beefing up a mac26x

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whgoffrn
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beefing up a mac26x

Post by whgoffrn » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:03 pm

in light of having to cancel my trip to the keys because the winds and waves were too much with 25kt winds ... I admit I find myself at night searching boattrader and various places for other more "seaworthy" boats ....some call it 2foot itis and despite having only owned my mac26x for 6 months... I already find myself wanting to be able to spend the summer in the Bahamas on a sailboat etc etc and find myself pricing westsail 32s, luden 33s and bigger more bluewater boats but then realize that I couldn't trailer a westsail down to the keys in 4 hours... it would take me 3days down 3 back requiring a weeks vacation to spend 1 day in the keys.... there is the mini transat 6.50 that are trailerable and capable of crossing oceans but also small and not a very family friendly boat.............so I think my only option is to really beef up the boat I have to make it slightly more capable of a trailer sailer.... so here is my plan and anyone who has done some mods to their boat to make them more ...hate to say BLUEWATER...BUT MORE CAPABLE...sailboats please chime in

1. new BIGGER stays.... twin back stays and also another stay in front of the headsail and replacing the stay in the headsail too with the biggest one I can fit in a rollerfurler system... I would hope doubling up on stays would help lower the chance of being demasted (ive known two people that has happened to ..not on macs)

2. send main to BWY to have the 3rd reef in and a single line reefing kit attached to it

3. need advice on how to add ballast to the boat...someone mentioned adding leadbricks to the bottom of the boat...(im assuming glassed in??) also not sure if this would take away from the capacity of the boat adding 500lb more weight to the bottom??? really this is something im confused on how to do or if its even a good idea

4. sea anchor a drogue and rocker stoppers for the times I just need to pull all sails and wait it out

5. thicker double ply windows I don't think would be too difficult to cut and install and bolt together


any other ideas?

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Ixneigh
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Ixneigh » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:56 pm

I was the one who did the lead bricks. It makes me feel better operating the boat without ballast in. Come off plane in worse conditions then you'd planned and the boat rolls horribly. First time I did that I thought the boat was going over. I spray foamed the bricks in place. Removable but not easily. They do add stability under sail but only when heeled.

Upgrade the wire if you want. Remember The whole rig system is matched for strength though.
Upgraded sails are a must.
Leanproof the inside. I added custom storage and bins below. Make sure stuff stays put.
Leak proof everything. No fun being wet while sleeping.
I have a big anchor and the means to deal with it effectively.
Solar panels are good. Imperative for long trips.
Good sun shade for the tropics. Not an option.
Troubleshoot the steering if you haven't already. Many upgrades listed on this site.

I added glass to areas of the deck but it's not needed for safety. Just for a solid feel.

These boats are light but if you are seriously worried about it coming apart, you aren't doing it right.
Use the boat to its design advantage. I'd be having a great time on my boat in these conditions because I know it's abilities, where to go, and how to use them. I'd be sailing around in the bay with a double reef looking for shallow calm places to anchor. I'd use the motor to make distance to weather and allow plenty of time to get there. I'd tie up in the lee of mangrove islands and listen to the wind howl. I'd snuggle up below with a good book and my dogs parked in three feet of water.
I would NOT be fighting out in Hawks channel or trying to go out to the reefs.

take the boat to the Bahamas after rigorous prep. I took a venture 22.2 to the Bahamas and was fine, with caution. Read up on the trips of others on here. The boat can do it.

Ix

whgoffrn
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by whgoffrn » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:10 pm

I somehow lucked into cancelling my week at Bahia Honda only to have someone else cancel next week and I took theirs...... Wednesday it looks like the wind dies down to 15 or so.....and I snagged up wed-sunday .... so it looks like I will get the chance to go anyways.........I have a fairly big anchor and one of the newer styles 35lb mantus...gonna mount it at the stern before I leave and gonna pick up 12 rocker stoppers from west marine and a few dozen other supplies.... found a mount for the tablet gonna ziplock bag it in (yes im cheap) and hope for the best... but through all this it really got me thinking at first thinking a mac wouldn't work for me but I think while a compromise boat (they all are in some way) if I add some more hardware put a reef in the sail and a drogue seaanchor and a few other things id feel more confident in it.... I think its more fear of the unknown....ive been in some nasty weather in the icw and now not so intimidated by the icw anymore so im venturing out a little further

so you feel the lead bricks did add stability? does it also help if ballast is in....I rarely motor primarily sail and when I am motoring its only because the weather is so nasty im trying to motor into the wind and run from a storm so I have the ballast in then also....do the bricks help even with ballast in?

