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Macgregor 26X Advice

Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
Hello,

I've been sailing a San Juan 21 for a few years, and now looking to upgrade to something bigger for my wife and I. My obsessive research has gravitated me towards two boats....a Mac 26X and Catalina MKII 22. The 26X is the winner right now, and I there are couple of reasonably priced units in my area (with smaller motors). Why? We really like the look, the simplicity of trailering and rigging, and the spacious cabin area. So here's the dilemma; my primary sailing area is a reservoir that doesn't allow motors....this is where the boat will be moored/parked, and I sail 2-3 times per week there as I live very close. However, we'd like to take it to bigger lakes occasionally. This sounds like a goofy question...but would the 26X be overkill for simply sailing around without a motor attached most of the time? Or would I be better off looking for a nice Catalina 22? Decisions, decisions. As a Mac owner, feel free to throw in your $.02. And for what it's worth, I've checked out the 26S and 26D, they are nice but we like the interior of the X much better. Plus, I just love the look of the X despite criticism from "purists". Thank you!
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,012
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
IMHO, you do not want the 26X if you don't need the "power sailor" feature. It won't sail as well the C22
 
Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
Thanks for your reply. Yes, that’s something I’ve been wondering about, I don’t want to be “that guy”. Plus, it's occurred to me that it may be a PITA every time I want to put the motor on the transom.
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,012
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
What about the 26X interior do you like? A 26 would definitely be roomier than a 22. Have you looked at the Hunter 26 or 260? Both travel well over land.
 
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Likes: SkookumZac
Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
What about the 26X interior do you like? A 26 would definitely be roomier than a 22. Have you looked at the Hunter 26 or 260? Both travel well over land.
We love how roomy the interior is, it's great. I have not seen a Hunter 26 or 260 in person, but I'll keep my eyes open.
 

Joe

Jun 1, 2004
6,810
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
If you like to sail, the trade off for the 26x interior versus the Cat 22's will soon become a negative experience. A 26x with no motor is simply a floating cubicle.... a Cat22 is an actual sailboat.
 
Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
If you like to sail, the trade off for the 26x interior versus the Cat 22's will soon become a negative experience. A 26x with no motor is simply a floating cubicle.... a Cat22 is an actual sailboat.
Ok, that settles it! Catalina it is :)
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,814
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
Ok, that settles it! Catalina it is :)
But... your reasons for liking the 26X is the roominess. The C22 does not have a lot of room in it. I seems like you are waffling between wanting space and wanting sailing performance. All in a boat you can trailer someplace. Take a look at the Catalina 250, the Hunter 26 and the Hunter 260. All three have an enclosed head area and all three sail rather well.
 
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Likes: Jim26m
Aug 8, 2011
163
Hunter Legend 35.5 Tacoma, WA
The CAT22 basic weight is 2,400 lbs, plus gear could bring it over 3,000 lbs. Depending on your tow vehicle, you may want to consider a water ballast boat such as the classic Mac 26D or 26S, or a Hunter 26.
 
Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
Towing weight is not an issue, my F-150 can handle it. My sailing area has some shallow areas, hence the reason for avoiding fixed keels. Thanks for all the tips! Great to hear different opinions.
 
May 24, 2004
5,942
CC 30 South Florida
You will not be happy with a 26X. I had a San Juan 21 and they are sweet sailers; the 26X does not motor well and does not sail well. having said that if the interest is to be the 1rst at the anchorage and enjoy hanging around at anchor there is no better boat in its class.
 
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Likes: Canuck2112
Aug 1, 2011
3,534
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Yes, buuuuut.... the Glenmore being close to home lends itself to either option, but a lot of the lakes around these parts are exceptionally shallow. We had a 26c for years, and there are lots of places where you can go with the Mac that you can't go with anything resembling a "real" keel, and that's not sailing, that's trailer on the ramp stuff.

Where are you thinking you are wanting to go, and how often? Not every boat out in these parts is rigged for a mast that can be rigged without a crane.
 
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Likes: Jim26m
Apr 3, 2019
326
Macgregor 26M P Cub Boo Mobile AL
Don't know much about reservoir sailing. How's the wind at your reservoir?

The 26x (and m) are very roomy inside. Are you planning to do overnights/weekends regularly, or just day sail? You may be different, but my crew is not below deck when we're sailing, except to get food or hit the head. So, unless you're planning on staying aboard a lot, not sure that the roominess is giving you much.

