macgregor sailboats

Mainsail and genoa

This photo shows the boat sailing under main and genoa, The wind is blowing about 10 knots, just about right for a pleasant afternoon sail.

Sailing with main and jib

Sailing along on a reach, with the wind at about 14 knots.

The 26 balances beautifully. A light touch on the wheel is all that is necessary to track a perfect course. The big twin rudders give excellent control. The boat is light. A light boat like this requires less sail area to sail fast, so sail handling is easy. The 26's light weight and its powerboat underbelly allow the boat to get up on top of the water and plane in heavy winds. In such conditions, these boats have exceeded 17 mph under sail. Most small sailboats, with their round bottoms, have speeds limited to around 5 to 6 mph.

You can always make a fast boat go slower by reducing sail, but you can't make a slow boat sail fast. There is no sacred principle that says a great cruising sailboat should be slow, and there is no greater frustration than a comfortable "houseboat" that just doesn't sail.

The MacGregor 26 offers the amenities of a cruising boat combined with high performance sailing. There are a lot of boats on the market that do not sail fast or handle well. The best bet is to sail any boat that you intend to buy, or watch it sailing competitively against other sailboats. The turkeys will be obvious.

Mainsail only

This photo shows the boat sailing under mainsail with no jib. This is great for heavy weather, or for learning to sail. The rotating mast, described below, allows the boat to be sailed very efficiently under main alone.

Here is another picture of the main and jib.

The 26’s rotating mast is similar to the setup used on virtually all modern catamarans. We have developed a system (for which we are seeking a patent) that allows conventional spreaders, with upper and lower shrouds, and a mast that rotates to create perfect airflow across the mainsail.

With a conventional non-rotating mast, the mast creates a serious amount of turbulence on the mainsail, making the first third of the sail virtually useless. The deep notch between the mainsail and the mast disturbs the laminar flow of air across the downwind side of the sail and causes the smooth air flow to separate from the sail and disintegrate into a vast field of turbulence. The drawings below show the difference.

The long, deep daggerboard keeps the boat from side-slipping when sailing into the wind. The board and rudders retract to allow the boat to be beached. The daggerboard and rudders are controlled by lines leading to the cockpit, and can be pulled completely up into the boat for powering and for downwind sailing.

The daggerboard's long, thin airfoil is far more efficient than a short, wide one. This is why racing sailboat keels are deep, and why sailplane wings are long and thin. The relationship between the fore and aft width of the board and its length is called its aspect ratio. Most boats have keels with aspect ratios of 2 to 1 (meaning that the keel or centerboard is two times as deep as it is wide). The MacGregor 26 centerboard has a ratio of five to one (it is 16" wide and 5' 6" deep). The high aspect ratio increases lift as the boat sails into the wind and reduces drag. This is one of the major reasons that the new 26 will point closer into the wind and sail faster than other trailerables.

We offer a cruising spinnaker. The sail is easy to fly and colorful, and adds an amazing amount of speed when sailing downwind. It is flown and controlled just like a jib or genoa. Unlike conventional racing spinnakers, it does not require a spinnaker pole or extra hardware.

Racing with the MacGregor 70

The above photo shows the 26 racing against our MacGregor 70. The 70 is the world's fastest production sailboat, and we gave it a severe handicap by furling up its huge jib. As fast as the 26 is, the smart money was still on the 70. The big boat cruises under power at 12 knots. That's fast for a sailboat. But the 26, under power, will fly by it like the 70 is tied to a tree.

We ship everywhere in North America. For International Shipments,
please call Sharp Industries at (949) 642-9491.

boats for sale in California

marina del rey macgregor 26
MacGregor Sailboats
Mike Inmon

1631 Placentia Ave.
Costa Mesa, California 92627





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Captain Mike's MacGregor 26 Sailing Tips
A growing collection of MacGregor sailing tips. These pages are updated regularly, so check back often.
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