Upgrade already?

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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BOAT
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by BOAT » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:57 am

seems odd to put a swim dock on a sailboat that has a fixed keel because you can't get into areas shallow enough for the kiddies to swim anyways. It seems like it would be a great feature to beach the boat aft in and walk off the swim deck but with 3 feet of keel under the boat that's not gonna happen!

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Jimmyt
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Jimmyt » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:18 pm

20+ is a pretty sporty day for sailing. You don't want to be out in that until you are very comfortable with sailing AND your boat. It's a ridiculous day to take the wife and kids out, if it's early in their sailing experience. Not bashing you, just telling you that you have unreasonable expectations- especially since this appears to be early in your sailing experience.

I would think Lake Erie could get pretty sporty. Haven't sailed there.

I have a 26M, and sail in a reasonably large bay that can develop a fair chop. You can sail reasonably in 20+, heavily reefed, if you pick the right point of sail. If you're beating to weather in 20+, it's really not going to be enjoyable in my opinion. You can do it, but not sure I'd choose to.

My middle daughter (26) and I went out for her first sail on a 25+ day, with small craft advisories. We were one of two boats within sight. I motored out in the channel to get enough draft for the dagger then turned to a broad reach. We let out just enough Genoa and main to make hull speed (I have roller furling on both). I kept the heel around 15max, although a gust would push us past that on many occasions. It was the only day we could go during her visit, but certainly not a nice leisurely outing. She wanted to go, and I wanted to spend the time sailing with her. I will admit that it was a sportier day than I was expecting. We have since had nice 5-10 days that she could really enjoy.

The wife and kids tolerate heeling fairly well now that they've experienced it many times. Having said that, none of them are happy when the stuff in the cabin starts crashing around and they're hanging on trying not to fall out.

All of that to say, I wouldn't go buy a different boat until you've experienced a bit more sailing. Go out on some 5-10 days, keeping the heel down where everyone is comfortable.

I assume your ballast tank was completely full?

One other suggestion. If you have a friend with a bigger boat, get them to take you out on a sporty day. If not, do a YouTube search. 20+ is a good sailing day for a limited crowd. Just my opinion. A bigger, keel boat will give you a better ride, but it may not be good enough for the wife and kids in a 20+ breeze.

Hope you and your family can find a sailing experience you can all enjoy!
Last edited by Jimmyt on Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BOAT
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by BOAT » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Yeah, I did forget to mention that 20 knots is a lot of wind. I start to reef the main at about 15 to 16 knots. The boat handles really well for me on the first reef in 18 knots - very fast and lots of fun to sail but without a reef in the main it would be sort of a pain because the boat would be on it's side most of the time - it makes it hard to hang on.

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Jimmyt
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Jimmyt » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:42 pm

And, one other small point. You are going to have to plan your multi day outings with a good weather forecast. You may not be able to afford a boat that can be comfortable in a 40+ squall. Manage your expectations, and be careful.

bobbob
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by bobbob » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:49 pm

If I'm being honest with myself, I'm starting to feel the same way with my :macx: My challenges are:

- I keep the ballast in all the time (even under power), so my top end with 60HP is practically around 12 knots. I find the boat handles very squirrly in the semi-planing 8-11 knot range. So, practically speaking, I have a trawler that does 7 knots under power.

- I find good sailing conditions on Lake Ontario to be few and far between. You need at least 10 knots of wind I feel, and *usually* this good wind comes from the SE, right over the lake, producing a pretty gnarly swell that is stomach churning on this boat. This summer I have taken to sailing in the Inner Harbour under these conditions, but that has its own challenges with boat and ferry traffic that are less than enjoyable.

- My family of 3 fits in the boat overnight, but just barely. Its been a while since we felt comfortable staying more than one night on it.

Its been a fun boat to own, and the flexibility is unsurpassed. But maybe its time to upgrade (and maybe that upgrade will have twin diesel iron gennys :D )

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Jimmyt
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Jimmyt » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:29 pm

I get it. It's an unusual boat, that happens to be exactly what I want. I certainly don't expect it to be everybody's idea of the "right boat". There is a reason that every boat on the water is not a Macgregor! 8)

A gnarly swell can be stomach churning on a big boat, too. Make sure you test ride in bad weather if that is an issue. I've been green in a 50 foot deep sea charter boat. It was a gnarly day on the snapper banks though. :P

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Berber Boy
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Berber Boy » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:33 am

A heeling MACM 26 in 20+ knot conditions is not just about design inadequacies. You do not say whether you purchased a new :macm but presume that it was not as they are no longer manufactured. The Dacron sails that the Boat comes with very quickly stretch especially if used under higher wind conditions. The resultant enlarged chord (belly) of either sail increases heeling considerably. I have found the jib headsail functions much better than the big genoa when furled and flattened down for windy conditions. Higher winds need flatter sails. Can you flatten both through sheet tension, car adjustment and outhaul?

Excessive heeling diminishes the rudder control of the boat in a heavy chop.
If you setout in 20+ knots invariably you will face gusts up to 40% higher than that. It takes experience to handle a MACM under those conditions while you are out but for a family outing your Mac will be better to start at the 8-15 knots range.

