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Macgregor 26X By Capt. Gary W. Dickinson S/V Magic, Hull #3582


n the early ‘60s, the Macgregor Yacht Company was formed by Roger MacGregor as a class project at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The company started producing trailerable sailboats and has produced more than 36,000 boats. This boatowner’s review is of my 2000 Macgregor 26X I, like many of you, looked forward to the boat shows every year. I would search for my dream boat and imagine the adventures I would take on her. Over the years, this dream became more and more defined and took the form of a Macgregor 26X Every boat is unique, and the characteristics of this boat that appealed to me would not appeal to everyone. That is why there are so many different types of boats on the market. Some of the unique features of the Macgregor 26X are the boat is trailerable and can be launched at boat ramps. It is one of the largest trailerable sailboats that do not require permits to move. Her LOA is 25’ 10”, the LWL is 23’, the beam is 7’ 10”, and, with the centerboard raised, the boat will float in nine inches of water. The draft is 5’ 6” with the centerboard down. With its flat bottom, this boat is as easy to launch as a powerboat. The boat only weighs 2,250 pounds but carries an additional 1,500 pounds of water in the internal water ballast tank when filled. The boat has positive flotation, so it cannot


March 2013


The author’s Macgregor 26, under reefed main, showing the full canvas cockpit enclosure and wind vane.

sink, which I thought was a nice safety feature. If equipped with a 50 HP outboard, the boat has the ability to power at more than 20 MPH. I looked on Craig’s list and found my dream boat in Las Vegas. Her owner, being a professional magician named her Magic. Being superstitious, I decided not to change her name. The owner had an autopilot installed, which is a little unusual for a 26-foot boat, and instead of the 50 HP outboard—which is the only engine I had seen on the 26X—he had a 15 HP Honda four-stroke outboard installed. The manufacturer says that the boat can be rigged in 15 minutes. but with all of the additional equipment I added to Magic, a wind generator, an 85-watt solar panel and full cockpit enclosure, it takes me several hours to actually get her ready to leave the dock. This is not something I would want to do on a daily basis, but when I only do it a few times a year, it is doable. Having a boat I can trailer allows me to expand my cruising grounds beyond the Columbia River (Washington state) where I live. I have trailered Magic more than 15,000 miles while cruising to far places such as Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. While traveling to these cruising areas, I use Magic like an RV and camp in her. The trailer for the 26X is very well thought-out. There are goal posts at the rear of the trailer to help guide the boat