Is this the boat for me?

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Noboatnow
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Location: South west PA

Is this the boat for me?

Post by Noboatnow » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:39 pm

Hello helpful 26 owners!

New member here and I found this great place from some researching boats. As my name says, I have no boat now. Well other than a portaboat, kayak, and a Snark.

My plan is to join a local sailing club where I took some lessons a few years back and continue learning! My goal is to get a boat and do some sailing-learning and getting boat time. At some later date, I would like to travel down the ICW and cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.

With boats being like so many things in life, there are compromises. Than there is always the budget.....

So these are my thoughts, and please feel free to correct them and offer and input!

Pros of the 26M

1) trailer! This is huge to me in reducing the costs of a boat. I have a truck and a place to park the boat.
2)low draft. From what I have learned about the ICW and the Bahamas, this could be a great benefit.
3)interior room. I would go spending a lot of time on the boat & most trailer sailers are pretty cramped.
4)popular brand. There is a lot of information available as well as parts availability.
5)safe. Hope to never experience the fact that it's unsinkable.

I'm sure there are many more!

Cons

1)outboard. I'm sure a diesel would be much cheaper to run just chugging down the ICW.
2)outboard. Obviously I would wait for a perfect weather window to cross to the Bahamas, but the idea of an outboard beyond the sight of land is a little less than thrilling.

I'm sure there are many more!

I don't think there is any one "perfect" boat for a Bahamas trip, but I think the 26M would be great in the shallow areas where most boats couldn't dream of going.

Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated!

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dlandersson
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by dlandersson » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:28 pm

If budget is a factor, you might want to include the 26X in your calculations. It's generally less expensive than the M and the toilet location is much better. :wink:

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kadet
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Location: Brisbane, Australia. 2008M "Wicked Wave" Yamaha T60

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by kadet » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:30 pm

Cons

1)outboard. I'm sure a diesel would be much cheaper to run just chugging down the ICW.
2)outboard. Obviously I would wait for a perfect weather window to cross to the Bahamas, but the idea of an outboard beyond the sight of land is a little less than thrilling.
1) no not in a trailer boat like an :macm: by the time you factor in the cost of the engine and extra maintenance a diesel really is no cheaper. But for long trips where refueling is going to be on the cards diesel is safer to store and carry due to it's lower flash point.

2) Again no, modern 4 stroke outboards are as reliable if not more so than any diesel. The small to medium ones can also be hand started if you have a flat battery, try doing that with a diesel :)

Noboatnow
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:27 pm
Location: South west PA

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by Noboatnow » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:31 pm

Really appreciate the reply and this leads me to another question. I tried to search for efficiency. What is the best outboard for cruising at hull speed? I'm not looking to get there fast, I'm looking for the journey!

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Ixneigh
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Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by Ixneigh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:38 pm

There are no trailer boats out there as spacious as the macs. There are better built ones, and ones that sail better. And ones that are much more money.
Ix

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NiceAft
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by NiceAft » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:48 pm

Either the :macx: or the. :macm: will get you across
The Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. What’s in question is your ability to do the trip. You don’t have very much experience in sailing. 26 feet is a lot different from 10 to 14 feet. Get some time sailing your new MacGregor 26 (either M or X) before you contemplate blue water sailing.
As to whether an :macm: or :macx: , well that’s just personal preference. I chose an :macm: almost eighteen years ago, and have never regretted it. Some choose the :macx: . The more designer look of the :macm: interior is what I wanted, others think differently. Some will, some won’t, so what :!: Try to get in each, and make your own decision.

You never stated where you are located. Put it in your posted info. There may be someone nearby who can show you their boat, or who can sit down and answer questions?
M
Rays
Last edited by NiceAft on Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RussMT
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Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by RussMT » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 pm

1) trailer! This is huge to me in reducing the costs of a boat. I have a truck and a place to park the boat.
Yup. Being the master of your own domain is great. No depending (or paying) for a travelift to launch your boat is a plus.

2)low draft. From what I have learned about the ICW and the Bahamas, this could be a great benefit.
There are MANY places where shallow draft is a plus. Remember, sailing, the boat draws a lot more.
3)interior room. I would go spending a lot of time on the boat & most trailer sailers are pretty cramped.
This is a major plus. I don't think you will find another 26' class boat with as much room.
4)popular brand. There is a lot of information available as well as parts availability.
Not the fact that it's "popular" but that there are so many great Mac owners. This forum for example is an outstanding resource. Parts are also easy to replace either from off the shelf or BWY parts.
5)safe. Hope to never experience the fact that it's unsinkable.
This is one of my points of contention. I've never owned a boat that I thought wouldn't sink. With that said, I've never heard of a Mac that actually capsized to the need of floatation.
"unsinkable" doesn't impress me. However, the entire boat design stability does.
1)outboard. I'm sure a diesel would be much cheaper to run just chugging down the ICW.
As stated above. Diesel are safer. However, with tends of thousands of these Macs out there, I've never heard of one blowing up.
Gasoline is always cheaper to purchase. Probably also in the Bahamas.
2)outboard. Obviously I would wait for a perfect weather window to cross to the Bahamas, but the idea of an outboard beyond the sight of land is a little less than thrilling.
Before considering this crossing, the outboard reliability would be my last concern. As stated, modern 4 strokes are very reliable. Weather, currents would all be more important considerations. And of course EDUCATION. Know what you don't know before venturing offshore.
I don't think there is any one "perfect" boat for a Bahamas trip, but I think the 26M would be great in the shallow areas where most boats couldn't dream of going.
You need to read Sumner's blog. It's excellent. Read this..over and over and study it.

