Macgregor 26x review

Approximately of the X had been produced before being replaced by the M. The new boat is substantially different from the old. The following is a summary of the changes. Price increases are a bummer, but inflation has rolled on, and a lot of materials, including resin, have jumped dramatically. We are putting a lot more into the new boat, and I hope that you will agree that the improvements are worth the extra cost. We were being pressed hard on costs on the old boat, and a major price increase was likely if the X had remained in production.

Looks are subjective, but we are getting a lot of feedback that the new 26 is one of the best looking trailerable sailboats ever built. It has a more traditional shear line, and the dark blue hull is a knockout. It really stands out in a boat show or at a marina. The dark blue hull is an option, and will cost extra.

The white hull, with black stripes, just like the 26X, is standard. The transom, with its smaller opening and rounded corners, makes a big improvement in the view from the rear. Much of the rudder system is inside the boat, offering less clutter on the transom.

The good looks came at a fairly small price. The transom opening is smaller and not quite as easy to pass through. The sliding hatch, rather than just sitting on the cabin top, contours to the deck. When it is open, there is no gap between the deck and the hatch leading edge. The new hull has a deeper V bottom 15 degreesrather than the flatter bottom of the older boat 8 degrees. The purpose of the deep V shape is to give the boat a softer ride under power, with less slamming against choppy seas.

American Sailing Association

The V bottom has softer corners at the transom, and, at typical angles of heel, the corners dig in less and create a less turbulent wake. The deeper V bottom keeps the boat from sliding around on the trailer, and gives better tracking under power. The new boat is significantly faster under both power and sail, and quite a bit faster under main alone.

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We compared two identically rigged and loaded boats, a 26X and the new 26M, both equipped with 50 hp Mercury Bigfoot engines. At identical rpm settings, the new boat had an advantage of approximately 2 to 3 mph. This advantage held over a wide range of speeds.Here is one trailable sailing boat whose most distinctive attraction is not its ability to sail.

Instead it is its great ability as a fast power cruiser. That it sails well too and has a mass of clever features seems almost like a bonus. Unlike the vast majority of US imports, the MacGregor 26 with its 2.

Its accommodation is so spacious and well laid-out that it would make a very acceptable caravan. The idea of touring Australia with free accommodation and the ability to cruise anywhere there is enough water is very attractive. The point of the plus-motor reservation is that the power range of this boat is from 5 to 60hp, or nothing at all of course.

Five will give the sort of performance usually acceptable in an auxiliary, and 60 is good for 22 knots. For a long weekend at Rottnest you might decide to leave the mast at home and be a powerboat. Or when the wind fails you, you do not have to go home at idling speed. The trick to this is a hull shape suited to planing, coupled with low weight. To get the necessary weight in the right place for sailing, the MacGregor relies on water ballast, kg of it, to add to the kg of permanent ballast. The water is taken on by opening a transom valve, and drained either by getting over eight knots under power or when back on the trailer.

The weight is of course entirely within the hull so the righting moment is not as great as a ballast keel would give, but seat of the pants on review day said stiffness was acceptable.

Keel area is given by a daggerboard that increases draught from 0. Rigging proved to be a one-man job. A hand winch is provided for raising the mast, but there is so little weight involved it is not vital.

Forestay and two pairs of shrouds, one on swept-back spreaders, support the mast without the help of a backstay. It is a rotating mast, giving better airflow to the mainsail. The sail area, main and genoa, is 37sqm, which is pretty effective on this light boat. We had only around 7 to10 knots of wind, yet saw a best boat speed of five knots. On the wind speed dropped of course, but the MacGregor showed itself to be closer winded than I expected.

Steering is by wheel — inevitable when it needs to control both a pair of kick-up rudders and the motor. When sailing, the motor disconnects from the steering and locks amidships with a very quick and neat gadget. The wheel, mounted on a pedestal carrying the electronics, is powerboat sized but required very little effort in sailing mode. All the control lines lead back to the cockpit where a pair of winches is mounted.

There is nothing complicated about the layout, and a converting power boatie would soon get the hang of things. There is no doubt that the big market for this boat lies more with him than with the traditional sailors.

Below the boat seems huge. All but a few inches of its length is devoted to living space and, with the absence of side decks, the same applies to the beam.

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A toilet lives between two partial bulkheads, but otherwise it is all open space. A mirror covering most of one bulkhead makes the space visually larger. There are permanent double beds at each end and two part time singles amidships.

