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A starter boat?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:55 pm
by Interim
I have a 94 26S. Last weekend a sailor at a neighboring slip said "I used to have one of those. It's a great starter boat. Very forgiving."

I don't understand what this could mean. Is it more resistant to broaching than, say, a Hunter 21? Does it "find the groove" easier?

I have sheets, jib cars, outhauls, a cunningham, etc, just like his boat. It doesn't seem more or less complicated to sail.

What would make a Mac a "starter boat" other than amenities?


Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:15 pm
by beechkingd
Likely because it's not a keel boat and it easily goes on a trailer... Which are the reasons I like them. Next time a hurricane is coming let him know your "starter boat" will be safe at home on a trailer and good luck with his keel boat after it gets washed away.

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 6:30 am
by dlandersson
A "sterter boat" definition really depends on the person using the phrase. Mac's tend to be more 'forgiving" than many other, and more expensive sailboats. The X's and M's (I don't know about the S's) tend to "round up" when there's too much sail. They are pratically unsinkable, can be set up for single-handing, and fairly easy to care for. 8)

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:34 pm
by Interim
These sound like advantages. It seemed like a bit of a jab, but I like that i can trailer even though the fixed keelers look down on it.

I guess he was thinking of the round up issue. I don't know what else he would mean by forgiving. And its not like the 26s is a slow boat, so where is the advantage?

I feel better.


Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 5:35 pm
by Jimmyt
You didn't say what type Boat your neighbor had. Was it 60+ feet long? Maybe he's one of those guys that fixate on size... :D

Maybe he's compensating.

In any event, you will find people who hate your boat without setting foot on it; people who think your boat is adequate and can be enjoyed; and people who wish they had your boat. Enjoy your boat. It's not about them.

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:38 am
by LoHo
Isn't using the term "starter boat" a symptom of Two-Footitis? The sort of thing one says after plunking down 20k extra to get another yard of boat?

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:09 pm
The term "starter boat" means 'first boat'

Is that S you have your first boat?

First boat is the boat you learn everything on. So a good starter boat is a boat that has all the stuff that your 3rd, 4th, and 5th boat are going to have so you can learn about all that stuff on the first boat. Usually the "starter boat" is the cheaper boat because when your a beginner you break stuff and it's better to break a cheaper boat than an expensive one. As you get better at boating you can risk more and more money on the water.

That is how a person who has been boating for many many years after having several boats would use the term: "Starter Boat". (like myself)

The S boat is a really good sailboat and is indeed easier to sail than many more expensive boats (it's faster too) - so even a novice can beat the more expensive boats. If you want to learn to sail it's a good way to "start". Once you learn to sail a S or a D really good your ready to sail ANYTHING.

Many of us have who had other boats and been sailing a long time and would also come to the S or the D as our LAST BOAT. The S and the D are indeed, also great LAST BOATS. I think the M boat is also a good LAST BOAT, but not a very good "First Boat" because the M is a very strange hybrid sail boat and sort of a crank to sail and takes a while to get used to. If you have many years sailing lots of boats the M boat is not so much a challenge but as a "First Boat" - I can think of better boats to learn on. The S and D are real sailboats and sail like real sailboats, ie: the skills you learn on the S are transferable to other real sailboats. What you learn on the M - not so much.

If the guy telling you it's a starter boat has little experience with other boats then he probably is looking down his nose at you but mostly anyone that has owned an S or a D will know that it's a good boat. Many people start there and then move on to bigger more expensive boats. Roger created a LOT of new sailors in the world with the S and the D (and a lot of business for his competitors too).

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:11 am
by Interim

what do you mean "easier" to sail? I think this is the thing I'm trying to figure out. Easier because mistakes are harder to make? Or it is easy to make it go fast?

My first boat was an O'Day 17. Which I loved. But the Mac S is better for us, and we're glad we made the change. I suspect it will be our last boat (as you suggested).


Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:34 am
The S and D boat tracks better. It is "easier" to stay on course.

My A23 was like that - even thought the A23 was rolly pollee it always held a good track no matter the heel. My M boat? NO WAY - pointing high in chop trying to hit a tiny lighthouse between two rocks entering my home harbor is a real challenge with that wheel helm. It's like landing a plane.
Same for a CAL25 I used to sail - REALLY hard to hold a line in that old Jensen Flush deck.

The S and the D also holds its sails better - the wind goes up, down, all around but the D boat in particular sort of stays ahead of the wind - you can actually see it with your own eyes from another boat watching the D sail. I sailed a Balboa 26 that was like that - it always had this nice steady pull through the water like as if it were being pulled by a cable. On my M? NOPE! the wind dumps - the boat dumps. Wind changes direction and everything stops. It's hard to get the balance where the boat follows the breeze - it can be done on the M, but really - the M needs an AP to stay ahead of the wind like a Catalina does with no AP at all. There is nothing like walking the deck of a Catalina 38 in a strong breeze - everything happens in slow motion - it's a real treat.

The S and D are easier like that too - they don't 'dump' on you all of a sudden just because conditions change. It's just a better sailboat.

Remember, not all sailboats are sailboats - the M is a hybrid. I think the M is "easier" to TRAVEL in than a traditional sailboat like the S or D or even a CAT38 for that fact because in my M I can make any port within 100 miles in less than 8 hours whereas in a CAT38 I will be sailing ALL DAY AND NIGHT (24 hours) to make the same distance.

That's why I got the M boat - I am a cruiser - I make long passages because all the islands down here are 30 to 100 miles off shore and going to the islands is what we like. The M boat is EASIER to cruise in than a S or a D - just ask Sumner on that one - he cruised the Bahamas in a S and really wished he had more motor many times. it's really handy when your island hopping like that and you need to dodge weather. The really BIG sailboats don't need to dodge the weather.

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:14 pm
by Interim
That helps a lot. I understand better now.

Holding a course is not a regular issue on my lake, so I don't think about it. I suppose in addition to the boat's tendencies, the skipper either does or does not have that experience. So I may be flumoxed next time I sail in coastal waters.



Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:24 pm
I see the S and D boats over here out in the open ocean all the time - they have no problems at all. The D in particular looks really good as it flys past me. It's low in the water, ahead of the wind, and really smooth.

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:20 pm
by Maraquita
Thanks Boat!

I'm going to show your post to my wife in yet another attempt to get her to go to Catalina with me. When we lived in Phoenix, we took our Mac 25 over there once every other year or so (on the trailer to the coast, of course). Now she isn't comfortable on the 26D on anything bigger than a Colorado lake at less than 20 Kts wind. Maybe you can convince her for me! The 40 year age difference between then and now may be part of the problem, but hey, everyone else got old, not me!

Re: A starter boat?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:15 pm
by Capt Smitty
My first sailboat is my :macx: . I used to be a motor boater, and felt some apprehension at the idea of going so slow. I bought my Mac BECAUSE it is a compromise. I have my cake and eat it, too. Plus I can camp in it. 3 in 1, I couldn't be happier. I'll hitch a ride with someone if I feel the need for speed.