Is the 26x seaworthy enough to make Bahamas crossing?

Discussion in 'Ask A Macgregor Owner' started by Trialsbikeadam, Jan 1, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,988 posts, 924 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I used to bring bricks of Goetta back from Porkoplois. Like scrapple but less liver taste. Hog and corn. Excellent boating breakfast.
    [​IMG]
     


    Trialsbikeadam and Will Gilmore like this.
  2. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,423 posts, 315 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    I was working on a commercial boat, based in Bimini, when we saw this sloop tie up. The crew had sailed her from Haiti. On board was a Dutch journalist who was documenting the plight of Haitian refugees who had sailed this route from Haiti to the U.S. Our skipper hosted the crew and journalist on our boat, and we got to hear the whole fascinating story. We left Bimini for Miami the next day, and later heard that the little sloop made it safely to Port Everglades, in rough conditions. A month later, I read the published article while reading a magazine I found in my dentist's office! DSCN0151.jpg
     


    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  3. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Dang! Looks like some people have done some amazing stuff!!! I have gotten a few suggestions to go to Bimini. But it looks like I’d still have to cross the Gulf Stream. Is that a better idea or still about the same as a Bahamas crossing?
     


  4. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,423 posts, 315 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    Well, yeah. It is the Bahama's crossing. Closest cay to the US mainland, so usually the first stop on a Bahamas cruise. And yes, it's all about the Gulf Stream.
    At least I've always thought of crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini to be a Bahamas crossing, but if you are thinking of crossing the Bahamas Bank to the larger cays, then that is another 100 miles or so past Bimini I believe.
    Bimini itself is a fun destination. The bars in Alicetown are an easy walk from any of the marinas, and the conch fritters are fresh. Snorkeling on the Bimini Road (about 10' depth) is interesting, and the clarity of the water is amazing.
     


    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Trialsbikeadam likes this.
  5. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,423 posts, 315 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    Your MacGregor would be perfect for a cruise down the inside passage of the keys, from Miami to Marathon and beyond. The depth is usually around 5', which kept us on edge a lot, but not a problem for you. Good protection and anchorages spaced out nicely. Islamorada has a tiki bar at the marina, although anchoring in the cove is easy. At Marathon, cross under seven mile bridge and put into Boot Key. Grab a town mooring and walk to restaurants.
    From there, the outside passage to Key West might be best. I'm not familiar with the inside passage here. Key West is, of course, a great place to hang out for a few days.
     


    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Trialsbikeadam likes this.
  6. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,829 posts, 187 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    I remember talking to a friend who generally two out of three years sailed at least to the Bahamas every winter. I had mentioned that I kinda thought about sailing my boat there. He said you absolutely could with out hesitation. "However" he said in order for it be affordable and worthwhile you need to bring most of your provisions and spare parts yourself and there is just not room on a 24' boat to do so. My thoughts then morphed to sailing down the Keys and to the Dry Tortugas which has not yet happened on my boat either.
     


    Sumner, Trialsbikeadam and Tom J like this.
  7. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Sounds good guys!! I think our minds our made up, we’re going to do a sail down the keys. Thank you for the suggestions on where to go. Please share any other “favorite” spots in the keys.
     


  8. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,248 posts, 288 likes
    Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    Here is some info on the crossing that I posted but learned elsewhere. It is at the middle of the following page ....

    http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015 Bahamas/2-Bahamas-1/Bahamas-Page-1.html

    The crossing over turned out to be flat and easy. Coming back not so much so...

    http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015 Bahamas/2-Bahamas-4/Bahamas-Page-33.html

    Here is a checklist you might consider before heading to the Bahamas...

    http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015 Bahamas/Things to Consider-1.html

    I would put going to the Dry Tortugas and out to Fort Jefferson up at the same level as the crossing to Bimini almost. I haven't done it, but know of Mac owners that have and you can get into bad weather (wind) west of Key West that can make the trip quite exciting. I wouldn't take going there lightly and not much protection once there.

