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Macgregor 26S Trailer Mods

I wanted to showcase the mods I did to my Macgregor 26S as I have found a lot of helpful info on the web from other people and hope that I can help someone else. First of all, I have to specifically call out Sumner at Purple Sage for his incredibly informative website. Most of this stuff I really can’t say that I thought up on my own, and while I got ideas from other sites, Sumner’s site is probably the best out there.

My Macgregor 26S and trailer. Note extra lighting.

My Macgregor 26S and trailer. Note extra lighting.

My trailer is a 1994 Macgregor 26S trailer withOUT trailer brakes. I may “fix” this later but with no brake flanges on it, it would be a real pain. These mods have taken me about a year or so and I’ll start more or less from front to rear.

I threw out the stock brake lights almost immediately and replaced them with sealed LED lights. Since then I replaced the existing wiring and added some additional clearance and marker lamps. I still need to add the rear  three lamp combo in the back back but haven’t done that. I also need to clean up the wiring as it hangs off the trailer. The little lighting clamps don’t work very well unfortunately. I might try silicon or hot glue, actually.

Close up of the extra lights. I can see the extra lights on the fenders during day and night which assures me that the lights are working and helps to show me where my tires are at night when making turns.

Close up of the extra lights. I can see the extra lights on the fenders during day and night which assures me that the lights are working and helps to show me where my tires are at night when making turns.

View of my trailer in side mirrors. Note fender lights.

View of my trailer in side mirrors. Note fender lights.

The jack wheel was not easy to turn and I couldn’t figure out where to get the parts. I decided to cut it off entirely and replace with a newer, swing up unit. I’m pretty happy as you don’t have to raise it all the way to the top and it is much easier to move the trailer around. The trick is to lower the jack as much as you can so that the jack shaft doesn’t flex. When it flexes the swivel wheel doesn’t work as well.

Swing up jack. I had to cut the old one off. This one saves time, turns more easily and should it ever require replacement can be unbolted.

Swing up jack. I had to cut the old one off. This one saves time, turns more easily and should it ever require replacement can be unbolted.

After I blew out a tire on a different trailer and had to spend 2 hours driving around looking for a replacement and tools, I added a spare tire and carrier. Make sure that you have the proper lug wrench though. My van’s lug wrench will fit the trailer wheels but not the bolts on the carrier! I’ll have to change this. Right now I carry a 4 way.

Spare tire location.

Spare tire location.

I added a length of safety chain as a redundant retention method for holding the boat on the trailer. This is super simple and is just for peace of mind. I also replaced the original winch with a new one. The old one was actually pretty good but only had a short length of ratty rope. I wasn’t sure how to get more line in there so decided to get a new winch.

New winch with 25 foot strap and retention chain.

New winch with 25 foot strap and retention chain.

I added a bow roller. This needs a bit of improvement actually but shows a lot of potential. Without the roller I had to get the trailer way into the water and deal with the “Mac bump.” Now the rear of the boat rises off the trailer and the boat just rolls back on the roller until it is in deeper water. I don’t have to back in as far. Also, when getting the boat back on the trailer the roller lifts the bow above the stop. Before I was smashing off bow lights and having to push, lift and shove the boat around to get it properly positioned, then do a series of Mac bumps to get it into place. The first problem I encountered though was that the short rope on the old winch was not long enough. The boat so easily rolled back into the water I couldn’t undo the strap without having to lash the boat to the trailer, slack the winch line and unhook that, then unlash the boat. Getting back on was also a pain. The new winch has a 25 foot line so I’m good there. The other problem is that the angle iron twists as the boat rolls down. I can tell I don’t need to adjust the height of the roller so I might try to redo it.

Bow roller.

Bow roller.

Finally,  I wanted to have my tail lights near the back of the boat where they actually belong. I thought about extending the trailer as Sumner did, but worried that would be expensive, add weight to the rear, possibly require the axle to be moved back. . .  all major stuff. I decided to make a light bar that mounts to the rudder bracket with some quick release pins. I added 2 additional LED lights, and then ran the wire to the guide post where a second connector sits. I used to just drive down the road with 3 feet of rudder sticking back but decided to remove the rudder. It was my fear that I’d get rear ended and get the blame for having poor equipment. So now my light bar does the trick without too much trouble.

My light bar.

My light bar.

Close up of my mounting solution.

Close up of my mounting solution.

Close up of wiring for my light bar.

Close up of wiring for my light bar.

Finally, I added a ratchet strap on the back of the boat to hold it all down.

 

Next up I’ll post the mods done to the actual boat.

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