At other times they are a dinette and a couch. An ingenious sliding galley moves to wherever is convenient at any moment. An icebox is below one of the dinette seats, and general storage under everything else that is not taken up by foam flotation.

Moving around is unhampered, and requires no bending in the main part of the cabin.This is not your usual Used Boat Survey. Then again, the MacGregor 26 is not your usual boat. We first reviewed Roger MacGregors water-ballasted trailer sailer inand while we think our conclusions about construction and performance are still valid, weve received many letters from MacGregor owners saying our criticisms-especially our reservations about centerline water ballast-are at worst unfair, at best suffering from a lack of perspective.

In an effort to give owners a forum for their views and who know these boats better?

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Many owners mailed us long, detailed letters, on which this review heavily relies. To recap the earlier article, heres a brief list of what we liked about the MacGregor 26, and what we didn't:. Some of our criticisms were later addressed. For example, the sloppy tiller-to-rudder assembly was improved, space under the V-berth was opened up, provision was made for an optional boom vang, the trailer was fitted with a jack stand, and a demountable table provided. Roger MacGregors story would make Horatio Alger proud.

He founded the MacGregor Yacht Corp. By he decided to treat the business as more than an intellectual exercise or hobby. The boats were first called Ventures. The 21, 22,23, 24 and 25 were all entry-level trailer sailers, marketed to beginning sailors, which has always been MacGregors perceived niche. The MacGregor 26, introduced inis a development of the 25, but with water ballast instead of a swing keel.

MacGregor told us that in the spring of this year he took the 26 out of production, having built about 7, It has been replaced with the 26x, he said. We expect to build about of the new boats in the next 12 months. The 26x took off so fast that we are ending production on our 65 and the MacGregor 19 in order to free up space. In total, he built 65s and about 2, 19s.

These are impressive numbers, proving in addition to his near year run in the business that there are a lot of people interested in sailing if the price is right, and that efficient production methods in we called it corner-cutting is the only way to deliver it. The 26x appears to be a cross between the 19 Powersailer and MacGregor 26, incorporating the water ballast system of the latter and the broad stern of the former in order to achieve mph speeds with a hp. There is full standing headroom and twin kick-up rudders.

MacGregor says the 26 is self-righting, with its 1, lbs. After launching, a valve is opened to flood the area, then closed; on haulout, the valve is opened to drain the water. Water, of course, is not particularly dense, nor is its location in this boat very low, so its contribution to righting moment is not as great as one might think.

An owner in Oregon said, It seems tender initially but recovers nicely. The water ballast system has worked flawlessly. The only negative aspect is that the water does not come out until the boat comes out of the water and two-wheel drive isnt enough on a steep ramp. The ballast tank is a bit slow to fill and far too slow to drain. The ballast tank is too close to the waterline to be effective, and so the boat is very tender.

To retain a comfortable heel angle, headsail area must be reduced at 6 to 8 knots we count our installation of a CDI jib furler among our best investments. Reefing of the main is advisable above 12 knots. Even after taking these precautions, the boat can attain some fairly precarious attitudes as following seas crest below it.

The MacGregors primary strength lies in its water ballast system, and hence, relatively low weight, which allows it to be trailered. The boat is very sensitive to moderate winds, exhibiting strong weather helm. At times, the boat heels uncomfortably no doubt partly due to the high positioning of the ballast ; this can be difficult to correct given the boats very basic sail controls. The water ballast tank has never been a problem. You do sacrifice some storage room, as well as access to locations for a depth or speed transducer.Dry hull weight: 2, lbs.

Calculations Help. It provides a reasonable comparison between yachts of similar size and type. It is based on the fact that the faster the motion the more upsetting it is to the average person. Consider, though, that the typical summertime coastal cruiser will rarely encounter the wind and seas that an ocean going yacht will meet.

Numbers below 20 indicate a lightweight racing boat; 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser; 30 to 40 indicates a moderate bluewater cruising boat; 40 to 50 indicates a heavy bluewater boat; over 50 indicates an extremely heavy bluewater boat. The CSF compares beam with displacement since excess beam contributes to capsize and heavy displacement reduces capsize vulnerability.

The boat is better suited for ocean passages vs coastal cruising if the result of the calculation is 2. The lower the better. Under 2 - Slow, under powered. Sailboat Rigging Diagram. Toggle Navigation Menu Home. Hull Type:. Capsize Screening Formula:. Sailboat Links. Roger MacGregor.

