My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

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mac n cheese
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta, 1997 MacGregor 26X, BF50D

My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by mac n cheese » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:40 pm

Hello and Greetings from Calgary. Yes, my first post. 8)

I've been lurking through the wealth of info here for awhile now so I think it's time I got onboard and share some of my proposed mods. My '97 :macx: MACX0912H697
was purchased by me last July in Granisle BC on the shores of Babine Lake. It's situated 110 mi NW of Prince George and is the longest natural lake in British Columbia at 153 kms (95 mi).

That's where the boat is now hibernating under a tarp at the family cabin. The boat had only been there on Babine Lake a year before I bought it. Previous owner found it to be a handful.
Prior to that it lived most of it's life in Kelowna BC and from my observations it has never seen salt. This was great as I had been shopping for one in Western Canada all last spring and here was
one very close to our cabin. I wanted a clean slate and that's what I got as this boat came very original and bare with not even a motor or holes drilled in the transom....and the price was OK.

First and foremost a brand new Honda BF50D was ordered. I'm a newbie sailor so I want to be able to turn the key and go. The last thing I want to do is scare the Admiral on this big lake. First mod
to the motor is a 4 blade 11 7/8" X 9" p/n 58134-ZV5-009AH. From my findings this appears to be most suitable to the 26X. I want to further mount the remote to r/h side of the pedestal similar
to a thread Tomfoolery started with fabricated spacers. It only makes sense to have the trim operated by your thumb as it was intended.

I will have a dual battery 24 series system. So I have 2 of these https://www.amazon.ca/Moeller-Marine-Ba ... B000MT95LY which will be secured to a platform I will fabricate aft of
the galley port side where the original is installed. I know it's all going to be crowded in there.

Following links to electrical mods I have piling up here at home. I'm only doing this once so I will be using Ancor Marine wire and Ancor heavy duty tinned lugs.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01H50 ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.bluesea.com/products/2127/M ... n-18_Studs
https://www.bluesea.com/products/5026/S ... _and_Cover
http://www.yandina.com/c100InfoR3.htm
http://www.perko.com/catalog/battery_sw ... or_switch/
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01EUI ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B006VU ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/IztossDigital-Vo ... B01M1DWYMW
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00CZE ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.bluesea.com/products/2017/D ... n-16_Studs

One of my first purchases. 8)

http://www.magmaproducts.com/Products/M ... 0-207.html

Mods to the deck will include an SS handrail adjacent to the stern ladder. 6" SS cleats X4 and a pair of SS chocks to the bow
to accommodate a bridal system. I will be making an order with BWY at some point and really like their SS Custom anchor roller.
We don't have a dock at this time so I may have to look into a permanent mooring system.

I have some leaks to address from the rain indicated by some water in the bilge which I assume is common for a boat that is 20 years old.
It also came with a bimini top and the white/blue/green gennaker sail....bonus. It would have been nice but the boat never came with a roller furler . The CDI FF2
looks like the one and at some point I will need one. Ouch $$$. The rotary steering system will have to suffice for now and maybe upgrade at some point. The custom steering
kit from BWY is also something I need to look at. The centerboard cable has evidence of fraying so that will have to be replaced.

Following are some pics of the boat. I will link them as I'm not sure how many images a newbie can post

https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 365-XL.jpg

https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 429-XL.jpg

https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 356-XL.jpg

The only time I had it on the water at the marina in Granisle just prior to moving it to the cabin. For only $225 a slip can be had here for the summer.
I did not like how it was sitting on the bunks and carried out the "Macgregor bump" .

https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 530-XL.jpg

The new Honda BF50D appears to be levitating. It's hanging from a hook/crane attached to the receiver hitch on my truck.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Miscel ... TFV-XL.jpg

Following taken just prior to pulling the tarp over for the winter. Note the framed 3/4" irrigation pipe. Note the name also. I like animals but I'm not a big fan of cats. Another mod. :D

https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 567-XL.jpg

So it looks like I will be heading up to the lake in June during my holidays with my utility trailer toting a new Honda motor and a lot of Rubbermaid tubs. Priority
will be to hang the motor and do some sea trials. It's going to take some time to get this boat where I want to until I retire in just a few years. I'm going to have some fun doing it.
Their are quite a few Macs here just outside of Calgary on Ghost Lake. I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin there who is a member here. He has offered to take
me out on his '96 MacX and show me some ropes. Sheesh...I've yet to see even how the mast goes up. Looking forward to the sailing aspect and learning. It's nice to be here.

