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.
Anywhere you can car-launch a 15'
rowboat, you can launch a MacGregor 26. There are ramps everywhere, and they
cost very little to use, typically $2 to $5. Many are free.
Launching is easy because the boat
sits lower on its trailer than any other trailerable cruiser.
The launching procedure is simple.
The car is backed down the ramp until the boat just starts to float free of
the trailer (normally, the car tires will be just touching the water). The
bow line is released and one person gets on the boat, starts the motor, and
powers the boat off the trailer. To recover the boat, the procedure is
reversed. Under outboard power (it can be done under sail, but not as
easily), the boat is driven onto the trailer until it hits the bow stop at
the front of the trailer. With the motor still running to keep the nose of
the boat pressed against the bow support, the crew goes forward and down the
trailer ladder. The bow line is then connected and the boat is winched in
tight. There are guide posts at the rear of the trailer, and a large V at
the nose to keep the boat centered as it goes on and off the trailer. There
is also a ladder at the front of the trailer to make it easy to get up on
On its trailer, the 26's waterline
is only 27" from the ground. This distance is the best indicator of
difficulty in launching any boat.
The higher the boat sits on its trailer,
the more likely you will have to drown your car for the boat to float free.
Here are some comparable measurements:
Catalina 22 swing keel--- 36"
Capri 22 winged keel--- 45"
Catalina 22 winged keel---
Catalina 25 swing keel--- 47"
Catalina 250--- 33"
Hunter 18--- 36"
Hunter 23.5--- 32"
Hunter 26--- 36"
Westwight Potter 19 ft ---
On a typical ramp, every inch higher
on the trailer means that the trailer and car will have to go 12"
farther down the ramp for the boat to float free.
Some builders use extension tongues
to get deep draft boats farther down the ramp without dunking the car. This
is OK, but ramps are built for typical length trailers without extensions.
If the trailer wheels go off the end of the paved portion, major help is
Once the 26 is launched, it needs
only 12" of water to float. It will sail in places most other boats
simply cannot go. Unlike most other trailerable cruisers, the 26 has a daggerboard that retracts completely into the hull, allowing the boat to be
launched and beached without fear of damage to the centerboard system.
This shows the boat being launched at a
ramp in the Persian Gulf