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Gazmn
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Gazmn » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:43 pm

What you're considering might be more than 2footitis. But I wouldn't also consider a Macattack - think heart attack/anxiety for your mac.

I don't know about you, but I'm a fair weather boater/ sailor. & I have a fair weather Powersailor. While bluewater boats may be able to take the 25t winds you're concerned about, the more relevant question may be. Can you really enjoy yourselves with your family in those kinds of conditions. Or, "Are you having fun yet?"

If you did all of the suggestions you mentioned: bigger stays, more ballast... It would still be a small craft advisory/ warning day.

- Just Sayin'

P. S. Leave the bricks home. Use water ballast - even when motoring, if it's choppy- & common sense :wink:

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Ixneigh
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Ixneigh » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:47 pm

The bricks help my M model. The X has a slightly different hull. You'd have to see how more weight in the bottom will affect it. My boats so heavy that if I want to go fast any distance I need to dump the water ballast. I can cruise around all day and not worry about wakes. I know it's not going over. I can even sail the boat on calm days with no water ballast. Interestingly it isn't any faster. I nearly always encounter waves over one foot high, the cut off limit for running without ballast in the manual for the boat.
In windy conditions the weight down low helps keep the boat on her feet. I sail a lot. The boats already a big compromise so most of my additions are geared to sailing performance.

As an aside to blue water cruising, even if you made the whole boat strong enough to cross an ocean it will still not be suitable because the design is not the correct one for deep water. The chief limit as I see it is the lack of beam, and excessive freeboard.

Ix

whgoffrn
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by whgoffrn » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:49 pm

yeah not saying id still take it across the ocean with bigger stays and all the other things mentioned im a fair weather sailor as well however ive gotten caught in 30kt winds on numerous occasions...usually before the winds get up too fast I just drop the sails all the way and motor with ballast in (burning lots of gas into the heavy chop) but id be in serious trouble if my outboard died or if I ran out of gas which has almost happened since it burns more gas....it would be nice to have minimal sail out 3rd reef and 1/2 or 1/4 jib rolled out and be able to sail around looking for a safe place to anchor.....when the weather kicks up my anxiety level does as well and my mind says "if your motor dies so do you" "bet you wish you had a drogue about now" etc etc so id never intentionally go out in 6-9ft waves but id feel more at peace going out in 1-3 if I knew the boat could get me out of the situation if I got caught out......everyones bound to have gotten caught out in 30+ winds but to have a full arsenal of how to combat it if caught I think would be helpful

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Gazmn
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Gazmn » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:45 pm

Ixneigh wrote:The bricks help my M model. The X has a slightly different hull. You'd have to see how more weight in the bottom will affect it. My boats so heavy that if I want to go fast any distance I need to dump the water ballast. I can cruise around all day and not worry about wakes. I know it's not going over. I can even sail the boat on calm days with no water ballast. Interestingly it isn't any faster. I nearly always encounter waves over one foot high, the cut off limit for running without ballast in the manual for the boat.
In windy conditions the weight down low helps keep the boat on her feet. I sail a lot. The boats already a big compromise so most of my additions are geared to sailing performance.

As an aside to blue water cruising, even if you made the whole boat strong enough to cross an ocean it will still not be suitable because the design is not the correct one for deep water. The chief limit as I see it is the lack of beam, and excessive freeboard.

Ix
Firstly, I respect your opinion A lot Alex, so no dig there. I'm in the bottom of the Long Island Sound, which are more protected waters than what I've experienced two times in the Keys, Gulf & Ocean side. Actually I motored with ballast in while there, cause it was... busy out there :? :cry:
Question for both of you, what's the HP & weight of your motor? & do you think our motors - especially heavier ones, contribute to our ballast & staying right side up?

