What to check on a used 26X?

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Chuck459
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What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Chuck459 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:29 am

Hi,

I'm looking at a used 1996 26X for purchase. What things should I check out to insure it is sound?

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Azzarac
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Azzarac » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:34 pm

The motor is going to be your biggest cost to replace so check it out extensively. Sails would probably be my next careful inspection as well as any soft spots in the deck and hull, including swing keel (I've never heard of hull or deck issues with an X but better safe than sorry). If these look good then it would be on to the electrical system, standing rigging, and then running rigging. Good luck in your search.

Geraghtyr
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Geraghtyr » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:52 pm

Having purchased a '96 :macx: not too long ago there are a few things I've had to repair that are pretty common issues.
The good news is so far the parts haven't been to expensive, too hard to find or replace and the help and advice here is priceless!!!

I decided to get a boat that needed work specifically to learn the repairs. No one but me will be on the boat if something fails on the water so it's good to know how to fix everything!

I'm no expert like some of the seasoned Admirals on this forum but I'd recommend checking the following:
(If you find them lower your offer and use the savings to buy pizza. I gather new guys buy pizza!?? :) )

1. The HULL. Scrapes, bubbles, and blisters. Bottom paint if it spends a lot of time docked in the water.
- This was my biggest expense $2500 and 60 days at the marina, for a good fiberglass repair and anti fouling bottom paint.
2. Cables. Throttle, shifting and steering cables.
- See it they are in good repair and maintained, not cracked. Steering cable oiled/greased.
3. Wiring. Look at what is connected to the battery, is it rusty, lots of tape, etc??
- I ripped it all out and replaced. I've read electrical fires are the #1 cause of boat fires!
4. Rigging.
- How do the rigging cables look? My back stay was in bad shape, had to be replaced.
5. Motor and sails
- request a "sea trial" try to see the engine run for a at least 1 hour watch for oil pressure and overheating.
- are all the sails in good condition etc. Sail it on the sea trial.
6. Fiberglass condition?
- It isn't too difficult to learn how to repair cracks and extra holes but better if you don't have to.

As a new Mac owner those are areas I've spent repair $$$ on. (Next expense sailing lessons!)

These forums are great. Read the repair/mod forums and you'll get a feeling for things that break or that people upgrade. I read them for a year before they convinced me a :macx: was right for me!

I understand the rudders can fail, have read of bent or damaged masts, and several things the experienced have improved. Lots of good advice here!

I do LOVE my Mac :macx: and have enjoyed working on it.
Hopefully you'll find one to LOVE too.

C Buchs
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by C Buchs » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:57 pm

When I was shopping for my X, I posted the ads up here so that everyone could look them over with me. Here's the tread http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... 67#p297067 Everyone was a big help.

Jeff

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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by bobbob » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:33 pm

Check for standing water or heavy musty smell under seat compartments (indications of water penetration).

Check the chainplates (where the standing rigging connects with the boat body) for stress fractures or damage.

Check the compression post for rust.

These boats are basically a big fiberglass shell with a motor strapped on the back - everything else is readily replaceable, so you would be more concerned about value proposition then red flags. The flip side of that is there's nothing better than that feeling of buying a new outboard or new sails because you need them rather than just want them :D

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dlandersson
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by dlandersson » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:59 pm

This is really important :wink:
bobbob wrote:Check for standing water or heavy musty smell under seat compartments (indications of water penetration).

Check the chainplates (where the standing rigging connects with the boat body) for stress fractures or damage.

Check the compression post for rust.

These boats are basically a big fiberglass shell with a motor strapped on the back - everything else is readily replaceable, so you would be more concerned about value proposition then red flags. The flip side of that is there's nothing better than that feeling of buying a new outboard or new sails because you need them rather than just want them :D

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Herschel
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Herschel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:27 pm

I think that with a 20 year old boat, my first concern would be the age of the engine. Even if the hours are low, chances are it is a carbureted engine and not a fuel injected one. My experience with my 1998 X and it's 98 Merc (I bought it used in 2003) was that I had difficulty keeping my carburetors free of gum/shellac. My 2013 Yamaha fuel injected engine has been a dream. No choke to deal with; just like starting your car. My previous owner had mounted the transducers for depth and speed through my ballast tank. That has been a source of difficulty with keeping those fittings water tight. I plan eventually to have them removed and the surfaces glassed over. Since it is an older boat, I am guessing that the batteries, while certainly not the originals are probably aging as well, since most folks don't put a lot of money into something they are planning on selling unless they just have to, so you might need to plan on replacement pretty soon. Just checking all the systems to see how they work would be my recommendation. That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of shape it is in. Despite our best efforts, though, stuff happens that we can't predict, so part of buying a boat is having a little patience with our selves after the fact when thing start to develop that we did not plan or wish for. Good luck. 8)

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sailboatmike
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:54 am

You guys must have horrible fuel over there and few controls over what the companies put in it.

