Sailing

1992 MacGregor 26
 

I own  a 26 foot MacGregor cabin sailboat name Niagara. I am the skipper and generally the only sailor and photographer around when I sail so I have no pictures of my boat under sail. I do have some from the promotional literature I got with the boat which I will use here. My boat is largely stock so the pictures are very accurate. I've owned it for about 5 years now and have made several modifications..

The boat is designed specifically for lake sailing and trailering. Most sailboats this size have either a heavy permanent ballast or a fixed keel. The heavy ballast (over 100 pounds) is extra weight to haul on the trailer and the fixed keel makes the boat very difficult to launch from a trailer. The Mac 26 has a water ballast and a swing keel. he ballast is water in a tank which is drained when the boat is taken out of the water so you lose the weight and the keel swings up into the hull out of the way when not in use.

When I got the boat the outboard motor kept stalling. The way the boat is set up the gas tank had to be set on the deck which is slightly above the motor. The motor has a gas pump in it so I didn't think this would be a problem however after repeated stalls and no solution I talked to a mechanic and was told that with outboards the gas tank has to be below the motor or gas will push through the pump and flood the motor. The loose gas tank was kind of a pain anyway. I put in an 11 gallon enclosed tank in the unused space below the motor well complete with gas gauge.

On most sailboats the wiring is a mess - poorly set up originally and generally not well maintained. I started making some minor electrical repairs on mine and realized this wiring was even worse than most so I rewired the whole boat. Central fuses and terminals so the wiring is now very easy to work on and add to.

This particular boat  is extremely safe. Almost every empty space is packed with Styrofoam so the boat simply won't sink and the water ballast system rights it even if it is blown over 

  

The interior is small but quite functional. It will sleep 4 - not comfortably but it will. I've made some minor modifications inside to make the sleeping more comfortable. It's a good boat for the equivalent of overnight camping however you wouldn't want to spend any serious time on it - too small. The photo below is a promotional photo and they've played with the zoom to make the cabin seem larger than it really is.

I've come to enjoy sailing quite a bit. Unlike power boating it's quiet and relatively inexpensive. The boat also serves as a cabin on the water - a starting point for quite a few other activities on the water - swimming, sail boarding, fishing, and potentially SCUBA diving.