2008 Macgregor 26 M
- Stock #051735 -
MacGregor has been building sailboats for some 40 years and claims to have sold more sailboats than any other manufacturer. With a focus on trailerable pocket cruisers, MacGregor developed the first water ballast system for their 26-footer in the late 1980s. The invention was ingenuous: fill the ballast tank when you launch the boat to give it stability when heeled over under sail, then drain the ballast when you pull the boat back out on the launch ramp, making it much lighter for trailering with an ordinary car.
MacGregor's mast-raising system makes it easy for one person to rig the boat in the parking lot beside the launch ramp. The boat sails well under just the mainsail when it's breezy, and the optional roller-furler makes it easy to get the jib out without leaving the cockpit. Critics have argued that a boat that looks like a powerboat can't sail very well, but I was surprised to find that it accelerates fast, tracks reasonably well, and is easy to control.
Stored on trailer, covered.
Construction of both hull and deck is solid hand-laid fiberglass, and just about everything on board is made from molded sections to minimize cost-intensive handwork. The result may seem spartan to some, but it makes the boat easy to clean and maintain.
The hull has been designed to plane at high speeds under power and can carry up to a 50 horsepower outboard. That power can move the boat at speeds in the mid-20s. Water ballast provides stability afloat and minimum trailering weight ashore.
The cockpit is more than 6 feet long, and a pedestal-mounted Morse wheel-steering system maximizes cockpit space. The helmsman's seat hinges up for access to the outboard and for easy boarding at cockpit level. The raised cabin top's forward hatch provides access to the bow, where there is a large anchor locker and bow pulpit.
The main cabin has 6 feet of headroom. The dinette and settee can convert to a double berth, while the bow area is devoted to a good-size V-berth. A king-size bed with sitting headroom is located under the cockpit.
The 26 is an innovative design. The price is good, and the boat has a remarkable range of performance and well thought-out accommodations. If you're looking for an easily trailered family cruiser the MacGregor 26M should earn a spot on your short list.
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