Questions for 26S owners

NINEv2

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Jul 21, 2020
88
Catalina 250 Black Hills
Howdy everyone. After much thought and discussions with the missus, we decided that our best, easiest, and most affordable method of establishing a foothold in our dream vacation area is at their local marina in a cruiser.

With a budget in mind of ~10K, we are now taking a hard look at the Mac 26S. I was wondering if anyone could comment on the cabin headroom. I'm 5'8" and the wife is 5'2". Would we be stooping all day? Also, the pics I've seen don't focus on the cockpit, but there doesn't seem to be a walk through transom. Is this the case?

Apologies if there's already a thread on this, and I look forward to any input. Thanks in advance.
 

NINEv2

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Jul 21, 2020
88
Catalina 250 Black Hills
Thanks! It's really a toss up between those two. I was lucky enough to speak directly with crazy Dave in the spring and he really helped me out with my Hunyer questions.

The walk thru transom is kind of a deal breaker though.
 

srimes

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Jun 9, 2020
211
Macgregor 26D Brookings
No standing headroom unless the pop top is up. No walk-through transom.

Might be able to get a 26x with a small motor for that price, if those are your main concerns and you don't need to go fast under motor (or sail).
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
I do love my walk through.... especially for a swim platform and I slip aft first so I can easily walk onto and off of the boat.

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Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
For $10K you'd be able to buy at least two nice Mac 26S' with trailers. The mac 26 is *very* transportable and able to be launched at most regular boat ramps so that opens up a whole lot of smaller inland (electric only) lakes to you too. The Mac 26S with a trailer is under 3000 LBs for towing, with only an 8' beam too so no permits needed to tow it, the Hunter 26 has a 9' beam so I think you need permits. You didn't mention your tow vehicle and its limitations so that may come into play. Yes, at 5'8" you will be ducking below deck without the pop-top up and there is no walk-thru transom. The Mac 26S&D do have a very large storage lazerette instead of a walkthru transom and storage is a really big deal on a boat this size especially when you are planning to camp out for a few days on it.
When I was last on the Hudson River we were hit right at the transom with a *BIG* wake while at anchor by the Statue Of Liberty, it would've swamped a cockpit of an open transom boat. Let me tell you I was nervous as that wall of water hit us but thankfully any water that did breach the cockpit and motor well drained right out as designed. I would think open transom boats are designed with that in mind but are they? How does that open transom design work out if the companionway is open and the cockpit gets swamped by a big wake? I don't know the answer but that is something I would want to know beforehand.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
.. the Hunter 26 has a 9' beam so I think you need permits.
I thought "well that is not right!" But then I looked it up and you are correct sir. I don't know anyone who tows a Hunter 26 or 260 that gets permits though. I think in practice you don't need a permit. Sort of like driving 5 mph over the speed limit.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,016
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I thought "well that is not right!" But then I looked it up and you are correct sir. I don't know anyone who tows a Hunter 26 or 260 that gets permits though. I think in practice you don't need a permit. Sort of like driving 5 mph over the speed limit.
I remember there being a whole thread on this way back. Can't remember what the consensus was. I think @rgranger is right unless a Barney Fife pulls you over.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,016
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
. I was wondering if anyone could comment on the cabin headroom. I'm 5'8" and the wife is 5'2". Would we be stooping all day? Also, the pics I've seen don't focus on the cockpit, but there doesn't seem to be a walk through transom. Is this the case?
Yep, the only standup area is under the poptop while it is raised. Ours still had the canvas 'tent' for the open top so it kept the weather (mostly) out while we were slipped. It does have a nice, big, fore and aft berth under the cockpit. No walkthru transom.
 