Wayne
Last edited by mac n cheese on Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Azzarac
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Azzarac » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:31 am

Congrats on your new purchase! the 97' :macx: is by far the best Mac out there!! It sounds like she is going to keep you busy for some time to come.

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Tony E
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Tony E » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:10 am

Congratulations on your new " to you" Mac! I have a 1998 and they are great. I love all your electrical mods that you are doing. Are you going to do anything solar? I have a 100 watt panel on my Mac and I don't have to even run the Honda 50 for charging up the batteries. I am envious that you have a brand new BF50. Mine is the original motor on my Mac but Honda's go forever. My batteries are just under the smaller square lid under the chrome bar on the port side as you come down the stairs. Inside that small hole and behind the kitchen black cabinet the batteries sit on the big fiberglass support piece. This was done when I bought the boat but it works out alright. The only problem is once I install the batteries and hook everything up I cannot maintain the batteries as they are hidden away. Where are you going to put yours exactly? :macx:

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mac n cheese
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta, 1997 MacGregor 26X, BF50D

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by mac n cheese » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:00 pm

Tony E wrote:Congratulations on your new " to you" Mac! I have a 1998 and they are great. I love all your electrical mods that you are doing. Are you going to do anything solar? I have a 100 watt panel on my Mac and I don't have to even run the Honda 50 for charging up the batteries. I am envious that you have a brand new BF50. Mine is the original motor on my Mac but Honda's go forever. My batteries are just under the smaller square lid under the chrome bar on the port side as you come down the stairs. Inside that small hole and behind the kitchen black cabinet the batteries sit on the big fiberglass support piece. This was done when I bought the boat but it works out alright. The only problem is once I install the batteries and hook everything up I cannot maintain the batteries as they are hidden away. Where are you going to put yours exactly? :macx:
Hello Tony. Yeah...those Honda's will probably out last us. My plan is to tuck the batteries in here. https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 589-XL.jpg

Their is already an existing 1/2 shelf in there for the current battery and I plan to extend that shelf. I sort of did a mock install when I was up to winterize it and took some measurements.

I cut some cardboard to simulate. https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 587-XL.jpg

I know...not a lot of room to get my mitts in there when both batteries are in. https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 588-XL.jpg

Here's a side view of the platform the trays will sit on. The starboard battery will be secured with the SS strap as the original from the factory and also secured with the vertical hold downs. The port
battery will be secured by the vertical hold downs that come with the battery trays. The fastener and rubber block in the pic is one of 2 that the platform will rest on. With the long bolt
I will be able to adjust the height as required. https://photos.smugmug.com/Boats/New-Ma ... 629-XL.jpg

Yes, solar power makes a lot of sense and 100 watts sounds adequate. The above mods should keep me busy this summer. :)

kevinnem
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by kevinnem » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:30 pm

HI! This is Kevin, that you met out at ghost lake.

I will send you a PM as well.

I ended up pulling my boat out of ghost lake, the rates just got to high, it is 720.00 / season now. and with the "deal" Calgary cut with transalta, they keep the water stupid low until really late in the year, like mid to late July. and it is pull out time in like mid September, so you the season is just SO short.

I have the boat back at my place now in calgary NW .. so if you ever want to take measurements, or prototype anything feel free to come over. I am also working on some mods, if you would like to work together, let me know - we can just build 2 of everything.

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dlandersson
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by dlandersson » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:26 am

Congrats.

