Macgregor Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Macgregor 26D by Jean Gosse

Year built 1989  
Location of boat Puget Sound  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength less than 10 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 1998  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Probably not if I knew then what I know now, that we are really dinghy sailors and seldom have time or inclination to cruise. Also, probably not because there is no racing group among Mac owners.  
Gear that's been added Pump to empty ballast tank to make hauling out easier on shallow ramps. Also to keep from pouring gallons of water on launching ramp. Curtains, (dark plastic windows are quite transparent with lights on at night) Keeper strap for port-0-pot Proper ice chest built in, replacing odd cooler provided. Solid water tank in place of floppy camping jug. Mid-cockpit traveler for mainsheet (a must!) Jiffy Reef system Proper hatches to under-seat area. Light in compartment under V-bunks Solar powered vent in lazarette to expell gas fumes, and to draw cool air through boat in hot weather. Port in after compartment for gas line.  
Structural or complex improvements The mid-cockpit traveler includes a U shaped brace to carry the 4 foot track across the cockpit.  
The boat's best features Easy to launch, lies ahull well when reefing or otherwise working with sails. Sails very well, tacking in 90 degrees. It is nice to be able to anchor inshore of most of the cruising fleet.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Rudder seems weak. Also much too small. I would like to see a skeg on the boat to improve directional control. Turnbuckles are far better than the rigging adjusters included. Haven't been ready to spend the money yet to replace them. Actually it would be better if the chain plates came to the cabin top. They are very hard to reach part way down the hull. Also, I would have a decent deck rim to stand on when landing and moving out from a dock. The boat has a lot of freeboard and there is no where to stand. I personally dislike "lifelines" I either fall over them, or can't get past them, or don't trust them. A good midships grab rail would be far more useful. In bad weather a harness could be rigged from a midship station.  
Sailing characterisitcs In light winds, sails like a dream. In moderately heavy winds, it is sometimes hard to end a tack. The boat would happily revolve forever on its daggerboard. The boat will heave too quite nicely if the tiller is tied to leeward. Early reefing helps keep the boat on its feet and I suspect increases rather than decreases speed.  
Motoring characterisitcs Must have some centerboard. Otherwise no problem.  
Liveability Fine for two. Might do for three. Where would you put the six advertised sleepers. Needs more lights than provided. Forward V-Berth too short for adults. Built in sink/dresser not too useful. A portable sink (5 gallon jug with sink and pump built in could be used in cabin or cockpit). Bunk under cockpit hard to get in and out. I would have quarter berths, much more storage, and larger V-berth. Perhaps head where sink/dresser are and a portable galley.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Cannot reach them.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any N/A  
Other comments Really good boat for someone who wants an inexpensive, good looking boat to sail weekends, with some of the comforts of home. It has roomy cabin, sails nicely in moderate winds, and when reefed, in quite strong winds. Is easy to launch and to recover if the tank is pumped. I would like to have the possibility of two forestays so two jibs could be kept at the "ready". Or, since the mast is stepped quite far back, perhaps a forestay and a headstay on a small bowsprit so the boat could be rigged as a cutter.  

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