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Got a Venture 21 should I move up to a MacGregor 26s

Oct 16, 2020
MacGregor 21 Washington
Hi All,

I really enjoy my Venture 21 that is in great shape and near mint condition. It is easy to sail and handles well.

I'm looking at moving up to a MacGregor 26s for the increased room below decks. Possibly doing overnight trips with the family of 4 in Puget Sound.

I've never sailed on a MacGregor 26s. Does the 26s sail as well as the Venture 21? Any input on the pros and cons of the two would be helpful.

Aug 5, 2019
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I'm brand new to sailing. Spring 2019 I bought a little Sunfish on a whim and fell in love with sailing, so much so that I bought a fixer 26S at the end of summer 2019. So my 26S is the first real sailboat I ever sailed and I love it. My family of five (three older teenagers) have taken a few weekend trips with it sleeping aboard comfortably enough. I had gotten a free Venture 222 since to fix up too so I'm very familiar with both sizes of boats, the 26 with its king-size aft birth is a game-changer.
I keep my 26 on the trailer at home and trailer it everywhere I want to use it and I have a lot of choices around here, ocean, bays, lakes & rivers. Most of the time I'm by myself when I take it out, so I launch & retrieve the 26 all by myself & raise & lower the mast the same, so it's easy enough for a newbie to handle on my own. As far as sailing goes I can't compare the two because I haven't sailed anything else yet but I find the 26 easy enough to sail on my own. For size & comfort along with a private head, built-in galley I'd choose the 26 hands down.
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Jul 25, 2013
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
Not having sailed a Venture 21, I can't compare the two. But I concur with @George_NJ that the 26S is an easy boat to manage while still having enough room and facilities for over-nighting. They're also very affordable.

One thing to consider is your tow vehicle. Although you probably can tow and launch the 26S with any mid to large RWD car, I consider AWD or 4WD almost a must, especially if you like to launch at lesser-used ramps where the surface is likely to have moss or slime on it.

My wife and I have enjoyed our 26S a lot for several years now. But we're going to upgrade to something larger soon because we like to do multiple-day trips and we find the space and accommodations of the 26S not quite enough for us. But for just one night out, or maybe two, it's fine.
May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
I have not sailed a Venture but but by virtue that it has a 400 lbs. ballasted swing keel tells me that it will be more stable than the water ballasted 26'. Good stability in a small boat makes it fun to sail but in a larger boat the fun comes in the shape sailing range and comfort. As you may know the water ballast is what permits a larger boat to be trailered with ease. Everything is a trade off, here the 26S offers the feature of being easily trailerable to different sailing venues while giving up some of the stability of a keel boat. It just depends on how do you intend to use the boat. I personally don't believe in paying for features that I do not intend to use. If it was me and I was not going to trailer boat significantly I would not want the loss of stability. I also like keeping the boat in the water so the ability to store it in the trailer is not attractive, but that's me.
Oct 16, 2020
MacGregor 21 Washington
I think I will hang on to the MacGregor 21 and keep my eye open for a nice MacGregor 26s. It's good to hear the 26s is solid. It would open up a lot of boating options if we can just sleep aboard the boat. Trailering is nice if you are short on time and need to get to a certain area quickly like the San Juan Islands. Although, mooring the boat lets you get out after work in the summer time. Moorage here is pricey at about $15 a foot per month.

Maybe I will overlap the purchase. If I don't like the 26 then I can sell it and just keep using the 21.

Thanks all for your input.
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
I've owned a V21 and a V222. I've done several long trips in my V22 and three can sleep okay on the V22. But more than three and there is not room for your stuff.
Jun 25, 2016
Venture 21 Minter Bay
The cost of ownership will be a bit less for the V21, but the initial outlay for the M26 will be significantly higher. If you can tow it, park it and get out to use it in the waters you find interesting to explore, then that investment will likely pay for itself. It will definately be more comfortable (in terms of accommodations). You could have it double as a rather novel travel trailer, too!:) We'll watch for you in the South Sound!
Aug 5, 2019
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I wanted to add, that with the 26S you'll be able to camp out overnight on smaller electric-only inland lakes where most people never thought about overnighting because the biggest boats most of those lakes see are Sunfish to 17-19' day sailers. As nice as the big water of oceans, bays & sounds are, the peacefulness of an inland electric-only lake is a very nice change of pace, especially when anchored out overnight with no rolly wakes in the middle of the night. When I take my 26S to such smaller inland lakes, she's like a star, people are surprised to see a boat that big, ask how big and how did I get it in? Never before have I gotten so many compliments on a boat too than when on a smaller lake.