A white hull 97 Mac X is arguably the finest boat of the entire Max series all things considered. Just sayn'. :P

If you can, consider a solar panel of some type - even if just to "prove" the technology.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:50 am

mac n cheese wrote:First mod to the motor is a 4 blade 11 7/8" X 9" p/n 58134-ZV5-009AH. From my findings this appears to be most suitable to the 26X.
Here's the Honda 11.75 x 10 x 3-blade next to the Solas 11.8 x 9 x 4-blade. I use both. The 4-blade makes a bit of a howl at around 2500 rpm engine speed, which I've also heard from others with the BF50 and the same prop. I used it mostly for pulling a wakeboard. I haven't really noticed much difference otherwise, though reverse is certainly better with the 4-blade (though with such a big engine, reverse with either prop is way above what an inboard auxiliary would normally give). I think Solas make both those props, in fact.

Image
mac n cheese wrote:I want to further mount the remote to r/h side of the pedestal similar
to a thread Tomfoolery started with fabricated spacers. It only makes sense to have the trim operated by your thumb as it was intended.
My ears are burning. :D Here's a modification page I also did on that throttle install. A few other owners here have done something similar. http://www.macgregorsailors.com/modt/in ... ?view=1714 One potential hazard is the main sheet getting caught in it. But you can always stick it in reverse while sailing, which puts the handle out of the way. Just something to be aware of.
mac n cheese wrote:I will have a dual battery 24 series system. So I have 2 of these https://www.amazon.ca/Moeller-Marine-Ba ... B000MT95LY which will be secured to a platform I will fabricate aft of
the galley port side where the original is installed. I know it's all going to be crowded in there.
Mine are side-by-side, but oriented 90 degrees to what you're doing. I have two group 24's in there, but I think the boxes will hold group 27's. Sorry about the rotated picture.

Image
mac n cheese wrote:One of my first purchases. 8)

http://www.magmaproducts.com/Products/M ... 0-207.html
I have the small round one. It's fine for one or two, and it's easy to store below decks in the bow locker. Do consider adding the optional extension rod, to bring it farther out from the rail. Which you can do later, of course, as it's just an accessory. And don't turn it up to high, unless you like yellow stainless. It's got a hot burner, and within a couple of minutes of first firing it up, I turned it yellow and blue. :P

From your trailer photo, I would also suggest you cover the goal posts in PVC pipe at the very least, but better would be to extend them. It's easy to do by pounding a smaller pipe into the top of the existing pipe goal posts (weld if you have the equipment, but not necessary), then cover with PVC. Some ramps I use are so steep that even the extended goal posts go fully under water before the bow vee-bunk is low enough to get the boat onto it. And drill air holes in the PVC if they're capped so they don't float off. I tried PVC caps, but they were scratching the hull, so I switched to tennis balls with a couple of screws to hold them on.

http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... 3&p=265515

New guy buys the pizza. Pepperoni, please. :D 8)

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Tony E
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Tony E » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:54 am

Is there any problem with the 2 batteries sitting directly on the floor? I think the previous owner of my Mac did not put them on the floor for the fear that the weight of them could somehow damage the floor in travel or on heavy seas??? He installed them on that support beam which makes it impossible for me to get to them to maintain. I would love to just have them sitting there out in the open like that on the floor inside that area. Any problems wit that?? :macx:

PS Tom how are your boxes secured down so that they don't bounce around???

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Tomfoolery
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:14 am

Tony E wrote:PS Tom how are your boxes secured down so that they don't bounce around???
Tony

There's a wooden platform in there, glassed down to the hull, with the battery boxes strapped to them using the fittings that come with those straps. They don't seem to move at all when sailing. I suppose, for real security, a small set of stops or a berm around the perimeter would lock them down even tighter, but I don't see the need, as they don't move now. I can't move them around by hand even if I try, in fact. It's one of the few things the original owner actually did right, IMO. :|

Oh, and I really hate the battery switch. My last boat had one that used the four cardinal points for the four positions. It was hard to see the way it was buried in a stern locker behind the batteries (had to reach waaay in to turn it), but I knew which way to turn it without seeing it, and the quarter turn was easy to work. The one that came with the boat only turns a little, and it's very hard to turn. I have to bend down and look to see if it's off, in fact, as my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. The big white arrow on the Blue Sea makes it very easy to see when it's off (point up). And it was far easier to turn.

