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questions on the H260 water ballast

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by walt, Dec 17, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,234 posts, 369 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    Ive owned a 1990 Mac 26S (older style water ballast) for 10 years and have really enjoyed that boat. I keep the 26S in Lake Havasu Az where it gets used in the winter and for trailer trips in that area during the summer. For most of 7 summer months of the year, the boat sits on a trailer in a side yard. I plan to keep the M26S and continue to use it this way in the future.

    However, we spend the summer in Colorado and am thinking of completely mixing up things there and moving to Lake Grandy/Shadow mountain/ Grand lake area where I would keep a second sailboat and hopefully slip it for 3 or 4 months during the summer and the rest of the time (winter) this sailboat would also just sit on a trailer in a side yard.

    The Hunter 260 water ballast is at the top of my list for this Colorado summer mountain boat and I know a few of the folks here have owned both the H260 and the Mac 26S so thought this would be a good place to ask a few questions.

    First, where do two people sleep on this boat? I see a very comfortable looking Vberth area for sitting, etc. Is that also where you sleep?

    I suppose the H260 is just a little harder to set the mast up compared to the M26S but not much. The M26S has a real nice gin pole/ baby stay setup, I would assume the H260 is similar.

    Do you always need a trailer tongue extension to launch? Any comparison of ease of launching of the H260 to the M26S?

    What is the typical weight of the H260 and trailer? I dont plan to own anything more than a smaller full size 4x4 truck like my current Dodge Dakota but I also would not likely ever trailer that boat very far.

    Somehow I thought this boat came in both wheel and tiller steering.. Im used to tiller and would lean towards that because of the sailing aspect. If that boat comes in both versions, when ends up being most desirable when you go to sell?

    I think you have to link the outboard to the tiller on these. Looks like that maybe complicates things a little when you lift the outboard up for sailing but not much. Overall easy?

    Anyone why buys a boat like this is not likely concerned about having the fastest 26 foot boat on the water and that would include myself. But.. its of course somewhat important. For anyone who has owned both a M26S and the H260, how would you compare the sailing aspects?

    Finally.. anyone have any actual experience with water ballast at Lake Granby or Shadow mountain? Colorado is super anal about invasive species and water ballast makes that more difficult. But its normally fairly easy to manage if a boat stays at one lake - which would be my plans for this boat.

    Any other comparisons to the M26S besides that the H260 seems to have a lot more room inside..
     


    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  2. Johann

    Johann

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    205 posts, 27 likes
    Hunter 336
    US Pensacola
    If you can’t find an H260 with a tiller, look at its predecessor, the H26. Pretty close to the same boat, and I think it only came with the tiller.
     


  3. Fred

    Fred

    Joined Sep 27, 2008
    389 posts, 30 likes
    Hunter H26
    CA Nepean Sailing Club
    Our H26 experience:
    1. We both sleep in the aft berth. Almost queen size
    2. H26 has gin pole, baby stays. Raising mast is not more difficult than my previous Mac/Ven 25
    3. I have rigged a outboard/tiller linkage. I have rigged it inboard of the Pintle/gudgeons so it is easy to remove when lifting the outboard.
     


  4. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    4,866 posts, 856 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    I have never sailed a 26S but I have had a Mac V22-2. And I now own an H26

    I do not need an extension to launch.. She floats high with the tank empty so she is easy to push off the trailer. It sleeps great. The galley is also great as is the enclosed head area, and cockpit table. One thing I have noticed about the H26 vs. the V22.... I need to reef about 5 mph sooner on the H26 than I did on the V22. Once I got accustomed to when to reef, on the H26, I was able to sail her rather aggressively. And the H26 is a very responsive boat in 5 to 8 mph wind.... much more so than many boats of that length. At about 10 to 12 mph, I put one reef in the main. As soon as the first hint of white caps show, I pull the roller in about 1/3. My next step is to drop the main entirely and let the genoa back out.... and ... then 1/3 on the genoa.... then give up, and motor in.... :) I have managed to stay comfortable in my H26 in about 20 mph but more than that, she is on her ear. I don't know how the Mac 26C compares to a V22 but on my V22, I could put up a storm jib, put in a second reef in the main and stay moving at 7 kts in 25+ breeze. Comparing the sailing of the two boats... the H26 is a better sailing boat in moderate breezes and the mac a little better in the 15 to 25 mph range. Both okay but that is how they differentiate in my mind.
     