Here we have have a clear choice of fuel with and without ethanol, if there is ethanol in the fuel it has to be clearly marked, maybe that because the fuel tax is lower on ethanol fuel, so companies get benefits from marking it clearly as well as legislation that requires them to say that it is ethanol and the percentage of ethanol in it.

I would think around 95% of fuel sold here is none ethanol.

I use "Stabil" additive in my fuel and while at first I thought it was expensive, I have found that I dont need to throw away fuel thats 3 months old now like I used to, so $3 or $4 of Stabil saves me around $25 if I have 3/4 full tank of fuel

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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Rick62 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:34 am

One thing I look at also is the previous owner. If he is a yachtie or not. Some people have no idea how to set up a boat. They do Mods that in theory might sound good but in reality just don't work. I have seen a few "Macensteins" on here and for sale. A Yachtie will keep things simple and functional. deck and cockpit should be clean of clutter. below should be ship shape. A log book as well goes a long way.

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dlandersson
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by dlandersson » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:48 am

I ha ve a 98 Merc 4 stroke. I use Sea Foam regularly. No problems. :wink:
Herschel wrote:I think that with a 20 year old boat, my first concern would be the age of the engine. Even if the hours are low, chances are it is a carbureted engine and not a fuel injected one. My experience with my 1998 X and it's 98 Merc (I bought it used in 2003) was that I had difficulty keeping my carburetors free of gum/shellac. My 2013 Yamaha fuel injected engine has been a dream. No choke to deal with; just like starting your car. My previous owner had mounted the transducers for depth and speed through my ballast tank. That has been a source of difficulty with keeping those fittings water tight. I plan eventually to have them removed and the surfaces glassed over. Since it is an older boat, I am guessing that the batteries, while certainly not the originals are probably aging as well, since most folks don't put a lot of money into something they are planning on selling unless they just have to, so you might need to plan on replacement pretty soon. Just checking all the systems to see how they work would be my recommendation. That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of shape it is in. Despite our best efforts, though, stuff happens that we can't predict, so part of buying a boat is having a little patience with our selves after the fact when thing start to develop that we did not plan or wish for. Good luck. 8)

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Seapup
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Seapup » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:53 am

A nice thing about :macx: is there are generally multiple for sale. Try to not get too excited about the first one you go look at and check out at least 3. If you do things will stand out on each and you will be writing back what to look out for 8) It will also solidify the choice in the one you pick.

Don't be too put off by surface grime, minimal expense and a little time and they all clean up about the same.

The key points were mentioned, but I didn't see hull/deck joint & rubrail. Pry it up and down the whole way around the boat checking the hull & deck joint. One hard hit to a piling can compromise the joint. I found it was common on the :macx: I looked at.

1996 was the first year for the boat, there were quite a few changes around 2000 that have been mentioned here a few times. If you can look at a later model also.

Chuck459
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Chuck459 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:11 am

Excellent recommendations!

I look forward to being an active member of the forum. I know I will need a motor and I'm looking forward to that shopping experience. I'm also thinking of replacing all or the majority of the wiring. I have sailed only small sailboats, Catalina 25's and Hunters, so this will be anew experience. Once I learn the boat, my first plan is to meander the Inside Passage.

Sail safe!
Chuck

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Tomfoolery
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:15 am

Generic advise: Engine, trailer, sails are probably the most costly items, in that order. Any one of them that needs replacing is going to cost. Old, blown out sails (UK sails were OEM on that boat) that are soft can be used, but they won't perform as well as better initial quality sails, and original sails WILL be blown out just because they're budget quality and old. The OEM steel trailer, which gets a bad rap, can be perfectly serviceable if it's not rusted. My 1999 OEM trailer is still going strong. Expect the brakes to be shot. And probably the actuator. $400 gets new disc brakes, plus some elbow grease. The axle can rust, as can the pole tongue (tap underneath with a hammer, and listen for the 'ring', especially where the two channels meet it). OB is the biggest ticket item; have a dealer survey the engine. Compression test, carb balance, and check the lower unit for milky gear oil. Change the water pump as soon as you own it, or have the OB mechanic who surveys it do it while it's there (save the survey for last, close the deal, then have him/her do the work).