Good - https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-9001E-B ... 18PHPY5QJT

Not good - https://www.amazon.com/Perko-8501DP-Mar ... B00144B6AE

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mac n cheese
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta, 1997 MacGregor 26X, BF50D

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by mac n cheese » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:36 am

kevinnem wrote:HI! This is Kevin, that you met out at ghost lake.

I will send you a PM as well.

I ended up pulling my boat out of ghost lake, the rates just got to high, it is 720.00 / season now. and with the "deal" Calgary cut with transalta, they keep the water stupid low until really late in the year, like mid to late July. and it is pull out time in like mid September, so you the season is just SO short.

I have the boat back at my place now in calgary NW .. so if you ever want to take measurements, or prototype anything feel free to come over. I am also working on some mods, if you would like to work together, let me know - we can just build 2 of everything.
Hello Kevin. I sort of knew you would chime in here. Sorry to hear about those crazy storage rates. With spring coming a definite get together for sure. I'm interested in seeing
the mods your working on. Talk soon.

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mac n cheese
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta, 1997 MacGregor 26X, BF50D

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by mac n cheese » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:30 pm

Thanks for the input Tom. The 3 blade that came with the motor is pitched way to high @ 11 1/4" X 13". My notes tell me I
need the 3 blade like yours, which is 58130-ZZ5-630ZA or 11 3/4" X 10.

Moving my remote the the r/h position might be a challenge. It's hard when the boat is not here. But now with Kevin's
offer I may be able to do a dry fit on his boat. My spacers to bring the remote out will be aluminum extrusion 'C' channel 1/8" thick.
I'll get some pics later.

Is this the Magma mount your referring too. http://ca.binnacle.com/BBQ-Stoves-and-H ... _info.html
That's the one I have to attach to the rail. I like how this BBq can be used as a conventional stove with the grill off using a small pot or pan. I like my stove top espresso in the mornin. :)

As for the trailer...it appears ok with not a lot of corrosion. Having said that and after doing the 'Mac bump' I had an issue. I only did a 10km drive to the cabin and once there I could smell a very hot l/h brake. Master cylinder revealed grey sludge. After flushing and bleeding the brakes the wheel spun free with no apparent damage to the bearing. I pumped some grease into the bearing for good measure. At some point I will have to service the bearings before I venture out on any long hwy trips. For now though at the lake I will be only doing 5-10km trips...so not a priority. I like the disc brake mod. I see BWY have seals in stock for the master cylinder so I will be ordering some spares.

I'll check with my favorite pizzeria and see if they deliver below the 49th parallel. :P

C Buchs
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Camas, WA; 2001 26X w/ 2000 Honda 50

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by C Buchs » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:44 pm

So many gems in this thread! First I would like to say this LED light (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00CZE ... UTF8&psc=1) you have picked out has worked very well for us. The Mod is in this thread (http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... d&start=15) about LED trailer lights (we sometimes get off the original topic on this forum). I added red tail light repair film (https://www.amazon.com/Inches-Adhesive- ... s=red+film) to the inside of one of the lenses for sailing at night. We've used it for one season so far and really like it. Pictures below:

Inside of one lens covered with red film
Image

White light on
Image

Red light on
Image

Jeff

C Buchs
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Posts: 334
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Camas, WA; 2001 26X w/ 2000 Honda 50

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by C Buchs » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:48 pm