  5. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,423 posts, 501 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    You asked a lot which makes me wonder a phone call from me might answer most of your questions. A lot has been discussed but with hands hurting from arthritis, will be glad to give you a call. Very much involved with the 260 from inception till the last one left Hunter behind my truck. Send me a private message where to contact.
    dave condon
     


  6. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,234 posts, 369 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    Dave, thanks. Since this is a forum and the intention is for anyone to participate, I will hold off on needing the private phone call at the moment.. But maybe in the future..

    Thanks everyone! I have been able to find a bunch of info online also. I much prefer the rear berth for sleeping and also like as easy as possible access. I will have to look at this a bit more because of the head location. The area where I would have the boat is prone to summer lighting storms and occasional boat camping would be a great thing. I just sleep better not being too close to the bottom of the mast.

    The only things I "think" I didnt like was that it looks hard to implement a traveler. I have seen discussion on this in the past here for this boat regarding a traveler but the lack of the traveler would be the one compromise I wouldn't like. I think a traveler is a great thing on the M26S partly because its water ballast - not only helps going upwind but that boat (M26S) is more work in higher winds and the traveler helps that significantly. The Hunter is wider so maybe this wont matter as much. I would likely be trying to find some way to put in a traveler even if it meant having to step over it. It also looks like the B and R rig gets rid of the backstay and Ive also come to appreciate the backstay/ fractional rig especially for higher winds.

    It looks like either the 26 or the 260 would be fairly easy to beach with the centerboard and lifting rudder - a good thing.

    This plan is still at least a year or two away and of course many more things to consider and take action on before anything with a new sailboat happens.. plus convincing my wife that moving to a fairly isolated (except for lots of tourists Im told) mountain spot at over 8000 ft el is good idea (no problem so far.. ).
     


    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  7. Doug J

    Doug J

    Joined May 2, 2005
    1,102 posts, 64 likes
    Hunter 26
    US San Diego, CA
    I had a Mac 26S and now own a H26. To address your questions about the Hunter 26/260.

    - Where to sleep?

    I prefer the aft berth, there’s a lot of room to stretch out. When I had my 26S I really liked it’s aft berth! I think the H26 is nicer, comes with an opening port too! The table area is nice with it’s wrap around seat. The table can swivel around to make the v-berth large enough for two.

    - Mast setup

    My H26 has basically the same setup as my 26S had. I find it no more difficult to step the mast than on my 26S, though the mast is heavier. I find it no problem single handed.

    - Trailer Tongue Extension

    I have not used the tongue extension yet. It would depend on where you launch as to whether it’s needed. I suppose you could use it for beach launching. Probably a nice to have. No doubt at all the Hunter trailer is light years better than the OEM Macgregor trailer – Lol!

    - Total rig weight

    I believe it’s around 5000lbs. Trailers very well. Again, I find it just as easy to trailer as the 26S. Heavier load though of course means less gas mileage.

    - Tiller vs Wheel

    I have a tiller on my H26 and prefer it. But it was an option on both the H26 and 260.

    - Tiller to motor linkange

    I have seen pictures of many who have installed the linkage. I don’t have it… yet.

    - Sailing aspects 26s vs H26/260

    My 26S was faster, and pointed higher. But I did have a 5ft traveler. The way I sail (cruiser) and skill level, I don’t think it was that much faster. I have the original main and the jib has been re-stitched, I can get 6 knots. With more experience and better sails, I’m sure it would do better. I think the H26 sails very well. I’m very happy with it.

