The MacGregor 26 is bulilt by MacGregor yachts began building boats in the early 1960’s. Sailboats with fixed keels can be more difficult to tow and nearly impossible to launch at most boat ramps (the protruding keel puts the hull in the air that the tow vehicle could easily be submerged before the boat found enough depth to float free of the trailer). MacGregor invented an adaptation of the retracting keel. With a retractable keel, a trailerable sailboat sits low on the trailer and launches as easily as a small runabout.
MacGregor realised that as people moved to smaller cars due to increasing petrol price, the weight of their vessels had to be reduced in order to facilitate safe towing and to open up the trailer sailer market to more people. Their solution was to water as the ballast system.
The MacGregor 26 has a small amount of permanent ballast (300 lbs) and the rest is water ballast (1150 lbs). After launching, a transom valve is opened and a tank in the bottom of the hull is gravity filled with the ballast water. When full the valve is then closed so holding the water. When the boat is recovered, the valve is opened and the water drains away. This means the boats is very light for powered operation and trailering but gives it the heavy stability necessary for safe sailing. Many other manufacturers have since copied the water ballast system.
The MacGregor 26 is not only a sailboat but can also be powered reaching up to 22 knots with a 50 HP outboard.
Accommodation is good too for a trailer sailer. There are two double berths and two single berths. Many trailer sailer have no toilet facilities other than a 'porta potty' stored under a bunk somewhere. The MacGregor 26 however has an enclosed head compartment.
At nearly 26' long the MacGregor26 could be classed as being a little long for a true trailer sailer especially on the crowded roads of the UK but the lightweight achieved by the use of a water ballast system means in fact that the boat can be trailed by a wide variety of towing vehicles.
||: 25ft 10
||: 7ft 9
||: 2550lb (1150lb
||: 300ft sq
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MacGregor 26 Trailer Sailer comments and advice
I have owned one for a year very pleased with it. I would not cross oceans in it, but it is not designed to. If you want a shallow draft easy launce & recover boat for costal cruising the Macgregor 26x is ideal.
Good boat to get you going,easy to sail with respectable performance .walk in the park to tow, lanch and recover.
I'm now on my second season with my Macgregor 26M and have to say how pleased I am with my choice. It really does do everything well, given that it is not a dedicated power boat or sailing boat. Although not a racing boat, it is faster under sail than it has a right to be, and really will get up on the plane under power - why spend time beating against the tide when you can just motor...fast. The only thing to remember is that it is not a deep keel bluewater yacht and therefore any journeys out of sight of land should only be undertaken with care.