I know any unballasted boat can turtle, but thinking out the box here:

I run with 2 size 29 house batteries in the lower vee section & 20 or so gals of fresh water up front, when full, & 20' of chain. I sport an Ida Rudder Centerboard cause it's easier than pulling up the 50lb original I modded :P [ I was going to do Knot Shore's weighted CB Mod & quit :| ]
I had to eliminate my bootstrap by raising my bottom paint to that line -as that's where I lie with ballast & my rear motor well drain hole is underwater :(
& I haven't run with my Engle Refrig in years... but I still got it...

I'm also planning on a 12V Hookah setup, under the companionway hatch, or in front of the CB in the forward seat storage, if I vent it - closer to house Bats.

So by the time I put my fat @ss on this plank, I think I'm centered & loaded - what do you think :| ?
-Not that I sail this way- but I have in light days when I'm drinking heavy & downwind :wink:

whgoffrn
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by whgoffrn » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:58 am

I would assume the weight of the motor would NOT help as the majority of the weight is well above the water line....especially when sailing
and I have been thinking of ways to add all the weight down low also...I need batteries anyways so probably will do the same and put bolted down as low as I can find I have a 10gal water tank up front under the front v bert... I could see the benefit of having the gas tanks below the water line and bolted down adding to ballast but I also like the idea of flammables or anything that could leak and fume being far away from sleeping quarters

Retcoastie
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Retcoastie » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:05 am

Adding all that weight would concern me in heavy open seas. You would be setting lower in the water and have a lot of inertia. Would she be able to ride up over the waves. My fear would be white water coming over the bow. The Xs have no support for the foredeck and a ton or two of water slamming down on it by a big wave, I fear, would collapse it. A large breaking wave could easily do that.

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Ixneigh
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Ixneigh » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:34 am

On the M model I would not allow it to get so low the motor well didn't drain.
The M and the X are different enough that what goes for one is probably not true for the other (???imput anyone)

Weight low and in the correct place is not just "weight". I placed the bricks where weight should go to get the trim I wanted which in the M seems to be slightly bow down. I did raise the waterline and adjust it so it appears the boat is trimmed in the water and not "bow heavy"
I have two batteries and tools and personal effects on board. I add 300 more pounds to cruise in water and food.
I have 150 pounds of ground tackle. Most of that on deck up forward. I don't store much heavy stuff in the vee bunk. I distribute water around the boat as low as possible when I cruise.

My boat will sail ok in 25 knots with the correct sails but going to weather is marginal. It sheltered waters it will do it. In open, bad chop forget it. Three to five foot waves will not harm the boat. However it may broach if you are going down wind. I've had the boat downwind in those conditions doing nearly eight knots at times. In my opinion the boat will become unmanageable before any damage is done to a well kept and maintained Mac. With the sail needed to exceed 7 knots I could barely get her to come off the wind again if I made a mistake and allowed her to round up. I eventually got tired, reduced sail and had a pleasent and sedate rest of the leg.
Compare that to my heavy 33 foot keelboat that would happily let me sail the rig right off her in those conditions.at 7 knots we weren't even getting started.
I don't fear motor failure in open waters. The boat will sail well enough to maintain safety. In tight quarters I do think about it. I miss my tight quarters sailing ability that my heavy keelboats afforded. Miss it badly.

A note about motor failure in bad weather: one windy day enroute from marathon to long key with the boat occasionally scooping up water onto the fordeck I realized that if the motor died the boat would lie abeam to the wind instantly and roll so badly it would be almost impossible to uncover the main and get it set and properly reefed. I had left the sheltered harbor expecting winds, but not that strong. It was marginal but I pressed on (due to vacation running short) and should have had the sail uncovered reefed and ready to hoist. Lesson learned.
By all accounts it sounds like the OP needs to gain confidence in their particular boat and learn its limits and abilities before doing any substantive mods on it.

