as far as I can tell. The owner and friends motored off shortly after we arrived to check out the sailboat, so at the very least I could see that the outboard was working :D I have to wonder if I didn't put on enough deodorant or something..

My wife, being the voice of reason here wants me to look at other sailboats. I must admit, I am a bit disappointed but such is life. I think we will check out the venture 23, if it is still available. I'm not sure if U-hall allows you to use their vehicles to trailer though, I'll have to check it out.

Here are a few low res pics taken from my android.
http://s1175.photobucket.com/albums/r639/z_o_n_e/

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