For my second gem in this thread, I would like to say thanks for reposting this:
Tomfoolery wrote:
mac n cheese wrote:First mod to the motor is a 4 blade 11 7/8" X 9" p/n 58134-ZV5-009AH. From my findings this appears to be most suitable to the 26X.
Here's the Honda 11.75 x 10 x 3-blade next to the Solas 11.8 x 9 x 4-blade. I use both. The 4-blade makes a bit of a howl at around 2500 rpm engine speed, which I've also heard from others with the BF50 and the same prop. I used it mostly for pulling a wakeboard. I haven't really noticed much difference otherwise, though reverse is certainly better with the 4-blade (though with such a big engine, reverse with either prop is way above what an inboard auxiliary would normally give). I think Solas make both those props, in fact.

Image
I spun the rubber inside my prop this year. Luckily I had a spare, but now I need another spare. This 4-blade is just the ticket!

Jeff

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Tomfoolery
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Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:52 pm

mac n cheese wrote:Thanks for the input Tom. The 3 blade that came with the motor is pitched way to high @ 11 1/4" X 13". My notes tell me I
need the 3 blade like yours, which is 58130-ZZ5-630ZA or 11 3/4" X 10.
I would call up the dealer and ask (gently demand?) that he/she take the prop that came with it back, and give you the 4-blade. Unless you want to keep it as a spare, which isn't a bad idea (I have two 3-blade and the one 4-blade). OBs that size don't normally come with a 'standard' prop, as there are many choices depending on the application. Little ones do, but not mid-size and up.
mac n cheese wrote:Is this the Magma mount your referring too. http://ca.binnacle.com/BBQ-Stoves-and-H ... _info.html
That's the one I have to attach to the rail. I like how this BBq can be used as a conventional stove with the grill off using a small pot or pan. I like my stove top espresso in the mornin. :)
That's the standard mount. There is also an extension, to bring it further from the rail, which may be useful to you as there's no real place to stand when using the grill unless you bring it more into the cockpit. But if you have a larger grill, you may not want to do that. Just mentioning it is all. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/magma--m ... cordNum=19
mac n cheese wrote:As for the trailer...it appears ok with not a lot of corrosion. Having said that and after doing the 'Mac bump' I had an issue. I only did a 10km drive to the cabin and once there I could smell a very hot l/h brake. Master cylinder revealed grey sludge. After flushing and bleeding the brakes the wheel spun free with no apparent damage to the bearing. I pumped some grease into the bearing for good measure. At some point I will have to service the bearings before I venture out on any long hwy trips. For now though at the lake I will be only doing 5-10km trips...so not a priority. I like the disc brake mod. I see BWY have seals in stock for the master cylinder so I will be ordering some spares.
I pulled all my brakes off when I got the boat, as they were all dragging and burning by the time I got it home, and put disc brakes on the rear axle only. Mine has 2 axles, by the way - a rework done by the PO. I got the kit from etrailer, which includes the coupler, two sets of rotors and calipers and mounts, and some tubing and line. Hardest part was grinding the welds off the coupler so I could replace it (bolted instead of welded, for future access), but if I didn't want to do that, I could have stripped out the shell of the original and installed all but the shell from the new one, as they are the same aside from the master cylinder (disc uses a different MC than drum). Oh, and it came with a reverse lock-out solenoid valve, and since my tow vehicle has a 7-pin RV electrical socket, which includes backup lights, it was easy to incorporate that feature; you have to do something to lock out disc or you can't back up, unlike drum brakes (especially free-backing type).

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mac n cheese
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Calgary, Alberta, 1997 MacGregor 26X, BF50D

Re: My 1997 MacGregor 26X modifications

Post by mac n cheese » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:56 pm

dlandersson wrote:Congrats.

A white hull 97 Mac X is arguably the finest boat of the entire Max series all things considered. Just sayn'. :P

If you can, consider a solar panel of some type - even if just to "prove" the technology.
Yes...absolutely I agree with you on the solar panel. Maybe next year. All the parts I've received thus far are going to keep me busy.
I do have significant amount of holidays this summer which is good.

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