Ix
Last edited by Ixneigh on Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:57 am

Rather than trying to turn a lightweight, entry-level, coastal cruiser with hardware and construction selected for a very low price point, I'd be looking into something designed for what you want to do. Like a Nor'Sea 27. Or a Dana 24. Trailerable in the sense that you can load them onto a bumper-pull trailer and haul them, but I don't know about ramp launching. But even with a Travelift, it's still better than spending three days each way just to get to the waters you want to sail in, which is precisely why I sold my last boat and bought the Mac. :wink:

Sure, it's about the trip as much as it's about the destination, but where I am at least, there aren't many places I can go in a day, and without trailer capability (with ramp launch), most of the areas here are completely inaccessible, like most of the Finger Lakes. So I tow it. But I wouldn't sail to the Bahamas on it (my X, that is).

Here's a vid of someone ramp launching a Nor'Sea 27 at Lake Havasu (launching starts at about 3:30).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_fu44SFNVE

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sailboatmike
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by sailboatmike » Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:49 pm

In all honesty I own a certified Mini Offshore Racing trailer boat and its built like the proverbial brick dummy as well as my MaC X , the user manual even for this boat recommends you run for home one the wind gets over 20knts, many keel boat owners I know that have been sailing for years wouldnt head out in 25knts or forecast 25knts, lets remember that the predicted wind speed may have gusts up to 40% above the predicted, so 25knts can have gusts up to 34knts which is in Gale Force wind speed band.

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dlandersson
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by dlandersson » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:29 am

So....forget my plan to circumnavigate the globe? :|
Ixneigh wrote:The bricks help my M model. The X has a slightly different hull. You'd have to see how more weight in the bottom will affect it. My boats so heavy that if I want to go fast any distance I need to dump the water ballast. I can cruise around all day and not worry about wakes. I know it's not going over. I can even sail the boat on calm days with no water ballast. Interestingly it isn't any faster. I nearly always encounter waves over one foot high, the cut off limit for running without ballast in the manual for the boat.
In windy conditions the weight down low helps keep the boat on her feet. I sail a lot. The boats already a big compromise so most of my additions are geared to sailing performance.

As an aside to blue water cruising, even if you made the whole boat strong enough to cross an ocean it will still not be suitable because the design is not the correct one for deep water. The chief limit as I see it is the lack of beam, and excessive freeboard.

Ix

jrcanoe
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by jrcanoe » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:40 am

dlandersson wrote:So....forget my plan to circumnavigate the globe? :|


Nah; That's a perfectly good Day Dream! I have a plan to sail my 19 from Pittsburgh to St Kitts! The first half Pitts to New Orleans is actually very possible.
If I wanted more ballast I would pour epoxy and lead shot into the bottom of the ballast tank.

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Ixneigh
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Re: beefing up a mac26x

Post by Ixneigh » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:46 am

Well you could send it as deck cargo.

I personally know of one hull failure on a Mac 25.
I was on the v222 in the Bahamas and met a couple on the larger boat. They cruise in the summer and ski in the winter. Few trips back they had a bad night in the stream and the boat began to leak. They traced the source to a crack in the hull where the vee bunk edge was causing a hardspot on the fiberglass. The crack was big enough to admit substantial water but they repaired it with fiberglass after safely making landfall and continued on.

On the v222 I had made some mods with the intent of returning to the islands in it but I never did. Those mods were a brace on the unsupported side of the centerboard trunk.
Thicken the hull around chainplates and new bronze chainplates.
Much beefed up rudder and third pintle set
Custom built fiberglass and foam pilothouse
Added glass to those tiny little side decks as they felt soft underfoot.

I would have taken the boat back to the Bahamas in a minute.
The boat was sold to a person with no sailing experience who went through a huge learning process. The boat was still fine. She was hit by lightning and repaired.

On the M the only major mod I would like to do is seal the hull to deck joint with fiberglass on the outside.
I feel it's the boats biggest weakness besides the rudder system.

Re lead shot inside ballast tank I wanted it to be removable if it turned out it was a bad idea. I also wondered about adhesion in a location that's damp and could never be prepped. The idea of loose gobs of lead and epoxy rattling around in there wasn't a pleasent one.

Ix

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