family of 5 on 26M feasable?

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pleb222
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family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by pleb222 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:28 am

Hi,

I'm a long time sailor who's done everything from dinghy racing up until tall ships and everything in between. When my youngest will be two, we're looking to buy a sailboat, and the 26M seems like the best fit for our needs as a starter sailboat (large interior, trailer ability, zero marina costs, ease of maintenance, etc.). To keep things interesting, the large outboard will mean less travel time between destinations, which is a big plus, since we'll have a 2yld, a 4yld and a 5 1/2 who need to move a lot. I'm hoping to get a bit of info from mac sailors who have a similar family.

The objective would be to do 1-2 week long trips in the summer on top of weekends, mostly interior lakes. I'd like to have advice for the following, to help me with our decision :

- Outside storage (very lacking on macs) : what do you do to store all your outside gear? (fenders, lines, buckets, gaff hook, washing stuff, safety equipment, etc.)
- Inside storage : I've seen a lot of photos and videos with people using one of the bunks for storage, it will not be a possibility for us, using 5/6 bunks. Is it feasible to store the gear for 2 adults and 3 kids? (we are on the frugal side, but still would like to have a neat interior!)
- managing wet gear : with the design of the cabin ladder, are there tricks to keep the aft bunk and battery compartment dry?
- Head : since we'd be using it more than a typical port-a-poty, and we want to keep things light, I'd look into a compost head, anyone have any experience with one?
- Mods for separation : With the entire boat open, has someone tried to add sound dampening drapes to separate the forward and aft bunks?

I'm hoping there are solutions, because the mac, although not a perfect boat, seems to be the best fit for our needs at this time.
Phil :macm: 2003

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Jimmyt
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Jimmyt » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:17 pm

Welcome to the forum! Where and in what country are you located? Sometimes advice is better knowing your general location.

See YouTube videos by Davilla7. Family of 4 on a Mac.

Composting toilets are generally loved by those who have them. Not sure there is a history of family of 5 for two weeks on one of them though. May want to check the manufacturer on that.

If you are a close family that can live a week or two with one bathroom, it should be doable. Really going to be a function of how you guys function in close quarters more than a boat problem. The boat has adequate space to pull it off, especially with younger kids. Mine don't like to share space with anyone...

I use plastic storage bins with lids under the seating for my inside storage. Most of what you describe as outside storage is stored on the lifelines or rails (boat hooks, fenders, throwable, barbecue).

My safety items are under the seat to starboard of the cabin steps, in a plastic bin.

BOAT built a hard divider at the aft toilet partition to separate the head and v-berth from the remaining cabin areas. It came out very nice and would be a good item for you to look over.

Not sure how much privacy, much less sound-proofing, you can do provide getting claustrophobic.

Storage and convenience mods are common as you can imagine. Look the mods section over.

I've day sailed with 6 adults. It's ok, but a little close. People like Chinook and RIS have spent months on their mac, but only 2 aboard for that long.

If you're on inland lakes, it should be among the top choices.
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

pleb222
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by pleb222 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:44 pm

Thanks for the fast reply JimmyT! We're in Ottawa, Canada, but we'd like to be pretty mobile (great lakes, lake champlain, etc.).

If you don't mind, what's your WOT speed with loaded boat and the 2 kids? (with and w/o ballast).
Phil :macm: 2003

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Jimmyt
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Jimmyt » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:22 pm

19.5 mph, no ballast, 4 adults. About 3 less with ballast. I might be able to get a tad more with a prop change, but I don't run wide open enough to fool with it. I think mine will tube fine, maybe two ski an adult. I can stop a whaler with a 70hp when I slalom, so not sure about the Mac being able to pull me. Haven't tried yet. Maybe this summer...

I re-read my post. I realized I should have written, see videos by Davilla7. THEY are a family of 4...



I have 3 daughters (all grown), and a son-in-law, so we day sail when the whole crew is together.