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Macgregor Yacht Corp. Related Sailboats:. Download Boat Record:.

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View All Topics. Create Topic. New Topic. Latest Topics. This site requires anonymous cookies and various third-party services to function properly. Please consent to allowing cookies and accept our Terms and Conditions.Oh, except for one boat — the MacGregor 26M. That boat can start a fight. What do you mean? None of this makes immediate sense, but the mention of a MacGregor 26M makes eyes roll… in slow motion… all the way around.

What is the issue? The MacGregor was designed and marketed to non-sailors or would-be sort of sailors. They assumed these people would probably not embrace the low speeds associated with traditional sailing — might be a deal breaker, so they slapped a big fat outboard on the transom and that problem was solved! Some MacGregors have engines as large as HPs and can top knots.

They just dropped the main and took off to beat the rain and get home for dinner. This is another area where new MacGregor boat owners rejoice and critics scoff. The scoffers believe there is no price point that will ever tempt them into stepping foot on a MacGregor The boat, for some, represents a cheapening of the sport — a stripping away of the elegance and dignity that sailing withholds, leaving us with a mutant powerboat that wants to call itself a sailboat when the mood strikes.

Not a pill purists will swallow. Like them or not, one thing that is indisputable about the MacGregor 26 M is they have brought many non-sailors into the sailing universe.

macgregor 26x review

More than a few owners have gotten the sailing bug because they could afford it and then moved towards boats that were designed expressly for sailing. We say live and let live. I am one of those 26 owners mentioned in the article and I appreciate the open minded view of the writer.

Macgregor 19 full video

To me the versatility of the Mac 26 overrode the need to conform to norm. I like that I can relocate to any body of water I wish to explore without the usual expenses removing, transporting and relaunching a traditional Keel Boat. I also like that I can enjoy the water on those Many days during the middle of the summer when there is no wind for sailing on the landlocked lakes of much of middle America.

I believe the boat has been reborn by the daughter and son in law. And manufactured in Stuart Florida under a new name….

They are called Tattoo Yachts now. I have the precursor to the 26M. The 26X, has a better cabin layout, and is very comfortable. These are great boats, and have proven to be safe, and tough. They have been sailed to the Bahamas, the Sea of Cortez, and many other places.

The purists who look down on them, have never spent any time on one! Nice article but why does the author think owners are new to sailing? Has the author considered the safety factor of 50 hp plus outboards?

Did the author read reviews of the early model, the 26X? Are owners older than most new sailors? Did they own other boats prior to purchasing? These boats are respected and for charter all over the world. There is something about them that gives a person hope. Hopefully ASA can put something together, like a rally, that welcomes these boats that can coastal cruise with the Outbound 46s.

Im the immediate past Commodore of a yacht club, I own a Mac 26X, so hardly new to sailing, the Mac gives me what the others couldnt at a price point that is real value for money, standing headroom, private head for the ladies and she is very sea kindly.

Just finished an 8 night, 9 day sail in my Macgregor 26X. I told the other boats 8 others in the fleet going to Catalina that I had a 50 hp and a tow rope if they needed help.MacGregor has been building sailboats for forty years and claims to have sold more sailboats than any other manufacturer. With a focus on trailer able pocket cruisers, MacGregor developed the first water ballast system for their footer in the late s. The invention was ingenious: fill the ballast tank when you launch the boat to give it stability when heeled over under sail, then drain the ballast when you pull the boat back out on the launch ramp, making it much lighter for trailering with the ordinary car.

The latest MacGregor model 26M is now also a fast powerboat. The MacGregor 26 has evolved from the original swing-keel version with tiller and a small outboard to the current daggerboard 26M model with a steering wheel and a big outboard.

People seem to love or hate this boat, with few in between. When MacGregor gave the 26X model room for a 50 hp outboard in the mids, the move heralded a new market focus. The water ballast that had been removable only after taking the boat out of the water could now be dumped while underway if the sails were down. With its lightweight planing hull, the boat then became a powerboat capable of doing over 20 mph.

The marketing strategy has shifted from its former emphasis on practical trailering to the fun and usefulness of having two boats in one. For its size, the new 26M is also quite roomy below and has the amenities necessary for weekend cruising by a couple or small family:. It is more tender than most sailboats with a deeper weighted keel, and you might feel at first that it could capsize easily when the wind blows hard—but that risk is probably no greater than with any trailer-able. Always use common sense to reef or furl the sails when a storm threatens, and never be caught very far offshore.