The x and m are power sailers. They were designed to be planing powerboats that will sail. You are not likely to be popping a 60-90 hp motor off and on as you change sailing destinations. If you can't have an outboard on your boat in the reservoir, then you will have to stick with smaller "kicker" outboards that you can easily remove when necessary. This will take away one of the biggest advantages of owning the x - high speed motoring.

Now, if you're planning on doing a lot of overnighting and weekending, the roominess will be nice. If you don't care about being the sportiest sailboat on the reservoir, that's also a plus for the x. Don't get me wrong, they sail fine. I bought an m and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. But, my goal was to have a power sailer that I could sail when I had sailers aboard; and pull a tube when the kids get bored of going 5-6 knots. I've had "real sailers" aboard and they have enjoyed the outing. Not one jumped overboard and swam back to the dock because the boat was too atrocious to be seen on, or totally incapable of offering a good day of sailing.

The x is easy to trailer and set up. It will float in a puddle (but it won't sail in shallow water) - well maybe DDW. You need to get the rudders fully down to sail, so you'll need 4-5 ft of water min to actually sail.

How much of your reservoir is less than 5 feet deep?

I would encourage you to find someone that has the boat you're looking at and try to wrangle a short sail out of them (trade for dinner, beer, etc).

Good luck with your search.
 
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Likes: DrJudyB
Aug 1, 2011
3,534
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Don't know much about reservoir sailing. How's the wind at your reservoir?
Like almost all the lakes in Alberta, for the most part, you're looking for the wind more often than not, don't tack on the shifts if you ever want to actually get anyplace, and be thankful for a light boat that accelerates quickly. On Wednesday nights, there was nothing back in the Mac days more enjoyable than getting somebody with 7 or 8 times the weight to fall for the dreaded tacking duel, they'd lose EVERY time.
Now of course we are older and wiser - we just get the kite out and see ya later!
 
Oct 10, 2019
13
San Juan SJ 21 Calgary
Don't know much about reservoir sailing. How's the wind at your reservoir?

The 26x (and m) are very roomy inside. Are you planning to do overnights/weekends regularly, or just day sail? You may be different, but my crew is not below deck when we're sailing, except to get food or hit the head. So, unless you're planning on staying aboard a lot, not sure that the roominess is giving you much.

The x and m are power sailers. They were designed to be planing powerboats that will sail. You are not likely to be popping a 60-90 hp motor off and on as you change sailing destinations. If you can't have an outboard on your boat in the reservoir, then you will have to stick with smaller "kicker" outboards that you can easily remove when necessary. This will take away one of the biggest advantages of owning the x - high speed motoring.

Now, if you're planning on doing a lot of overnighting and weekending, the roominess will be nice. If you don't care about being the sportiest sailboat on the reservoir, that's also a plus for the x. Don't get me wrong, they sail fine. I bought an m and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. But, my goal was to have a power sailer that I could sail when I had sailers aboard; and pull a tube when the kids get bored of going 5-6 knots. I've had "real sailers" aboard and they have enjoyed the outing. Not one jumped overboard and swam back to the dock because the boat was too atrocious to be seen on, or totally incapable of offering a good day of sailing.

The x is easy to trailer and set up. It will float in a puddle (but it won't sail in shallow water) - well maybe DDW. You need to get the rudders fully down to sail, so you'll need 4-5 ft of water min to actually sail.

How much of your reservoir is less than 5 feet deep?

I would encourage you to find someone that has the boat you're looking at and try to wrangle a short sail out of them (trade for dinner, beer, etc).

Good luck with your search.
Thanks for the input. Yes, we plan on doing some overnighting, probably in the Okanagan a couple times a year. This is virtually impossible with the San Juan, I’m not sure my wife would be too enthusiastic about it lol. After considering everyone’s feedback, I’m not sure I could sacrifice the sailing excitement I get from the SJ, it’s a great little boat. I get the impression the X and M models would be better suited for big lakes, etc, where one could take full advantage of its designed intentions. I get the feeling, sailing in the reservoir, the novelty of having the boat would wear off quickly.
 
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Likes: Jim26m
Aug 1, 2011
3,534
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Yeah, you just get it loaded up and it's time to turn around. Welcome to small bodies of water....

The advantage of the X/M is that you have the headroom. The downside is on highways like 97c when a B train goes by you, the boat wants to change lanes in the vortex. It won't matter if you have a 150 or whatever - there's a very light wall of fiberglass back there..

There's no reason why you can't have a 15hp motor or something manageable on the boat. It would work just fine.
 
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Likes: Jim26m
May 24, 2004
5,942
CC 30 South Florida
He who says a Mac26X sails good has never sailed a San Juan 21; the same feeling of driving a vintage Porsche in a twisty road.