    I really loved my 26S and as I’ve heard others say, I sometimes wish I still had it. I had both for a couple months before I sold the 26S, wasn’t practical for me to keep both. Pretty much the whole time I had my 26S (10 years) I was dreaming of owning a Hunter 26/260. Now that I have the H26, it’s everything I had hoped it would be. Basically, it has everything the 26S had, plus all the things I wanted the 26S to have. The interior space is awesome. I think it’s safe to say it has a bigger boat feel all around. Yet still easy to trailer. It looks huge on the trailer, compared to the 26S, but tows nice.
     


  8. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,423 posts, 501 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Walt, I was instrumental getting hunter to build water ballast as a dealer and much involved with the designs and no I am not an engineer but merely a history major as a dealer for Hunter now retired.. You asked a lot of questions which I can answer quickly and many times point out things that many would tend to forget. I simply offer information and in some cases travel to help others. It is my way of giving back as part of my ministry.
     


  9. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,234 posts, 369 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    Doug J, thanks! I was hoping you would also respond as I know you have had both boats. Im think the 26 tiller is more in line and I would save a little $$ also.

    One more question.. when I look at pictures of the aft berth area, it does look cavernous.. but it also looks like all the access is on one side only. Looks like the head blocks off access to the other side. Maybe really not much of an issue but if someone has to take a potty break at night, and if you are on the side of the head, do you have to disturb the person sleeping on the other side to get out? Ive been in one of those one time and I just remember it seeming huge compared to my M26S so maybe its easier than I think???
     


  10. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,423 posts, 501 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    most wanted a wheel even though it cost more. It limits the seating in the cockpit if the tiller has to come over hard either by deployment or accidental. Second many enjoyed the fact a wheel steer turning to the right goes right but a tiller has to go to the left. You do not have to tie up a wheel when transporting but in essence a tiller is a little different. For resale, it adds value. When introducing the 260, I had the first two one with a wheel and the other tiller. The tiller version sat for a while but the wheel version sold fast. Once the tiller version was gone, all the rest were wheel. One of the main reasons why the 260 came about was for wheel steering at my insistence. Sure it cost more but no one ever objected. There are other reasons but enough has been said. I have always said it is up to the buyer as to what he or she perceives as to what they want and makes them happy.
     


  11. Doug J

    Doug J

    Joined May 2, 2005
    1,102 posts, 64 likes
    Hunter 26
    US San Diego, CA
    Walt, you are correct about the access to the aft berth only on the starboard side. That is the reason many don't like it, so they sleep in the v-berth with the table swiveled around. I'm often am alone on the boat, so I have the whole aft berth to myself, access isn't a problem.

    20160716_201740.jpg 20160703_074707 (1).jpg
     


    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  12. bmorr

    bmorr

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    37 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Pueblo Lake CO
    I also went from a 26S to a h26 with tiller. It would be hard to go back after experiencing the interior of the Hunter. Also, the cockpit is really large and the open back is really great for swimming. It sails well and is competitive in our casual racing. I am 75 and enjoy the head room a lot (knees were getting tired of crawling). I do put in a reef at the first sign of whitecaps. I sail mostly out of the south marina at Pueblo Lake Colorado.
     


  13. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,423 posts, 501 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Folks, I also use to be a MacGregor dealer but gave that up when moving to North Carolina with my dealership since a dear friend of mine in Wilmington had MacGregor. Yes I was one of the few who respected dealers contrary to some others who did not.
    The Hunter 26/260 was designed with emphasis on trailering; thus design is a little different. As for the aft berth, yes only accessible on the starboard side but I made sure it was long enough sideways for tall folks to sleep there. It was cumbersome though in the night if your companion was in the rear and had to go to the head. In addition, attention to the cockpit room was another factor. This was a boat thought out in the designing but the main emphasis was on trailering. So you cannot please everyone and it is their decision to purchase what ever they wanted to. To make a long story short, there is no perfect boat that will ever exactly fit the needs of a buyer but may come close to doing so.
     


  14. bmorr

    bmorr

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    37 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Pueblo Lake CO
    Walt, if you want to crawl through my boat some time (check out the little things) let me know. Its at Pueblo April 1-end of October. Stored out of Colorado Springs in winter.