Macgregor Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Macgregor 26D by Ed Pentico

Year built 1987  
Location of boat Chula Vista, CA (San Diego)  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 5-6  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2002  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes. After discussion with other trailer sailor boat owners I specifically looked for a 26D. The ability to sleep six, tow with a minivan, retractable dagger board and rudder for kelp removal and shallow waters, manueverability like a dinghy, and affordability were all key factors.  
Gear that's been added I purchased the boat used with a marine head, heavy duty adjustable engine mount, masthead combination light, masthead antennae, and a swim platform with a ladder. It also cam with dual batteries and dual burner alcohol stove. Since purchase I've added the Idasailor performance rudder, Paul Osborne's sliding goose neck, and a gooseneck downhaul. I've also attached backstay flag halyard. Looking to replace the OEM daggerboard with the Idasailor version, new tiller, install tiller tamer for singlehanding, and new sails.  
Structural or complex improvements Not yet, but am considering revising the sail plan to achieve better helm balance (less weatherhelm) and performance.  
The boat's best features Extremely good hull design and strength (hand laid fiberglass),very manuevarable with good reaching and running speed, 20 minutes to set up and take down, can carry six.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The electrical panel rockers are failing, the cabin light rockers are failing. Need a new panel and cabin lights. Lamp chord wiring will be replaced.  
Sailing characterisitcs Like a dinghy or other water ballasted boat she heels early. But she is also very easily driven and manueverable, even in light air. With 20 mph winds, 8 foot seas, the mast stepped forward to reduce weather helm, and the original popsickle rudder, the boat would require a lot of helm effort to stay on windward courses. Occasionally she would still round up if you didn't time the wind and wave surfing. The Idasailor rudder eliminated this. Once I woke up grounded (not judging the tide/depth correctly), waited for return tide and floated away. Can be sailed at good speed on broad reaches without lowering the daggerboard.  
Motoring characterisitcs I use a 6hp four stroke which is more than enough for Southern California conditions. If I'm motoring with the sails down, I lower the daggerboard three to six inches to aid manuevering. Motor sailing on a port tack will occasionally roll the hull enough to bring the prop to the surface. The engine is transom mounted on the port side. A prop guard may help.  
Liveability Very open and airy, but is a sit "down" style interior. A settee arrangement would probably be more comfortable.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) No dealings directly  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any N/A  
Other comments A dated look, not a classic look like the 23, but fast, capable and affordable. I've enjoyed sailing past larger boats and much more expensive boats in vaying conditions.  

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