HOT NEWS: After 58 years of production, and 38,000 sailboats, the MacGregors are retiring. Production of the MacGregor 26 has been discontinued. Our daughter and son in law, Laura and Paul Sharp, have opened a new boat building business in Stuart, Florida, and are manufacturing a boat similar to our MacGregor 26. Contact them at tattooyachts.com
For all of the details about our retirement, and for the full MacGregor 26 website, click here.
One person can raise the mast,
launch the boat and sail away in 10 to 15 minutes.
Optional mast raising system
The mast is lifted using a small brake winch mounted on the mast raising pole (The term "brake winch" means a winch that you crank both up and down. If you let go of the handle under load, the winch drum will stay put and not spin wildly).
The mast is so light that a kid can raise it. The system can be left in
place while sailing. Even without this option, one person can easily raise
and lower the mast by hand.
Raise and lower the mast while
There are lots of bridges, and the
best sailing is often on the other side. The mast raising system can be used
to handle this problem. Just lower the mast and duck under. For trailering
and for going under bridges, you disconnect only the forward mast support
wire. The other rigging always remains in place.
Ours is specifically designed for
trailering. We use stay adjusters, rather than turnbuckles, for the wires
that support the mast. With masts that are raised and lowered, turnbuckle
bending and failure is very common. Stay adjusters are stronger and far more
reliable. Also, we bolt the support wires to the mast, rather than using
removable "T" fittings that can fall off and allow the wires to
tangle up in the trailer wheels when on the road.
We use double nicopress fittings on
the mast support wires because of their reliability. Swaged fittings have a
tendency to crack, and it is impossible to determine their true condition
without X-ray. The nicopress fittings, in contrast, are easy to inspect. We
have had remarkable success with these fittings over a long period of years.
On hang gliders and ultra light aircraft, you will always see nicropress and
not swaged fittings. These guys really have their life on the line when
At one time we used full battened
mainsails. We have switched to soft sails for the following reasons: Full
battened sails have to be rolled up in a long, bulky tube and take up a lot
of room in the boat when stored. The battens press hard against the mast and
make the mainsail more difficult to raise and lower. The long battens are
subject to breakage when they press hard and chafe against the mast support
wires when running downwind. They are heavier, and weight aloft is critical.
They make tacking more difficult, and, for a given sail size, they are not
as fast as a conventional sail.