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Oct 12, 2007
Starting as a distance sailor , I was never much interested in small 20-28 motor boats

But as age advances we are seeking a slightly different cruising style.

Sure we have been to the Carib a bunch of times and motored the Loop , but a new oppertunity awaits.

We are havin a power plant+tranny transplant in out 1956 Flxible VL 100 35 ft bus conversion.

The LAW sez 65 ft* LOA* 8ft 6 inches* width and towing required no paperwork in any state.

We would like to find a trailerable boat that is under 30 ft of trailer length with the boat mounted.

There are bunches of new toys for $125,000 to over $200,000 Ranger and many others.

But all we want to do is visit the Left coast , San Juan islands ,Vancouver* inshore run to AK, or at least some of it.Wed would also be able to run the many US lakes and rivers that can not be accessed from the sea.

I figgure there must be a built boat , I see Bayliners for $10K on trailers , that would suit this minor cruising effort with ease.

Gas is fine , a replacement crate engine is cheap , outboard , in board , dont really care .

AS this will not be a seaworthy boat SPEED does count for some of the longer trips.

Looking on Boat or Yachtworld presents hundreds+ of choices , and with no knowledge of the breed its hard to winnow the crowd , without* unlimited lookeys to do.

How about the Macgregor 26 Trailer Yacht FF? Built in the US. Water ballasted for light trailing, but also has 50-60hp outboard so if need arises one dumps the ballast and heads for the ramp or wherever at 20 kn on the plane. Enjoy the pleasure of sailing when you want - motoring with some speed when you want.* I almost feel like going back to my trailer yachting days just to have one. Brilliant concept and great all-rounder. Would be light enough to tow behind your rig - road legal day & night. Must be some second hand good ones over there in the country of origin. We even have them over here, but they fetch about $40k here. Gargle it and see.

-- Edited by Peter B on Wednesday 16th of June 2010 05:25:51 AM
Lots of MacGregors around these waters, yet I have never seen one sailing. Oh sure, they put up the sails, but they have a mast that is the size of the mast on my trawler, so it carries almost no sail. they have little or no keel, so could never go to windward. At 20 knots, with a 60hp outboard, they are in their element, but there are lots better 26 ft speedboats around.
Try Grady White, Whaler, or if you want old, Tolleycraft, Bayliner. The first 2 have a motel on shore to sleep in, the latter, some insides. In that size, gas is king.
Two left coast makes that come to mind are C-Dory and SeaSport. These can be had in the mid-teens to mid-twenties in length. SeaSports in particular have nice cabins, you get a lot of boat for the length. I have no idea how common these boats are on the east coast, but out here both makes have been in production for decades and they have been extremely popular all this time, so there are examples in every condition and price range one can imagine. Most of them are outboard-powered but the larger SeaSports can be had with an outdrive.

Both of them are very popular as fishing boats and along with Whalers are probably the most popular boats used by the fishing resorts in the PNW, BC, and Alaska.

The C-Dory has a nearly flat bottom aft of the forefoot (I have heard that the newer models have changed this somewhat). The advantage of this is that the boat can be planed very efficiently so needs less power to do it. The disadvantage is that in rough or choppy water, a C-Dory can pound your teeth out unless you slow right down.

The SeaSport has more of a V-bottom which requires more power to plane but gives a smoother ride in rougher water.

As an aside, for an interesting account of crossing the US from the Atlantic to the Pacific by river only, the book "River Horse" by William Least Heat Moon is an intriguing read. He used a 21 foot (I think) C-Dory with two Honda outboards to make the trip.

The first photo is of a 27' SeaSport, the seond photo is a 27' C-Dory.* I believe these are the largest sizes built by both companies.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 16th of June 2010 12:52:01 PM


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I'm a newbie here.* I have been lurking for some time.* Because I've only had my "bigger" boat for less than a year I haven't had much to contribute.*

I do believe that I have something to add to this discussion.* My previous boat was a 25' C-Dory.* We used it primarily for cruising.* We trailered it and used it all around Vancouver Island.* C-Dory's are lightweight, economical and safe to operate.* The most common sizes are the 22 and the 25.* The picture that Marin has included is a 22, not a 27.

Many people use these boats for the exact purposes that FF outlined.* They are hauled all around the country, taken up the Inside Passage to Alaska, to Lake Powell, on the Great Loop and more.* There is a very active owner's group at* The group is a great resource for learning about these boats and how people use them.* There is also a boats for sale listing on the site.* A typical price for a used 22 is from $25,000 to $45,000, for a used 25 from 50,000 to $75,000.
Norwester wrote:

The picture that Marin has included is a 22, not a 27.
Thanks for the correction.* I grabbed both photos off the web and misread the caption for the C-Dory photo.

Hey Peter

I have a Macgregor 26X for sale if you are interested

Allan :)
Fred,There's a few aluminum charter boat types up here for sale. One w twin dual prop Volvos. You could buy it here * *.. use it here and then whatever after the party. Would be much more capable than the so far mentioned rec boats.

"Don't know your price range FF but here is one that would be seaworthy and relatively quick."

The price doesn't matter , its the ROUND TRIP that matters.

With a used boat most of the markups and loads of depreciation are already gone , so its reputation and condition that commands the price.

Of course location may change the price on a larger boat as much as 30-50% (think FL for CHEAP!) , but on a trailer boat , that may not hold.