    I second the inside of the upper Keys. Very pretty and a nice place to be on a Mac. You will find some info on our extended trip there and also on my Bahama trip report (see links below). If you do the Bahamas at some point, especially if you go past Bimini, I wouldn't do it on a tight schedule. You need to make all the open water crossings under favorable conditions. The trip can really be worth it though if you are prepared and do it wisely,

    Sumner
    =====================================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...
    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


  9. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,444 posts, 1,065 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    Nice write up @Sumner. I was in Bimini, maybe '98 or so. Only part of the island I was at was the DEA radar site working on a satellite system. I flew in on a sea plane and missed my flight out. Had to stay there one night. What I remember was how dark it was. But what really impressed me was the emerald blue crystal clear water. Would love to go back some day.
     


    Tom J and Trialsbikeadam like this.
  10. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,688 posts, 2,634 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    For sights to see and places to go in the Keys, snorkeling is one of my favorite activities. John Pennekamp State Park, on and off Key Largo, is a fantastic stop. The reef is an amazing place to dive or snorkel. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Another interesting snorkel spot is the light on Alligator Reef off Islamorada. [​IMG]
    When we were there, the entire superstructure, under the light, sheltered the largest school of barracuda I have ever seen. Hundreds of them all crowded in and around the light. There was also a large hammerhead hanging out around there. "Oh yeah! We've been feeding him." said the dive shop owner on Islamorada. He then took his phone out and showed us pictures he took of a great white from there. Funny, he didn't mention any of that before renting us our equipment and directing us out there.:cool: Still, it was amazing.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


    Tom J and Trialsbikeadam like this.
  11. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Looks like some great places to go!!!! I guess the general talk amoung is was to go to key west and maybe make a jump out to marquesas key. Do you guys think the upper keys are better? Thanks again!
     


    Tom J likes this.
  12. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,444 posts, 1,065 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    You have the key to the Keys. Only one way to find out which Key you like the best. Just pack up and go! No more talk. Next time we see you we want pictures and a story or your adventures. Get rolling there, Slocum! :beer:
     


    Trialsbikeadam and Will Gilmore like this.
  13. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Hahahahaha I love it!!! The Keys it is can’t wait. Thank you all for taking the time to give me advice and share your stories!
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  14. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,423 posts, 315 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    It's all good! Are you trailering your boat? If so, it is a long ride down Highway 1 to Key West. For my money, I'd rather put in at Miami, sail Biscayne Bay (water so clear you feel like you are flying), and take my time exploring the keys. You could always sail to the Marquesas next time.
     


    Trialsbikeadam likes this.
  15. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Thankfully I won’t be traveling alone. My father will be along for the drive towing the boat and we’ll pick up my wife in Miami (flying in) for a total of three crew. We’ll be towing with our camper so stops to rest are easy. We’ll be trailering all the way from Ohio so any extra bit in the keys won’t bother us. I have ridden that stretch on a motorcycle headed for fantasy fest but this we be the first time we’ve had the boat down that far.
     


    Tom J likes this.
  16. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    And fantasy fest......well that was an experience!
     


  17. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,423 posts, 315 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    We have camped in the keys also and enjoyed it very much. Sounds like a good plan!
     


    Trialsbikeadam likes this.
  18. Rick Webb

    Rick Webb

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    2,829 posts, 187 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
    Not sure if you have the route picked out. I've quit taking I-75 when traveling that way and would get off 75 in Georgia and take US19 to US17 to US27 it adds 50 miles or so but is a much more pleasant drive. You miss all of the headaches driving through Orlando or Tampa and even if it takes more time you are less tired as it is a relaxing drive and no tolls.
     


    Trialsbikeadam and Tom J like this.
  19. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,688 posts, 2,634 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Amen, brother.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


    Trialsbikeadam likes this.
  20. Trialsbikeadam

    Trialsbikeadam

    Joined Jan 1, 2019
    14 posts, 4 likes
    Macgregor 26x
    Monnshadow Us Cincinnati
    Good to know!!!!
     




NEW, updated Get Rid of Boat Odors
The bible of marine toilets and plumbing, expanded and updated for 2016!
Gray Enterprises port gasket
Stop winter leaks. Compare our price!
Gray ports and parts
The most popular port on boats built from the 70s into the 90s.
Merriman pedestal control head
Finally, an aluminum replacement for this YS Merriman part.
-->