The boat trailers well, and launches and retrieves like a bass boat. I tow mine with a 1500LT Silverado. I have towed it with a 2007 all wheel drive chevy equinox in a pinch, but don't recommend it. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of launching and retrieval. Docking in high winds is a bit tricky. All that cabin space brings windage with it. Be VERY careful if you get one during your first high wind docking. We've all got an exciting high wind docking story... My longest tow was the 60 mile trip home after purchase. Many on this forum have towed cross-country.

You're looking at a 20-30 minute setup and about 40 minute takedown - after you get proficient.

It sails fine, but with a PHRF in the 230-270 range, you're not going to be the fastest boat on the water. Motoring is good, but there is an awkward speed right below planing that the boat wanders a bit. Planing, and easing along, the boat is pretty well-mannered. The steering quick disconnect kit is a must if you want to enjoy sailing.

We really enjoy ours. The youngest daughter and I went Thursday and had a great afternoon on Mobile Bay. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it suits us perfectly.

Have you found one, or just considering looking for one?
Jimmyt
P-Cub-Boo
26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

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Chinook
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Chinook » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:46 pm

We knew a family here in the northwest, who had a 26X, and they cruised all over the Salish Sea, up as far as Desolation Sound. They had 3 kids, including 2 boys in their early teens, and a large dog, and they went everywhere together. They were super organized, and had thought out space utilization, sleeping arrangements, privacy screens, and storage. They regularly went out for 1 to 2 weeks on their summer vacation. They used to post on this site, but I've lost track of them in recent years. I presume they're no longer sailing their boat.

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Russ
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Russ » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:24 pm

Chinook wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:46 pm
We knew a family here in the northwest, who had a 26X, and they cruised all over the Salish Sea, up as far as Desolation Sound. They had 3 kids, including 2 boys in their early teens, and a large dog, and they went everywhere together. They were super organized, and had thought out space utilization, sleeping arrangements, privacy screens, and storage. They regularly went out for 1 to 2 weeks on their summer vacation. They used to post on this site, but I've lost track of them in recent years. I presume they're no longer sailing their boat.
Are you referring to Duane Dunn.

Here is his website. Yes, they did amazing things with their family on a Mac.

http://dunncruisingguide.com/ddunn/LogBook42.htm
--Russ

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Chinook
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Chinook » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:51 pm

Yup, Duane is the guy. I think his boat was named Allegro. Remarkable family. It was really fun seeing all those kids emerging from the boat.

pleb222
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by pleb222 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:56 am

Thanks everyone, it does confirm my research that the mac will be a perfect first sailboat for our needs. I don't need hypersailing speed, I have an inflatable windsurf I'll be able to carry on board, so the mac's sailing performance is not an issue for me. I can't find any other 26 foot trailer sailor that has the same interior space and ease of launch, so the question's pretty much settled. Haven't gotten one yet, will buy one sometime in 2021.
Phil :macm: 2003

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Russ
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Russ » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:25 pm

Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:22 pm
I re-read my post. I realized I should have written, see videos by Davilla7. THEY are a family of 4...
I remember their logs. That treasure hunt idea for their kids was brilliant!!! I wish I had thought of that at a time when our son could have done it. So much fun and such a fantastic idea. pfeb222 you NEED to do this.

It really is a great family boat. Not a racer by a long shot, but lots of room for a family and short trips.
--Russ

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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by C Buchs » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:17 am

We have a family of 4 (two boys). Both are in their teens. We've taken a couple of week-long trips. We've also done some 2-3 trips with 5 onboard (we brought a female cousin). There's not much privacy, but we got along fine. Just make sure that you have places to get off the boat and do some exploring.

Jeff

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Jimmyt
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:58 am

Russ wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:25 pm
Jimmyt wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:22 pm
I re-read my post. I realized I should have written, see videos by Davilla7. THEY are a family of 4...
I remember their logs. That treasure hunt idea for their kids was brilliant!!! I wish I had thought of that at a time when our son could have done it. So much fun and such a fantastic idea. pfeb222 you NEED to do this.

