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The Macgregor 26S

As much fun as we had with the Hitia 17, we decided that building something like Wharram’s Tiki 38 was more than we wanted to do.  And the Hitia 17 is definately a day sailer, not a family cruiser. So I began looking for some sort of cheap sailboat on Craigslist. Susan found a boat called a Macgregor 26 and after some initial hesitation we decided it would be the perfect boat for us.

Sailing into the Sunset

Sailing into the Sunset

It was fairly decent for size (I was originally looking for something around 22 feet long). The boat is very lightweight  as it uses a water ballast system. It is simple as there is very little in the way of wood or other maintenance intensive items. It is very shallow draft, requiring only about 18 inches of water and with no protruding fins or such, the boat sits low on the trailer, which makes launching very easy. There is some dislike of the Macgregor out there, but the 26D or S models are not the same as their later M and X models, which are quite different and can be equipped with huge motors. Ours is a very decent trailer sailer.

We got it around Christmas time and only needed to replace the halyards and rebuild the cam cleats. It sails pretty well. It takes a while to set up, but so did the Hitia 17.  Just like the Hitia 17, we change or improve things every trip.

So far we’ve replaced the halyards, tightened up the rigging substantially, added a CS Johnson rig tensioner in to the forestay, replaced the forward nav light (Owner had a replacement sitting in the parts bin) redid some of the wiring to work with a portable jump pack from our car (still much to be done in this area) added a topping lift (must add better rope) replaced the trailer lights with waterproof LED lights (will redo the entire trailer wiring in the future) added fire extinguishers and other safety gear (still some more to be done) added a wind vane, fishing rod holders and are recovering the cushions. Seems a lot now that I think about it, but so far not too expensive.

For this month, we plan to add a second anchor and a port potty. The anchor we chose is a 22lb Rocna which will be on 30-40 feet of chain and 200 feet of rope. I want to add an anchor retrieval system to this anchor as well. The boat came with a 13lb Danforth Anchor but I was not happy with the performance of this anchor on the Cumberland.  We’ll store the Rocna on the bow in a PVC pipe, and the Danforth may be up front or in the back. Figure that out later.  Still waiting on all parts to arrive so can’t use it yet.

Toilet is on order so will comment on that later.

The other project we did  yesterday was add laminate flooring to the cabin floor. The old floor was white, textured fiberglass which got dirty and and stayed that way. This laminate should be waterproof, easier to clean and just looks awesome.  Still have much we want to do but we can only do so much each month.  Well, that’s all for now.


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