Macgregor Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Macgregor 26X by Robert "Bert" Neville

Year built 1998  
Location of boat San Antonio, Texas  
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? Absolutely.  
Gear that's been added Roller furl; 9-gal water tank w/pumps; boarding ladder; fuel locker covers; stern winches for 150 genoa; pelican fasteners for lifelines; bow pulpit anchor bracket; upgraded motor from 40hp four stroke to 90hp four stroke.  
Structural or complex improvements Structural or complex improvements: Loooong list. See at  
The boat's best features I use my Mac on a local lake that's 30 minutes from my home. It stays in a slip for convenience. My wife and I love heading up for the evening, ripping out into the lake under power, sailing a bit and then watching the sunset. It gets where you want it to go FAST under power. But where it really shines is when I take it to the Texas coast and use it as the "mother ship" for fishing expeditions in the shallow water of the bays. I anchor in 1-2' of water off marsh islands, launch a kayak and flyfish for redfish. The shallow draft of this boat, and it's ability to scoot while under power is fantastic. It's the perfect boat for what I want. I owned a Catalina 27 for 5 years on the same lake which was nice, but when I am able to trailer the Mac home, put it in my driveway and do mods on it I feel so smug about it's portatability matched with its size. True, it would be nice if it had better sailing characteristics, but I don't race and it's fine for weekend lake sailing. True, it could be built sturdier but you can't have a boat that is trailerable and one that's also built like a tank. I'll deal with the compromises to gain the versatility. If you want a boat for open-water cruising and don't care about being able to trail it and go like a scalded dog under power, look for another boat that's more robust and use a kicker. But if you want something that draws VERY little water, can be moved about with ease, is fun to sail and power, goes like a bandit, is very reasonably price, is easy to modify, and is very low maintenance, this is the boat for you.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. I trail my boat a lot, and am often in remote areas. I'm having a completely new, heavier-duty, double axle trailer built. The factory one is just too light for serious use. Mast spreaders are pretty flimsy. I'm replacing all the stay plates with turnbuckles so I can have infinite rigging adjustment. I put bottom paint on my boat because it stays in a slip a lot. Installed opening portholes in the stern bunks because air movement is miserable in there. Also cut off the stupid captain's seat behind the pedestal and made a traditional 3-piece wooden "batter board" cockpit entrance "door"..the factory fiberglas thing is horrible.  
Sailing characterisitcs Could sail better close to the wind, and coming about in low wind conditions is sometimes difficult. Otherwise, sails well enough for me to enjoy it.  
Motoring characterisitcs I love this boat under power! What a kick to watch the uninitiated stare as I go screaming by leaving a huge wake. I know they're thinking, "Well, it looks like a sailboat but it sure doesn't GO like a sailboat"!! Had one bad experience when I got into some rough water under power with empty ballast tanks. Must remember, boat is not self-righting if tanks are empty. I upgraded the 40hp 4-stroke engine that came with it to a 90hp 4-stroke so my son and I could ski and wakeboard behind it. GPS'd it at 26mph. It scoots!  
Liveability This boat isn't huge, but its liveablity compares well with other boats its size. It has ample storage and is fine for 2-3 day trips. The longest I've stayed on it is 5 nights with one other person. It was fine. I wish it had just 6" more standing headroom below...I'm 6' tall and have to bend over a tad when I'm down there. If you were to put 2 adults and 2 children on it and weren't conservative about what you brought, you'd be tripping over gear constantly, but that goes for any boat this size. I owned an older Catalina 27 and the Mac has a much room as the Catalina had, and as much standing headroom below, too. Due to it's flat bottom, when anchored in a breeze it swings a lot from side-to-side. Solution is a stern anchor; can add dropped keel if the water's deep enough. I love the ability to run it right up on a sandy beach. It gets a lot of stares!  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) I've asked them some questions about the trailer via email and haven't gotten any response. Other than that I haven't dealt with them.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any N/A  
Other comments If you want a true sailboat that's designed to sail to the very best of its ability, get something else. If you want a true powerboat, get something else. But I defy you to sail a powerboat and I defy you to pull a skier behind a Catalina. This boat is a compromise and I'll never regret buying it....I only regret that the new 26M is out and I don't have one!!  

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