Macgregor Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Macgregor 26D by Thomas M Stockwell

Year built 1987  
Location of boat St. Helena, CA  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength less than 10 knots  
Average size of crew 6  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2000  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? I think I would. These boats tend to grow on you after you work out the bugs and get to know them. It was a relatively good deal and it fit my needs. I was tempted to get a swing-centerboard model, but now I'm happy that I did not. Since my boat came with a warped daggerboard, I immediately had problems, but these problems were easy to fix by just replacing the daggerboard. Installation was a snap. By comparison, had I had a swing centerboard, installation would have been much more complex. Simplicity proved important in that case. Meanwhile, my Daggerboard model seems to beat the daylights out of the swing centerboard models everytime I run across them. So, for less money I feel I got a more flexible and faster boat. Meanwhile, those who had worried me that I would run aground with the daggerboard and break it have long since faded in my memory. The daggerboard is solid, yet built to crack and break if it hits something too hard. With a 100 dollar depth "fish finder" I've solved those worries altogether. For the price, these boats are a steal. Finally, I rebuilt the rudder using a stitch and glue method for about sixty bucks, and this solved once and for all the infamous "rounding up" problem with this boat. If anyone is interested in how I built it, you can see a PDF instruction manual at  
Gear that's been added Lots of little items, a depth finder, and new rigging. I've also rebuilt the rudder.  
Structural or complex improvements  
The boat's best features Water ballast is great. Well constructed fiberglass. Pretty good design. Quality materials in an inexpensive package. Disregard people who tell you that Macgregors are "cheap" boats. They're like the original VWs: they give great value for a small investment.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Original design of rudder causes boat to round up in a puff.  
Sailing characterisitcs Sails like a big fast dinghy  
Motoring characterisitcs Very light boat. Needs only an 8 HP to get to hull speed at half throttle.  
Liveability Good for a weekend or three days. Beyond that, you're really looking at adding other items to make the boat liveable.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Yes. Very helpful.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any  
Other comments  

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