http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%20Ba ... -Menu.html

whgoffrn
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by whgoffrn » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:36 pm

I was in your shoes before and in some ways still am as I'm gearing up for the exumas after multiple trips to the keys...i feel as if I'm still a year away from the final destination (hope that in no way relates to the movie) I chose an x because of the swing centerboard .... so u can ground it and do no damage ...... grounding hard on an m breaks the daggerboard and if u try to strengthen the daggerboard you will crack the hull if u ground .....i chose an x knowing id ground it eventually which I have in the icw MANY times
Last edited by whgoffrn on Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whgoffrn
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by whgoffrn » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:39 pm

As far as learning to sail....i wish I was joking to say this but I learned to sail from YouTube videos lol ....it was enough to get me on the water and experience taught me the rest ....learn with a jib on roller furler and nothing to it

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sailboatmike
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by sailboatmike » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:18 am

whgoffrn wrote:As far as learning to sail....i wish I was joking to say this but I learned to sail from YouTube videos lol ....it was enough to get me on the water and experience taught me the rest ....learn with a jib on roller furler and nothing to it
Anyone can sail in perfect or near perfect conditions, its really not brain surgery, HOWEVER when it hits the fan having some good training to fall back on could be the difference between a safe all be it maybe a little uncomfortable trip and giving up boating (I know a few that got caught out, got nasty scares and now won't go on the water)

Training is cheap insurance, even the most experienced sailors are still learning, as they say there are old sailors and bold sailors but you will never find a OLD BOLD SAILOR

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dlandersson
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by dlandersson » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:15 am

Really good point about the pull starting capability of the 50 HP engines - one reason (so I tell myself) that I stick with my 50 HP

Also, isn't the "flash point" of diesel "higher" than gas? If it were "lower it would be MORE flamable. 8)

"
kadet wrote:
Cons

1)outboard. I'm sure a diesel would be much cheaper to run just chugging down the ICW.
2)outboard. Obviously I would wait for a perfect weather window to cross to the Bahamas, but the idea of an outboard beyond the sight of land is a little less than thrilling.
1) no not in a trailer boat like an :macm: by the time you factor in the cost of the engine and extra maintenance a diesel really is no cheaper. But for long trips where refueling is going to be on the cards diesel is safer to store and carry due to it's lower flash point.

2) Again no, modern 4 stroke outboards are as reliable if not more so than any diesel. The small to medium ones can also be hand started if you have a flat battery, try doing that with a diesel :)

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dlandersson
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by dlandersson » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:18 am

Long shaft 15 HP, if getting on plane isn't an issue.

OTOH, it's nice to know that you can, if necessary, "skoot" out of harms way with a 50 HP. What is your life worth? Just sayn'. :wink:
Noboatnow wrote:Really appreciate the reply and this leads me to another question. I tried to search for efficiency. What is the best outboard for cruising at hull speed? I'm not looking to get there fast, I'm looking for the journey!

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NiceAft
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by NiceAft » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:48 am

Noboatnow,

Many good points made since my posting. The best was to get training.

If you are in the the U.S., I can’t stress enough to you taking a Coast Guard Auxillary sailing course, or some other sailing course. There is so much more to being on the water than just knowing how to use the wind to make your boat go forward. It’s easy to get injured, maimed, killed, while on the water just by doing the wrong thing. Don’t become the wrong type of statistic. Take a sailing class.

Ray.

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kadet
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by kadet » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:54 am

Also, isn't the "flash point" of diesel "higher" than gas? If it were "lower it would be MORE flamable. 8)
Well yeah higher temperature but lower risk, I am dyslexic so give a guy a break and isn't it inflammable from the Latin verb inflammare, which combines flammare ("to catch fire") with a Latin prefix in-, which means "to cause to." 8)

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kadet
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Re: Is this the boat for me?

Post by kadet » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:10 am

Noboatnow wrote:Really appreciate the reply and this leads me to another question. I tried to search for efficiency. What is the best outboard for cruising at hull speed? I'm not looking to get there fast, I'm looking for the journey!
At hull speed it makes not real difference if the motor is propped correctly, the amount of power and thus fuel consumption is pretty close. If it takes 6hp to get to hull speed a 9hp is at 2/3 WOT whereas a 60hp would only be at 1/10 WOT to make the same power. You don't get power for free if the motors are both relatively efficient then you have to burn the same amount of fuel to produce the same amount joules.

A small motor may have a slight advantage in weight saving.

Also if you are pushing against a strong wind and tide, and you need 12hp your 60 can do it as you have reserve power, your 9 won't.

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