Macgregor Owner Reviews

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Review of the Macgregor 26D by Craig Bruening

Year built 1988  
Location of boat Skaneateles, NY  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2002  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Absolutly, I have enjoyed the easy handling whether launching, retrieving, and sailing. The cockpit affords for a comfortable sail with 6 adults and the deck is laid out in such a way that the kids can move from side to side with ease being "rail meat".  
Gear that's been added When I purchased this boat most of the hardware was in a "tired" condition. Since then I have replaced all of the blocks and cam cleats. In addition to replacing the cam cleats I have added Harken Flareleads at the cam cleats so that I can single hand the jib sheets when soloing my boat. I have also upgraded the navigation lights with a tri-color mast head set up (3 lights in all) and an anchor light with a photo cell that automatically turns on as the sun sets and turns off as the sun rises. Other equipment that I have added is a new laminated tiller (for which I have received several compliments) and will soon be adding a new rudder with a 3" leading edge.  
Structural or complex improvements I have now have the ability to run 9 separate circuts since I have added a 6 switch breaker panel and have kept the 3 switch fuse panel. Both panels have been moved to the area over the sink and the foam flotation has been bundeled and placed beneath the sink. The battery still remains beneath the starboard seat with the main wires running up the starboard wall (hidden) to a bus-bar assembly that I fashioned using common electrical components fastened to a 3/4" thick plastic block. That block is subsequently fastened inside the area above the sink. I also plan to construct some of the storage areas that others have built beneath the forward berth and beneath the port and starboard benches.  
The boat's best features I find the ease of sailing (3 sheet lines) and the ease of rigging to be some of the best features making the boat a joy to sail by myself if necessary. One slight drawback to the MacGregor is that it heels very easily; however, knowing this prior to purchasing it I realised that I would be giving up some stability for ease of use and trailering. When the heel gets to be a bit much, I just dump wind and continue to enjoy the day on the water.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. As others have probably mentioned, the original rudder design is a bit "flimsy" in that during high wind the rudder cast appears to slightly twist. To combat this issue I plan to do the following: 1) obtain a new rudder blade so that the leading edge is locate 3" forward of the original point. 2) place bolts approximately 6" on center along the outter edge of the cast in order to stiffen it, if this does not work, I plan to have a metal shop fabricate an aluminum block/spacer to place in the upper portion of the cast to make the unit one piece. 3) purchase of the tiller to the cast, I plan to have a metal shop weld to the cast additional pieces of aluminum in the shape of the 3-sided box (open on top) to give the tiller greater stiffness and a maximum "down" position such that it will not scrape across the lock and hasp to the laz.  
Sailing characterisitcs light wind in which we ended up drifting and the boat became a swim platform. the laz hatch is a great place for the kids to launch themselves doing cannon balls; moderate wind in which the "wine and cheese" can stay on deck for the guests as I sail single handed; heavy winds in which we had to reef and subsequently re-reef to the upper reef point so that we could stay out and enjoy the adventure.  
Motoring characterisitcs motoring with an 8 hp is a bit sluggish considering that the boat (in my opinion) is not designed to really be motored. The 8 hp does give me more than enough power to move about when necessary (e.g., in and out of docks if the wind is too strong or too weak). I filled the 6 gallon gas tank in 2002, added a fuel stabilizer to it and still have about 3 gallons left for the 2004 season. The stabilizer kept the gas in good condition for the 2003 season and I'll see if it will be usable in 2004.  
Liveability Not really liveable other than an overnight right now. My goal is to add comforts such that a long weekend or short week on the boat would not be a hardship but rather a pleasure. Still quite a ways to go in that respect, mainly storage issues that will eventually be tackled as time permits.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) not applicable  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any not applicable  
Other comments so far I have had many enjoyable days on the water with the boat. slowly but surely I am upgrading hardware (almost complete) and adding comforts (just beginning) to make the boat a cruiser beyond the basic boat that it is. Macgregor built a great platform for the individual to easily modify if so inclined or just use as it.  

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