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Should I?

Jan 18, 2019
Not Yet Not Yet Glen Rose, TX
I have never sailed or even been on a sailboat before. I have always wanted to and have determined that I am going to do it. I am about an hour away from lakes that are large enough to sail on and want to learn. I have been doing a lot of internet research and I feel like the Mac 26 would be a good option for me. I have found several on the internet...but I just found one in houston that is pretty cheap but I'm not sure if it would be a good deal...What do yall think?

Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Welcome to the World of sailing and to the best of that World right here at SBO. You are starting out on the right foot by joining us and asking questions.
My answers and others here are opinions based on our own experience and perspectives. Please take our advice as well meant if maybe not the best fit for you.
That said, It is my opinion that for the completely uninitiated, dinghy sailing is an excellent way to learn. Sailing is factors more complex than powerboating and can be very expensive. Start out with the intent to learn. Get a Laser or another small, easily portable rooftop sailboat and ask for advice and help from them that knows at your local marina. There may be clubs that organize races and/regattas. Get involved and discover what you really want to spend your money on.
The Mac 26 is a fine boat and a lot of boat. It may be exactly what you want, but I don't think you are in a good position to really know that yet.

So glad you have joined us and I hope to follow your progression as a sailor. Good luck.

-Will (Dragonfly)
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Jan 8, 2015
MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30 Kerr Reservoir
Looking at the craigslist ad, it looks like it might be a good deal but I don't think it would be a good deal for you.
The pictures seam to show a boat in pretty rough shape. Do you want to spend a considerable amount of time working on a boat or do you want to learn to sail? Some have started out rebuilding a boat to get started and that is a good way to really know the boat. The concern would be with your limited experience with sail boats, you might not be able to discern what you are actually getting. It might be more of a project than you want to start out with. As Will stated for the same money you could get a smaller boat in much better condition.
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Jul 31, 2010
Hunter 260 Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
My wife and I have always bought boats that needed very little work. We’d rather sail than restore. Buying a better boat will probably save money in the long run.
Welcome aboard!
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May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
When purchasing a sailboat you have to look at the big ticket items; the condition of the hull and keel, the rigging, the sails and the engine. From the posting I derive the engine is not running, why? The trailer looks like crap. Would not offer more than $1,200 if everything was in good shape.
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Jul 12, 2011
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
@lockep , welcome to our little forum. You're not the first person to ask this, so we all have ready answers. I respect the advice of the above posts. Sailing is much more of a skill than people generally understand. Many people get frustrated because they think the first step is buy a boat, read a manual, and off you go - like buying a riding mower or barbecue grill. Buying a boat should be a much later step. First, learn to sail and see if you like it. This will save you a great deal of money, time, and frustration. The best and cheapest way to do this is sail on other people's boats. Most sailors, clubs, etc. will offer you a ride if you show some interest. (Interest is often shown by carrying a six-pack of good beer). Offering to crew for racing skippers or meeting someone and asking at local sailing / yacht clubs are great starts. I know this is more of a social investment, but it will honestly save you a bunch of time and money. Taking a class is a good investment, if you do not have anyone around that you can bum a ride from. Here's a good group where you can search for an introductory class and do some research: https://asa.com/

Most importantly, do not be discouraged and have fun. In a little while, you will know what you want from a boat, like you know what type of car or truck you want, and will make a buying decision very easily.
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Oct 29, 2016
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
First off, welcome to the best sailing forum on the net

So you want to learn to sail, start here

Loads of fun, can carry the cooler full of cold drinks and will teach you how to sail, by feel, the changes in sail trim / adjustments give instant feed back, nothing like being close to the water moving along at what feels like 50 MPH........
or here
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Aug 8, 2011
Hunter Legend 35.5 Tacoma, WA
Hey Simon, I resemble that remark...
But as a former Mac 26D owner, I agree with the above advice that it probably isn't the boat for you. At least not yet. Look around for a club that offers lessons and decide if sailing is for you. Talk to different people about what to look for in a boat to do the type of sailing you're interested in. Then look for boats that fit that interest.
The boat you listed is in pretty rough shape. The time and cost of making it serviceable would far exceed the purchase price.
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Sep 30, 2013
C-22, Albin Vega central Florida
Friends don't let friends buy MacGregors...;)
Oh no you didn't! LOL

@lockep , I have never sailed a Mac, but I would consider one if I were in that market. Just not an X or an M, and not THAT Mac in the ad. Too much work and money will be needed on that one. The right price for it would be somewhere around $100.

