MacGregor 26M Update - Posted April 26, 2003
In February of 2003, MacGregor introduced the all-new MacGregor 26M.
Here's an overview of teh 26M
The price on the new boat to is $19,990. This price is FOB Costa Mesa, California.
Anyone who has seen it agrees that the 26M is a great looking boat. We think that it is the best-looking, trailerable sailboat ever built. It has the traditional shear line, and the optional dark blue hull is a knockout. This boat really stands out. The double row of windows make it look like a much larger boat.
The white hull, with black stripes is standard, however the optional dark blue hull is well worth the extra cost.
The rudder connection system is inside the boat, offering less clutter and fewer things to stumble over. The rudder heads are partially buried in the transom, giving a cleaner appearance. The sliding hatch, rather than just sitting on the cabin top, contours to the deck. When it's open, there is no gap between the deck and the hatch leading edge.
A DEEPER V SHAPE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE HULL
The new hull has a deeper V bottom (15 degrees), rather than the flatter bottom of the old boat (8 degrees).
The purpose of the deep V shape is to give the boat a far softer ride under power, with a lot less slamming against choppy seas. It also provides a substantial reduction in drag, which benefits the boat's sailing ability.
The V bottom has softer corners at the transom, and, at typical angles of heel, the corners dig in a lot less and create a less turbulent wake.
The deeper V bottom keeps the boat from sliding around on the trailer, and gives better tracking under power.
The more pronounced centerline ridge provides a much stiffer hull bottom.
The new boat is significantly faster under both power and sail, and amazingly faster under main alone. The big reason for the higher speed on the new boat is the lack of centerboard drag. The conventional centerboard trunk carried about 100 lbs of water; the new trunk carries virtually none.
Under sail, the boat was striking. The taller rig, elimination of the drag from the centerboard trunk, and the rotating mast really paid off. I believe that it will prove to be the fastest trailerable boat we have ever built.
When the jib was furled, the speed dropped by only 1 mph, with no change in the balance of the boat.
This means that an owner can go out for a sail and forget the jib, and still get really good performance. In high winds, the main alone is an excellent choice. It balances almost as well with the main alone as it does with the main and jib.
All this is due to the rotating and 2' longer mast. Since the front third of the main is now working, and not screwed up by the turbulence of the mast, the thrust is now forward, rather than to the side. The result is more speed and less healing angle. When the mast is properly rotated, the boat comes alive.
Far better performance than a centerboard. Here's a lot more reason
The daggerboard trunk now takes the full downward thrust of the mast down to the keel of the boat, and is stronger than the stainless tubing of the other boat.
A centerboard trunk also required a huge opening in the hull, in the most important structural area of the boat (as well as creating a very large drag problem). The lay up around the new trunk is massive, and able to stand up to grounding at normal sailing speeds with the board fully down.
2. NO ELECTROLYSIS OR LEAKS
The daggerboard requires no metallic parts below the waterline. There are no holes in the hull to leak or pins to wear.
3. EASIER MAINTENANCE
The retraction cable is less subject to wear, and it can be easily replaced. The board itself can be lifted out through the deck for cleaning, inspection, or repair.
4. QUIETER AT ANCHORAGE
Centerboards tend to bang around a lot when the boat is moored or at anchor. Daggerboards stay still, with no wear and tear.
5. THE BOAT CAN SAIL WELL TO WEATHER WITH THE BOARD PARTIALLY RETRACTED.
With a centerboard partially down, the center of pressure moves far aft, and the boat gets a lee helm when sailed into the wind. With the daggerboard partially down, the fore and aft center of pressure does not change, and the boat continues to balance well. This helps when trying to sail the boat to windward in shallow water.
For reaching, the daggerboard can be partially retracted to kill off weather helm, in the same manner as a centerboard. When reaching, you do not need the full lifting power o f the board, and the partially retracted board works fine.
The down side, of course, is that if you hit something, the boat will come to a stop, just like any other keel boat in the marina. At normal sailing speeds, there should be no problem. The board is strong, and the hull is stronger. Don't, however, leave it down when powering fast.
The 26's rotating mast is similar to the setup used on Tornados, Hobie Cats, and 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 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 caused the smooth airflow to separate from the sail and disintegrate in a vast field of turbulence. The drawings below show the difference.
Since the first third of the mainsail is not working, the thrust created by the main is almost totally sideways, causing a lot of heeling and less forward thrust. (See above drawing.)
With the rotating mast, the boat heels less and goes faster.
The mainsail can now be used as the only sail for comfortable effort free day sailing. When the wind kicks up, getting rid of the jib and keeping the mainsail retains really good performance, and makes sailing a lot easier.
The mast section is larger (fore and aft) and does not require a backstay. This reduces weight aloft, and reduces windage.
The rotating rig raises and lowers like a non-rotating rig, and requires no attention when sailing. As the boat tacks, the mast automatically adjusts itself to the proper angle without human intervention.
When raising the mast, there is no backstay to tangle up in the rudder system or outboard motor.
We have shortened the spreaders, permitting closer trimming of the Genoa. The shorter spreaders are less of a hassle when raising and lowering the mast.
The mast is 2' taller, giving a bit more mainsail area and a lot better looking rig.
The mast is sealed with injected urethane foam, and acts as a powerful buoyancy chamber if the boat is knocked down. The 67 pounds of buoyancy provided by the mast is equivalent in righting power of adding 500 pounds of ballast in the bottom of the hull. This multiplier is the result of having the center of buoyancy of the mast a long way out from the center of buoyancy of the hull.
We have beefed up the chain plates, bow plate and all mast hardware, and the rig looks strong and efficient. The chain plates have a stainless deck plate welded to them. Theses plates bolt to the deck, reducing the chance of a leak.
A small tube will be cast into the mast floatation foam to allow the future passage of wires to the mast head.
The rudders' fore and aft adjustment allows precise tuning. It is possible to set the rudder rake to completely eliminate rudder load on the wheel. (However, a slight weather helm is better for upwind control).
With deeper V hull, the upwind rudder is less likely to be raised out of the water when the boat heels.
With the new hull and rudder shapes, the boat has a lot less tendency to round up into the wind when heeled too far over.
|Notice: The 26M is in production by MacGregor. The information contained on this page is subject to change, and may not fully represent the boat as it is manufactured. We will endeavor to update these pages as more information is released by MacGregor. If you would like to be notified when new materials are added to the site, send us an e-mail by click here.|
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