Hi (new here), I just rescued a Mac 26 S that needs a lot of love.

Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
It's a 1990 Mac 26 S that sat unused & uncovered under trees for at least four years, it came on a nice solid trailer (not the original Mac trailer), a Mercury 9.8 that I was able to fire up and ran strong once I got it home.
Sails were in decent shape except for a small hole (guessing battery acid by the looks of it) in the main that I'll attempt to repair, being a newbie sailor I don't plan on going out in any heavy wind to need perfect sails to start out with.

I bought it to do some light sailing until I build my skills up & primarily for family camping on our local lake and trailered trips to Cape Cod, the Patomic DC & Chesapeake Bay. We've done a lot of camping and are used to it so camping on the Mac 26 won't be an issue to stay in for a week or longer for us.

My boating experience; I've been a 30 year power boater and bought my first sail-powered Sunfish this spring which was the first time I was ever on any type of sailing vessel. I loved my little Sunfish so much that I scoured the internet for a larger sailboat to make it our new family cruiser. I was looking at Venture 22's for what I was willing to pay when this 26 came across my radar. Needless to say I was very happy getting the 26 vs. the 22 simply for the added space to sleep 4-5 people "comfortably".

Why I wanted a Mac over any other brand? For beaching it so I won't have to pay for a moring somewhere when we camp out overnight & no need for a dingy, easy to launch and recover with it sitting lower which will be a big issue getting it into my local lake's ramp. It will look like the Queen Mary on my local lake but it will be nice to be able to put it in only 8 minutes from my house, and it's a free ramp & boat camping there.

I need to transfer the mast fittings onto a replacement mast (came with the boat), remount the bow rail, very small fiberglass repairs where the bow rail was damaged from a tree falling on it (that's why the mast was damaged too).

I paid $750 for this low mileage lovely and can't wait to get it out on the water even for a trial run of just the boat and motor hopefully before winter and get the sails and mast ready in early spring for sailing.


I don't have a name for her just yet, I'll have to think of something witty or funny.
 
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nfg2u

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Feb 13, 2016
92
Hunter Legend 35.5 Fort Pierce
Welcome! It looks like she will clean up nicely. Good luck with your project. Mend the sails and have some fun!
 
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Ward H

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Nov 7, 2011
3,126
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
George, Welcome to Sail Boat Owners and congrats on your boat.
You mentioned some areas you plan to sail. Think about the Barnegat Bay. Nice sailing and shallow anchorages for anchoring out overnight.
 
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Sep 24, 2018
1,475
O'Day 25 Chicago
That's a heck of a boat for a heck of a price! Congrats!

Beaching tends to eat away at the fiberglass. I'd suggest using an anchor. You can even have said anchor (or tree) on land!

Be sure to try sleeping in the bow before having a full house. We found out the hard way how uncomfortable it is to sleep in the bow of our 25. Ironically enough our 19' is far more comfortable to sleep two people up front.
 
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Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
George, Welcome to Sail Boat Owners and congrats on your boat.
You mentioned some areas you plan to sail. Think about the Barnegat Bay. Nice sailing and shallow anchorages for anchoring out overnight.
Thanks, yes of course Barnegat Bay. We camped out on Barnegat Bay on my old 26' pontoon for three nights with a tent on deck 9 years ago and that got me to buy my cabin cruiser. Yes, will do that again with the Mac.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
That's a heck of a boat for a heck of a price! Congrats!

Beaching tends to eat away at the fiberglass. I'd suggest using an anchor. You can even have said anchor (or tree) on land!

Be sure to try sleeping in the bow before having a full house. We found out the hard way how uncomfortable it is to sleep in the bow of our 25. Ironically enough our 19' is far more comfortable to sleep two people up front.
The bottom is in great shape and will be careful and not ram her, I'm thinking more in terms of the tide lowering her onto the sand or being "trapped" in a shallow tide pool, or like you said to shallow anchor. The Mac 26 has a queen bed size berth under the cockpit that my wife & I will sleep in, we already did the v berth in our cabin cruiser and you're right that was tight.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
You stole it! Congratulations and welcome! She's cleaning up nicely.
Thanks. Yeah, it was a good deal for sure compared to all the other junk that I was looking at. You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. I try to buy everything right (cheap) so when and if I do sell I usually make money after years of use & enjoyment.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,006
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Good luck on your project ! I see it has the coveted stern rail.
I have a leftover centerboard from my old 26S if you need one. It has a little leading edge damage. I'm thinking from the PO not lifting it before running up onto the trailer. You can have it for what it costs to ship it.
20190802_171749_resized.jpg 20190802_171859_resized.jpg
 
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tjar

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Aug 8, 2011
166
Hunter Legend 35.5 Tacoma, WA
Welcome to the forum, George. You'll find a lot of friendly people and good advice here. As a former Mac 26D owner, I'm sure you'll enjoy your boat. It's perfect for your intended use.
You'll probably find that although you can occasionally beach the boat, you'll probably want to avoid doing that. I wears away the gelcoat and isn't very comfortable when the waves push you sideways onto the beach. The fiberglass is thin and easily damaged. Better to anchor in shallow water and walk to the beach.
 