All that said, it's common knowledge that the Catalina 22 is the king of all trailer sailors. :biggrin:
Nov 26, 2012
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Join a sailing club. Take a sailing class. Go sailing with people. Then decide if and what you want to buy. Your perspective will change quite a bit once you get some knowledge and experience. Also, Mac 26's are not the best sailing boats and they tend to be expensive. A boat that sails well is much more fun in my opinion.
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Jan 31, 2009
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
.. Also, Mac 26's are not the best sailing boats and they tend to be expensive. A boat that sails well is much more fun in my opinion.
... and how many different versions of the 26 are you aware of?


Expensive? I think not. About the only one that is still fairly expensive and that might be questionable is the 26M.

Since he is in an area where he can probably sail on others' boats it is probably a good idea. We bought our Mac having never sailed and it worked out fine for us. Not saying it will for everyone. Living in Utah's canyon country not a lot of sailing opportunities available. I was also at an age where taking the longer course to owning a boat that was capable of what our Mac 26S is capable of wasn't a good option. We would of missed out on some good years. Glad we did it just the way we did,

1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
Endeavour 37 Mods...
MacGregor 26-S Mods...
Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
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Jan 7, 2014
Beneteau 45F5 51551 Port Jefferson
We bought our first boat about 5 years ago. Never sailed more than a sunfish before that. I am pretty handy, I've rebuilt engines, done electrical, plumbing, you name it, but we decided that for a first boat it's better to get one that's clean and in good working order- and safe. Get a survey. You don't even know what you don't know yet. It's easier to maintain than to restore. Wait till you know a little before you get a project boat.
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Jun 29, 2014
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
Most sailors, clubs, etc. will offer you a ride if you show some interest. (Interest is often shown by carrying a six-pack of good beer). Offering to crew for racing skippers or meeting someone and asking at local sailing / yacht clubs are great starts.
This is excellent advice-especially bringing good beer. Anyone with Shiner is welcome on my boat anytime!

Go meet sailors, most of us will welcome someone who is interested in sailing and will take them out. See how you feel when the sails fill, the boat heels and the others on the boat are doing all kinds of stuff you don't understand with the lines.

Everyone on this site was a newbie at one point and all of us are still learning-no one here knows everything there is to know about sailing-except maybe @Jackdaw, but he's on sabbatical right now......
Jan 7, 2014
Beneteau 45F5 51551 Port Jefferson
I've seen better boats than that given away for free. Join a yacht club or sailing association as a social member and check their bulletin boards and newsletter. This year someone gave away a 1984 Hunter 30 in great shape. There are plenty of good boats out there, the boat you are looking at will need an outboard, sails, cushions, trailer overhaul, standing rigging, sheets, halyards and God only know what else. You'll have another $15k sunk into a boat that's worth about half that. Keep looking. I don't think you need to start with a laser, we started with a Ericson-32. We got a boat the entire family could enjoy together, with friends. A couple of years later, we started Tuesday night racing with a club and that's where you really learn.
Jul 29, 2010
Macgregor 76 V-25 #928 Lake Mead, Nevada
Welcome to the LEGION OF THE DAMNED! Pretty grungy, walk away. The Honda looks like it's in bad shape? Over haul can get pricey. Lot's of elbow grease to bring her up to par. Don't see interior cushions. $$$. As mentioned, find a sailing club or a trailer/sailor group where you will meet, for the most part, some really nice people who will give good advice and tell outrageous stories:yikes:. See if you can crew with some one. (slang, Boat Bum:waycool:) You might find a good deal through some of them. I have over the past 50 years owned three Mac/Ventures. a 21, 222 & 25. They have all been well built and easy to maintain. Freedom turned 40 last year and is still in pretty good shape for her age. Have sailed from Newport, Ca. to Ensenada, MX. 120 miles +/- Trailered from Baja to Canada and points in between. Dropped anchor in Catalina for a week at a time. Keep us posted, Good luck and Hook 'em Horns!! P.S. to Gene Neil, Catalina 22 is still the largest production keeled sailboat ever. Would recommend it as a starter.
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