Rudders and centerboard are somewhat pricey to replace, so inspect as carefully as you can, especially for cracks in the rudders around the pintle. The CB isn't very visible without dropping it out of its trunk, which the seller isn't going to want to do.

Absent any holes in the hull, there's not much to the boat that you have to worry about, other than general condition. Kinked standing rigging is generally a bad sign, but all new rigging is only a few hundred from BWY (ready-made, with the necessary fittings at each end). Running rigging can be used even when it's tired and chalky, and replaced at your leisure. Don't get too impressed with electronics, unless it's very new. Lots of old electronics has essentially no value.

Expect leaks. The joint under the rub rail is a typical suspect, but can be resealed by removing the rub rail, grinding out the joint, and resealing. If the old rub rail is beat up, install a new one (BWY sells it). Around the chain plates (very easy to reseal), and any deck penetrations (most are easy to re-bed).

If the owner is asking top dollar, expect top condition. But an older X should be bargain priced compared to an M, even if in excellent shape.

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Herschel
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by Herschel » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:13 pm

dlandersson wrote:I ha ve a 98 Merc 4 stroke. I use Sea Foam regularly. No problems. :wink:
Herschel wrote:I think that with a 20 year old boat, my first concern would be the age of the engine. Even if the hours are low, chances are it is a carbureted engine and not a fuel injected one. My experience with my 1998 X and it's 98 Merc (I bought it used in 2003) was that I had difficulty keeping my carburetors free of gum/shellac. My 2013 Yamaha fuel injected engine has been a dream. No choke to deal with; just like starting your car. My previous owner had mounted the transducers for depth and speed through my ballast tank. That has been a source of difficulty with keeping those fittings water tight. I plan eventually to have them removed and the surfaces glassed over. Since it is an older boat, I am guessing that the batteries, while certainly not the originals are probably aging as well, since most folks don't put a lot of money into something they are planning on selling unless they just have to, so you might need to plan on replacement pretty soon. Just checking all the systems to see how they work would be my recommendation. That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of shape it is in. Despite our best efforts, though, stuff happens that we can't predict, so part of buying a boat is having a little patience with our selves after the fact when thing start to develop that we did not plan or wish for. Good luck. 8)
I knew that would flush out some Merc owners! :wink: My hats off to you; you have succeeded where I failed. I have since learned I should have let the engine run after turning off the gas to let the gas burn out of the carburetors better. Perhaps you could tell our newbie about the protocol that you use to keep an old Merc going so long so well. In addition to the Sea Foam. I have heard of Sea Foam. I assume it is similar to Stable? :?

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sailboatmike
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Re: What to check on a used 26X?

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:37 pm

I agree with all the above, depending on what country you are in will give you different values on replacing things depending on the laws.

For example here in Australia trailers for this size boat are hugely expensive because of the laws governing them. In Australia expect to pay between $8,500 and $12,500 for a new trailer. There are very few second hand ones here for this size boat and most people want basically what they paid for them second hand.

The motor will be expensive not matter what country you are in, if the motor is shot expect to pay between $8,000 and $13,000 for a new one, good low hour second hand ones are available generally but even they will set you back between $5,000 and $8.000 and make sure it comes from a reputable dealer with a warranty.

A new set of sails (main, working jib and Assy) will set you back around $4,000 to $6000 if you replace them all at the same time with QUALITY new ones, new sails have many advantages such as decreasing heal angle, allow you to point higher into the wind, more speed intro the wind, some may say yeah but Im not worried about speed or pointing but when the wind gets up and that old baggy sail fills with wind that you cant spill and she starts healing over hard then you may wish you had nicer sails.

Equipment level is important, look for things like the furler, its not cheap and you have to have a bolt rope put in your head sails to put one on if the boat doesnt come with one, Genoa tracks and winches, lines all coming back to the cockpit.

Upgraded rudders and rudder brackets on earlier ones.

In general the seller may think they have a gem of a boat for sale, but in reality it may be a dog just waiting for you to BOAT (Bung On Another Thousand (or $5000 ) in quick smart fashion to make it truly a good boat.

Be objective and dont get sucked into the old but if I dont buy this one I might not get another chance to get one for a while, its worth the savings to possibly pay a bit more up front and get one ready to go, rather than get one you are going to have to keep paying out to make it seaworthy

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