Thanks all for the direction and suggestions , please keep em coming if you think of a good recommendation.

Here in Ct I have visited the new boat folks , to get some idea of size , volume and the fell of such a tiny boat.

My favorite so far is

Nice boat , but new ( unacceptable round trip) and Volvo power is a Huge turn off.

Interesting tho that a used boat in Euro land might be run thru the canals ,(dollar is getting better vs the Euro) then a Ro Ro back to the states might work.

The minimal dockside electrics would make the change from Euro to US 120v 60 cps cheap, maybe just a switch on the batt charger.

I will second the C-Dory and Rosborough recommenation. Also don't forget about the Tomcat....a Catamaran version of the C-Dory. You wanna talk about space in a small boat!!!??!?!
AllanY wrote:

Hey Peter

I have a Macgregor 26X for sale if you are interested

Allan :)
Hey, that's a coincidence Alan.* However, you'll note I said almost........but I'm afraid I've been seduced to the dark side when it comes to headroom, hot & cold running water, flushing toilet, shower and turn-the-key-and-go convenience.* However, if I ever sell Lotus, and need something that floats.......?* But you'd have sold her by then I think..?
By the way, what is your personal experience of the MacGregor 26?

Hi Peter

The Macgregor was a good cruising boat however I have back problems so just needed more room.
A lot of people talk them down however these people usually have never owned one or been on one.

They are not a fast boat however off the wind they go pretty well.

Under power they don't in my opinion perform as well as the brochure says however a lot better than a conventional sailing boat.

Some put large engines on them however that loads up the stern and if you want a fast boat then you should look at a power boat.

You can use them as a powerboat by atking the rigging off

They are spacious for a boat of the size and with the water ballast easy to tow

Would I buy one again?? Yep

In the US they are well priced and a good one is in demand

I just hope it is the same in OZ

I think in general Macgregor got slammed in the late 60's early 70's.* The decks on the 21 sagged under a persons*weight, while other boat builders were using 1" thick solid glass for the deck, *but the best I know they held up fairly well*in spite of*some folks giving them little or no care.*

They never were a performer but they were cheap, I think under*$4,500 including a trailer and sails which was unheard of then.

The reputation stuck to the name.
The Tollycraft is over 8.6 , so while it is on a trailer it would need a permit in most states.

A load of boats are locally trailerable , bring it home for the off season , to allow maint and ez access at home.

But the interstate width rules have to be my guide for this adventure.

Thanks again folks,
There are a lot of good suggestions here.* I've been on most of the ones built here in the NW.* These include the Tolly 26, the Commander, the line of C-Dorys and the Sea Sport.* I haven't been on a Maple Bay, but they are beautiful little boats.* Due to consolidation, Sea Sports and C-Dorys are now being built by the same company.*

There are a several issues to keep in mind with a trailerable boat.* You have one parameter with the length and width.* Also keep in mind the weight and draft.* A 22 C-Dory is around 4500-5000 lbs all up on a trailer, a 25 C-Dory is around 7.500 to 8,000 lbs, A C-Dory Tomcat is over 10,000 lbs.* I would want an 4 stroke outboard.* They are quiet and get good mileage.* My 25 C-Dory would float in 10" of water.* With the outboard trimmed up, I could get into almost anywhere as long as I went slow enough.* Yes, the flat bottom caused it to pound some in a chop, but by adjusting the trim tabs and the throttle, I could run 14 to 15 knots through most normal conditions.* Because of the flat bottom and trim tabs the boat would plane at 10 knots and had a top speed of 25 knots.

I agree with Baker that the Tomcat is a great all around boat.* It is shallow draft, but rides really well at 25 knots because it is a catamaran.* It is economical to operate.* It is the only 25' boat that I know that has a queen berth, with a great cockpit.* If I was touring the country it would be my first choice.* Used ones go for somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000.* They've only been built for about 5-6 years, so there are no older "fixer uppers."* Other than cost, the only other drawbacks are the tow weight and they can be harder to launch and retrieve.*

Finding the right boat for this adventure looks like a fun project.
Fred,Chris and I went to Juneau and back w our 25' Albin and think it's one of the best boats ever made. Very turn key and very efficient. Much more sea worthy than C-Dorys, Tollys and Sea Sports. The boat itself is only 2 tons disp so it is easy to trailer. Being a member of the Albin club I can probably locate other Albins to look at as well.

The 25Albin looks quire seaworthy , but for this trip a much quicker boat will be needed.

Weight is not really a large consideration as the bus has the power and gearing , the trailers have brakes frequently on all 6 wheels.

It is an adventure , mostly in trying to locate an example of the mostly west coast built boats here on the east coast.

If push comes to shove we will simply drive out West , and do a boat purchasing run.

I am not saying this to be insulting or anything... but there are a lot of Searays out there for a good price and some of them have looks and space.* Plus the previous owner(s), most likely got all the bugs out.

Some of the older models late 70's early 80's were quite sharp and Seaworthy.

Heck I had a 77 24' command bridge (Searay)* that we use to boat from Seattle to Campbell river every summer for three years (2 adults 1 kid and a Springer).*

Did us well.
Searays are on the list ,with Bayliner, cheap boat price , easier to get a low cost round trip.

And there should be a few of them here on the East coast.

Thanks for the heads up.
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