It really is a great family boat. Not a racer by a long shot, but lots of room for a family and short trips.
Spot on Russ. Looking forward to trying that with my grandkids if I'm still able. They're only 7 months now...
Jimmyt
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26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

Starscream
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Starscream » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:22 am

We have had our 2002 26X for 10 years now. Bought it just before our third son was born, when our first son was 3 and our second son was 1. We have been cruising every summer since then, and upgraded from a Honda bf50a to an etec90 about 6 years ago.

The 26X had a better layout for our family of 5. More room in the cockpit, and a more functional layout down below for a family of 5. We were originally going to buy a new M, but quickly decided to go with a used X after we boarded both in a yacht dealer's showroom.

At first, there is a big learning curve on where to out everything. Storage is very limited so you gave to be organized, in the morning and at night, there is a switchover process between indoor and outdoor life. The dinghy oars, lifejackets, shoes, all get transferred to or from the cockpit. The hatch and companionway screens get set up, and the exterior gets prepped for sleeping: rudders UP, CB UP, fenders high as possible so that the waves don't lift them up and bump them into the hull.

We use three nets in the cabin to store stuff, plus shelving over the galley, plus every inch of available bilge space. The area under the forward dinette seat is used, on our boat, for the toilet holding tank and flushwater tank. We wanted a real flushing toilet with maceration to make it feel as homey as possible. That adds some tank management tasks to long trips, but has worked very well for us. Pumpouts abound in our cruising grounds.

For sleeping, at first the three boys all went in the v berth. That's not an option any more, so now the two youngest are there, and the oldest sleeps on the dinette table. Putting the table down and organizing the cushions is part of the changeover process. We have it down to an art, now.

Laundry handling is important. We use a large super-strong dry-bag for dirty laundry, but it gets harder and harder to move around. A week is max before you have to find laundry facilities.

Storing food and prepping meals is a whole other challenge, worthy of a separate post. Weave a BBQ on the stern rail and an alcohol single burner stove in the galley. We manage ice in a cooler stored under the aft dinette seat.

Drinking water and washing water also have to be, managed, We use large format bottled water stored under the dinette table for drinking, and have a 100L washing-water tank under the galley. One of our favourite mods is the pressure water system. We add purification tablets to the washing water, and don't drink it. Just dishwashers and handwashing.

Forget even trying to separate or soundproof the cabin. Every fart will echo throughout the cabin no matter what you do, and if you position yourself at the right distance from the hull you can get some awesome magnification. Whispering kids will be heard by tired adults late into the night. Snuggle time with the admiral comes at the price of future therapy for the kids. A necessary expense, unfortunately.

The best part of the X is that your daily range of things to see and do is fantastic. The kids enjoy only about the first 20 minutes of actual travelling, after that it gets harder and harder. For the adults, the voyage is part of the fun, but not for the kids. For the kids it's all about the destinations, and the X and M give so many more options than a traditional sailboat.

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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by Catigale » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:17 am

Mine are all grown and flown the coop now, but my trips to Cuttyhunk Island in MA on my :macx: where an epic Family tale - at least in my own head.

I took seven teen girls for a week trip (10 mile Ocean crossing, moored in Harbor, dinghy ashore) - that was a lot

An :macm: r an :macx: will be fine for 5 up - there is a learning curve of how to stow stuff and for the first trips - plan on stopping at marinas and eating meals, then snacking only on the boat. Its tough to cook for 5 in your sleeping quarters.

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pleb222
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Re: family of 5 on 26M feasable?

Post by pleb222 » Wed May 20, 2020 4:23 am

Thanks everyone for the tips. Just bought a 2003 M. It's the layout that best fit our needs. The back berth was just too cramped on the X, and did not like the sliding galley that much on newer Ms. We have a very excited trio of young girls. I'll need a few weeks to set it up to my liking, and we're hoping to get out as much as possible this summer.
Phil :macm: 2003

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