Aug 5, 2019
91
Macgregor 26 S NJ
I remember there being a whole thread on this way back. Can't remember what the consensus was. I think @rgranger is right unless a Barney Fife pulls you over.
I agree most cops wouldn't be able to spot the difference between an 8' and a 9' beam driving down the road and the ones that can are most likely boaters themselves and might be inclined to let it go. I myself with my old 9' cabin cruiser never got a permit but I only pulled it locally twice a year to my seasonal slip, and yes a couple of times I had a cop pull behind me and sweated that but never got pulled over. If I had ever planned on taking it for vacations for any distance (like states away) I don't think I would've taken the chance without one, and most of us wouldn't want to hear it from the wives if there was a problem law enforcement wise standing on the side of the road. If you're driving down the interstate and come by an inspection area with the signs saying, "all trailers exit for inspection", do guys pulling boats stop too? What will the DOT cops say or do? I'm sure they will spot an oversize situation. I don't know the answers to any of that.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
I agree most cops wouldn't be able to spot the difference between an 8' and a 9' beam driving down the road and the ones that can are most likely boaters themselves and might be inclined to let it go. I myself with my old 9' cabin cruiser never got a permit but I only pulled it locally twice a year to my seasonal slip, and yes a couple of times I had a cop pull behind me and sweated that but never got pulled over. If I had ever planned on taking it for vacations for any distance (like states away) I don't think I would've taken the chance without one, and most of us wouldn't want to hear it from the wives if there was a problem law enforcement wise standing on the side of the road. If you're driving down the interstate and come by an inspection area with the signs saying, "all trailers exit for inspection", do guys pulling boats stop too? What will the DOT cops say or do? I'm sure they will spot an oversize situation. I don't know the answers to any of that.
I tow my H26 all over the place. The longest haul was from Central VA to Montgomery AL. No permit, and boats don't stop at weigh stations. I recently towed from Montgomery to Charleston. I've also towed to the Chesepeake Bay and the NC outerbanks. The only issues I've ever had was parking for a food break. You want to really scope out the situation BEFORE you pull into the drive through area. I tend to park across the street and walk over.

Hmmm???? Is "scope out" the situation a nautical term ?????? I've never thought about that one before.
 
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Aug 29, 2020
17
MacGregor 26S Mobile
No cathedral ceiling. But, how much walking around are you going to do in the cabin of a 26S? Do you and your wife intend to do the "bump" while joyfully dancing around together boiling lobsters? Those things enter into it.
Some of my foundest memories involve activities like crawling into a tent in a duck marsh in the middle of the winter or getting into the cozy cabin of a boat where you have access to a shelter of your own in some exotic location where you can sleep, fix food and even poop on your own clean toilet if you so desire. To me, the amenities aren't as important as just being able to get my piece of that great outdoor pie. I 've made some comprises over the years, but I've seen things and had experiences that I otherwise never would have had. Soul enriching adventures that few others have had the fortune to experience. There are worse things in the world than having a light weight portable apartment that you can pull with most vehicles, that you can put in a lake or ocean at almost any boat ramp, that will transport you to some secluded cove where you and your wife can have a drink while fixing supper and watching the sunset.
That will get you in the door so that you can look around, and decide if you would like to make more elaborate arrangements. And if you're smart about it, with a used "toy", you sometimes can even make money doing it.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,003
Hunter 26 Charleston
There are worse things in the world than having a light weight portable apartment that you can pull with most vehicles, that you can put in a lake or ocean at almost any boat ramp, that will transport you to some secluded cove where you and your wife can have a drink while fixing supper and watching the sunset.
Amen! Sunset and moonrise at anchor... sippin' a beer and smoking a stoggie.
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NINEv2

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Jul 21, 2020
88
Catalina 250 Black Hills
Thanks for the info everyone. A couple more things: I don't have a vehicle capable of towing any of these boats, we'll be at a seasonal slip, and we basically are looking for a floating RV. Being able to sail across the lake is only a bonus. Oh yeah, inland mostly sheltered green water only.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,016
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I wouldn't consider the 26S a "floating RV". I have heard a Hunter owner call his a "Hunterbego" .
A capable tow vehicle is going to be essential to your plan. Beg, borrow or steal one. Few rentals come with a trailer hitch.
 

NINEv2

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Jul 21, 2020
88
Catalina 250 Black Hills
The marina we intend to use will launch/store offseason for fairly reasonable fees (literally the price of gas to drive a full size pickup to the lake). 30K+ for a full size pickup plus an 11 hr drive to get to the lake kinda defeats the purpose.

Though I would very much like to own a Tundra :)