Feb 8, 2017
103
MacGregor MacGregor 25 Baltimore
I must echo everyone’s kudos as to a great find! What am I seeing about 5 feet from the stern on the port side? I’m looking at it on my iPhone, so not sure if it’s just schmutz or something else?
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,006
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
If you need an outboard a 9.9 with a long shaft will work nicely. If you are restoring on the cheap, a pull start is fine. I added a prop ring on mine to avoid hitting the rudder. I have seen a modified mudflap work as well.
The biggest gripe I had was deck leaks somewhere above the inner liner.
 
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Nov 30, 2015
217
MacGregor 26S Lakehills, Tx
WoW! I thought I got a great deal on my Mac!

Don't worry too much about all the grunge on deck. Thats what mine looks like every spring. Pressure washing and scrubbing will remove it.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,090
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Congrats @George_NJ. Perfect boat for what you describe.
Who knows you may enjoy the sailing part more than the motoring part. It is quieter and you see more wildlife when it is quiet.
Have fun and may you have plenty of breezes to sail your boat.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
Hi Everyone, I went on vacation up to Cape Cod and was incommunicado and just got back. I only wished that I had gotten the Mac 26 in time to have her ready for our trip up there. I can't wait for next years trip up to the Cape with the Mac 26.

I did manage to get the old boat name stickers off of the boat but I still haven't come up with a new name for her yet. I was able to transfer all the fittings onto the new mast from the old damaged one, I was pleasantly surprised how fast and easy that was. I ordered new LED lighting for the mast light & new navigation lights that I have yet to install. The old Macgregor stickers on the back were in very poor shape, really showing her age (kind of like crows feet) so I ordered new ones from Blue Water and they look fantastic, they are gonna make her look so much "younger" by comparison. I bought a couple slightly used king & queen memory foam mattresses to cut up to replace the missing foam for the cabin cushions, I'm going to pressure wash the cushion outer jackets to give them a cleaning and then let them dry in the sun. They are clean looking, just musty smelling from being stored in a bag for four years, they should freshen up nicely with cleaning. I figured I'd use a pressure washer versus my wife's washing mashing due to it being faster and easier, will probably do a more thorough job penetrating the heavy material anyway. I got the new impeller for the water pump for the 9.9 outboard, so once I change that out she should be good to go.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I must echo everyone’s kudos as to a great find! What am I seeing about 5 feet from the stern on the port side? I’m looking at it on my iPhone, so not sure if it’s just schmutz or something else?
Thanks, Ron, the smudge is where I anonymised the old name & registration numbers for posting online. I'm so used to doing that for privacy it's like automatic. She cleaned up nicely.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
Good luck on your project ! I see it has the coveted stern rail.
I have a leftover centerboard from my old 26S if you need one. It has a little leading edge damage. I'm thinking from the PO not lifting it before running up onto the trailer. You can have it for what it costs to ship it.
View attachment 167968 View attachment 167969
Thanks, Justin, I'll have to take a closer look at my current centerboard to see if an extra is called for. Yes, it has the high stern rails, I'm thinking that it was part of a bimini top system. If things work out the way I hope & plan I'll be using that as part of my solar panel canopy frame in the future.
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
465
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
Looks like a great deal! That's going to end up being a lot of boat for not much money.

Washing with vinegar after the bleach helps ensure all the bleach is neutralized.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I've been buying a lot of things for my 26S this past fall to now, a new dash-mounted VHF radio, all new LED nav lighting, new LED interior light fixtures, a 10" tablet & gps to use for navigation in addition to my phone. an air chrome horn, new fuse panel w/switches & spool of wire, ordered a 400 watt solar system. I picked up a 48# elect trolling motor to use in my local no-gas lake for only $40! Picked up two outboards, a Tohatsu 6HP Sailpro (2012 like new for $500) and runs beautiful *and* a 4HP Merc/Tohatsu 2013 (for $630) that runs like a dream for my hard tender. While the 26S came with a Merc 9.9 it turns out to be a 1971, so I wanted something newer to be sure out there on the water. I figured it would've cost me $500 or better to drop off the old 9.9 at a shop to be gone over anyway. I'll tinker with the 9.9 myself much later on. I can't wait till spring to get this thing out on the water.

About a month after I bought the 26S and driving 3 hours into CT to get it I saw a new listing on Craigslist for a FREE 1971 222 Venture right in my town! Needless to say, I made a pig of myself and went and got it :) While it needs a little love, it's in great shape for its age, sails are great, cushions all there are in respectable/usable shape. Needs paint on the cabin ceiling and some of the white is showing wear on the deck in a couple of places. The keel shows some cracks. The guy gave me everything he had for it, including a screen enclosure & a tent enclosure for the pop-top & another 9.9 but needs work as the drive shaft is frozen/stuck in the head. I was thinking of selling this one come spring, maybe....at least that's what I told the Wife ;)

Here are the 3 sisters with my $100 Sunfish that started my love for sailing.
macs.jpg
macs.jpg