Dave

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mallardjusted
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by mallardjusted » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:37 pm

bobbob: "- I keep the ballast in all the time (even under power), so my top end with 60HP is practically around 12 knots. I find the boat handles very squirrly in the semi-planing 8-11 knot range. So, practically speaking, I have a trawler that does 7 knots under power."

You might check your prop vs rpms. With ballast and a lot of gear I used to get over 13 knots with my old suzie 50, and about 17 knots with my 50. You should be able to get more out of it, which should allow you to steer easier at the high end.

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BOAT
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by BOAT » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:56 pm

im with mallard on this one - we crossed the san pedro channel under 25 knot winds (plus) WOT with no ballast in the tank - the auto pilot had a full half turn on the wheel all the way to Avalon - the wind was rare = blowing from directly due south - so it was a warm day. speed held steady at 15 miles per hour all the way across (22 miles) i put the wife below to keep her dry because there was so much spray blowing over the port gunwale (my hat got soaked) by the time we got to Avalon the wife was a green as pees because we were skipping off hard chop all the way across. That's several points on the rudder AND a headwind / crosswind an we still made 15 miles per hour plus. On the return trip in no wind and a flat sea we made 21.5 miles per hour all the way back. the prop is important - the prop is power.

it was an interesting trip - too much wind to sail on the way over and not enough wind to sail on the way back. THAT - is why I got a MAC - the wind will not interfere with my plans as much as it used to when I was in a conventional boat.

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Jimmyt
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:10 am

Which brings us to the next point. After the upgrade to a bigger boat, you'll be motoring away from bad weather at under ten knots (likely 5-6). So, you'll need a boat that can take a pounding because you won't be able to run away.

Agree with BOAT and Mallard. You have an issue if you cant get more speed from a 60. My Etec 60 runs right under 20 mph with no ballast and 4 adults. Full ballast only knocks a few mph off. Either you've overloaded your boat, or you have a prop selection, or engine issue.

I know what you mean about the "sweet spot" in speed where the boat seems to go nuts as far as wandering around the course. The M does it too. Like the old joke says, "doc, it hurts when I do this"... doc says, " well, don't do that". I avoid running at that awkward speed.

Sounds like you guys would be happier with a big heavy boat in a slip. Let us know how it works out! Hope it's exactly what you want, so you and your family can enjoy being out on the water.

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beene
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by beene » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:21 pm

disciplefk wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:22 pm
Yeah, I was actually looking at a Beneteau 331 or a Hunter 33. The budget doesn't scare me as much as the rockin'! I do love the mac, especially for introducing me to sailing and good times in fair weather with the family.

I have never been one for power boating, so the outboard advantage for me is really just the ease of maintenance. I don't need to trailer it either, I will be at a slip in Lake Erie indefinitely. It is good to know that a 11000lbs boat will make a difference. I have no hate or regrets on :macm: , just looking forward to a happy wife and family when a stiffer breeze comes along :)
I upgraded to a Beneteau 321 this spring. So far I have been very impressed with the difference in sailing characteristics. Sailed my 26M in all sorts of conditions since 2007. My friends still have their 26M boats and we often sail together, same boat or separate boats. We all agree the Benny handles the lakes much better than the light mac does.
Here are my pics of both...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SRVJu ... xtIefyegMd

Video from sailing on Lake Erie https://drive.google.com/open?id=112mG2 ... maF50W1c5U

G

bobbob
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by bobbob » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:44 pm

Do you think I have the wrong prop, or a damaged prop? I'm pretty sure when I repowered to this 4-stroke 60 I scrubbed the forum for prop sizing and confirmed it was in the ideal range.

You also brought up another good point - at higher speeds the cockpit gets drenched from spray, so less than enjoyable anyways :D

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:27 pm

bobbob wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:44 pm
Do you think I have the wrong prop, or a damaged prop? I'm pretty sure when I repowered to this 4-stroke 60 I scrubbed the forum for prop sizing and confirmed it was in the ideal range.
What's the engine speed at WOT with full ballast in smooth water, and what is the redline for that engine?

disciplefk
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by disciplefk » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:44 pm

All valid points. Proper event planning is probably the best/cheapest solution. I havent had the stones to try planing the boat yet. It is quite squirrely at 6-7 knots with the ballast in and rudders up. I need to just drain the water and just gun it to see how she goes under full power. I have learned to control the heel better for everyone's comfort. So really it just comes down to waves from weather and giant powerboaters that seem intent on reading the serial number on my stern at 50mph. That and space when settling in for the night!

We went out this past weekend in fine conditions, everyone was still nervous, but eventually the kids got bored despite my attempts to entertain them.

So unless the boating moral picks back up, I think I will just call it 'my' hobby for now and continue to love the :macm: !

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Jimmyt
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Re: Upgrade already?

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:07 pm

No one on the cabin roof. No sail area out. All lines, anchors, barbecue, etc secured. Dagger or centerboard and rudders fully retracted. Engine trimmed roughly where thrust is parallel to waterline. Everyone seated in cockpit or below per your manual. Push the throttle forward and run through the awkward speed range quickly. Might want to do it on a calm day the first time you try it.

If you have a 60, you might be able to pull a kid on a tube. Also, let them take the helm and man the sheets some. Let them bring a friend. Just throwing out things I tried. They are kids after all. They are going to hit a point where spending time with them is a challenge unless you're doing an activity they picked...

Hope you find the secret!

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