MacGregor has kept the price of the 26M down by avoiding frills without sacrificing things that help a boat sail well. The mainsheet travelerseldom found in trailer-sailors, helps the boat sail higher into the wind. The jib fairlead tracks, also rare in a boat like this, allowing for better adjustment of the shape of the jib, which is critical with a furling jib or when changing from one jib to another.

The hull is designed for fast motoring and this does make the boat feel less stable than a keelboat when waves kick up. The shallow draft, combined with high freeboard, is necessary to provide all that room down below, which also means the 26M has a lot of windage and is blown sideways more than most sailboats its size. When in a hurry, just drop the sails and power up. Both have solid reputations for small day sailors and larger cruisers.

The Hunter Edge reaches for the same big-power market segment with up to a 75 hp engine. It requires a larger tow vehicle but is a more solid boat with a more substantial interior. The MacGregor 26M is an inexpensive boat and is often a starter boat for new sailors.

macgregor 26x review

Aside from those tempted by the lower cost, several others might buy the 26M.By editor Chuck Gould. Macgregor 26M. Up in the sky! When spotted on plane at over 20 mph and rigged with a mast it would only seem natural for certain observers to have difficulty attempting to categorize the craft. Out on the bay! Every four hours, every day of the year, somebody buys a new MacGregor. The name MacGregor and the concept of trailerable sailing are nearly synonymous.

MacGregors sell in exceptionally large numbers to boating families who want to enjoy the ability to motor along at planing speeds or slow down and sail silently through the San Juan or Gulf Islands.

MacGregor 26 Boat Review

MacGregor may not be the most precise handling powerboat ever built, but it certainly sails better than MacGregor may not be the ultimate high-tech foot sailboat, but it can be times faster than most when in the motorized mode- where most sailors actually seem to spend most of their time, most days.

Construction and Design:. MacGregors are built on solid, hand laminated fiberglass hulls. MacGregor avoids the use of balsa or foam coring in Their fiberglass layups, but does include a generous amount of solid foam flotation to keep the vessel afloat should it ever become swamped. Deck hardware is through-bolted with backing plates and washers for increased strength, and all of the through bolt nuts are accessible from the Interior but cleverly concealed behind removable access panels.

The MacGregor hull is shaped like a traditional sailboat above the waterline, but the bottom is flatter than most sailboats and designed to allow the boat to plane with adequate HP in the powerboat mode. A retractable daggerboard and retractable dual rudders provide the required stability and steerage when sailing, but are unneeded and easily withdrawn when the MacGregor is used as a high-speed powerboat.

The retractable daggerboard allows the MacGregor to sit low on the trailer, and enables the boat to float free of the trailer in shallower waters and at a greater number of boat ramps than high-riding trailer sailors with fixed keels. Sailors will appreciate the rotating mast of the MacGregor Sailboats with conventional masts will experience points of sail where the mast creates a pocket of turbulent air over the forward portion of the mainsail and reduces the lift accordingly.

The mast is foam filled to provide additional buoyancy and assist in righting the MacGregor in the event of a knockdown under sail. Ease of raising and lowering the mast will be important to any trailer sailors, and MacGregor has incorporated a system that allows the mast to go up or down in a matter of minutes.

Ballast is important when sailing, but can be less desirable when powerboating and adds additional weight when towing. The MacGregor stability is enhanced by pounds of ballast, but the tow vehicle is only required to haul down the highway. The water ballast system can be filled underway, and is self draining when the MacGregor is converted to powerboat mode.

macgregor 26x review

Powerboaters will be pleased to note that the MacGregor is rated for motors up to 70 HP. According to MacGregor Yachts, the footer will turn about 22 mph or 19 kts with only a 50 HP engine. Boaters looking primarily for a waterski or wakeboard boat and with no interest in sailing would probably select something other than a MacGregor. Interior Design and Amenities:. MacGregor provides a pleasantly upholstered interior, with headroom of up to 6-feet below decks. A useful sliding galley module is located on the port side of the cabin, and will lock into a forward, middle, and aft position.

By shifting the galley between the aft cabin berths and the salon, more space can be provided when appropriate for changing activities throughout a boating day. The galley consists of a stove and sink, with cold stowage provided by an ice chest that nestles into a dedicated compartment under the rear bunk.


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