Hull Strength

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Bill Smith
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Hull Strength

Post by Bill Smith » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:14 pm

I'm buying a 2002 X tomorrow -- the boat has been to Catalina a few times. Sailed it on Sunday and was impressed (I've sailed Catalina 32s and 14 foot dinghies). Not as stiff as the keel boats, generally responsive (though pointing seems a bit weak).

My only concern is the strength of the hull. I've read MacGregor propaganda about the thickness of his fiberglass. However, when I opened the galley cabinets, I could see sunlight through the fiberglass. Is this normal? Good? Something to worry about? Anything that one can do about it? Anybody know of a Mac that broke up in rough seas?

Bill Smith

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udannlin
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Post by udannlin » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:26 pm

I was able to see through some parts of the hull of a 1972 Cal 25 I use to own. They were supposedly built rock solid back in those days. I had the same concern and a local ship yard assured me that it was not too out of the ordinary of boats this size.

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kmclemore
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Re: Hull Strength

Post by kmclemore » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:26 pm

Bill Smith wrote:Anybody know of a Mac that broke up in rough seas?
Nope, never heard of one breaking up, and there have been thousands sold. The hull is as stong as it needs to be, and not much more, but that's plenty. Try not to use it as a battering ram and you'll be fine :wink:
In fact, I saw one once that had been dumped off its trailer in a pretty bad road accident, and after only a few simple repairs that Mac is still sailing quite happily today.

I love my Mac, as many others here do too, and I hope you have a blast with yours, Bill! They really are great boats - not excellent at any one thing, but probably one of the most versatile vessels on the water.

(And hey, just think, if you have half as much fun with yours as we do with ours, then we'll be having twice as much fun as you!) 8)

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Post by Moe » Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:17 am

Bill, when I looked in the galley and the bilges of the 2002 X we bought, and saw all the sun light showing through in places, it scared the hull out of me too. I bought it anywhere, because no where on this forum did I find a structural hull failure.

That being said, I would NEVER pilot this boat fast in heavy chop where it would get airborne and pound the way I do our Whaler. No matter how hard it hits, there's no flex or creaking... like being in a cast iron bathtub. I can see those sun light areas in a Mac eventually cracking in those conditions. I'll slow down for heavy chop in the Mac.

--
Moe

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Andy26M
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I have one of those

Post by Andy26M » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:24 am

I have an area like that on the starboard side of the V-Berth in my 2004 26M. It initially concerned me, but several discussions with various people whom I trust tells me that what is letting the light through is not thin fiberglas, but instead thin gel coat - the fiberglas is naturally translucent and if there was no gel coat on the outside, your whole boat would let the sun shine in. In my case, the dealer said that the kids they hire to buff the hulls may have gotten overzealous and rubbed out too much gel coat.... From the outside you can't see it, only from the inside on a sunny day.

- AndyS

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kmclemore
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Re: I have one of those

Post by kmclemore » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:00 pm

Andy26M wrote:...several discussions with various people whom I trust tells me that what is letting the light through is not thin fiberglas, but instead thin gel coat - the fiberglas is naturally translucent and if there was no gel coat on the outside, your whole boat would let the sun shine in....
Quite true, Andy. Very thick 'glass does become more-or-less opaque, but it takes quite a bit of thickness, certainly more than a boat would need.. it's the Gel that really stops the light, and as ours is largely white, more light is apt to come through.

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Tom Spohn
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Post by Tom Spohn » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:34 pm

Does the blue hull let the light through faster? :D

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NautiMoments
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Post by NautiMoments » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:44 pm

I sold my 2001 26X and just picked up a 05 26M. In both boats you could see light through the fiberglass in parts but this is nothing to worry about. In the new boat I just finished putting a coat of gelcoat on the inside of the storage areas to clean & brighten them up. This has stopped the light from shinning through and these areas look great.

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kmclemore
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Post by kmclemore » Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:20 pm

Tom Spohn wrote:Does the blue hull let the light through faster? :D
Actually, when you look through the blue hulls there is a pattern that shines through, and it looks a lot like the watermarks of $100 bills.

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NautiMoments
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Post by NautiMoments » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:19 pm

The Blue hull is faster too.

Bill Smith
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Post Subject

Post by Bill Smith » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:45 pm

Thanks everybody. I feel better.

Bill Smith

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Duane Dunn, Allegro
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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:55 pm

I've always found it strange that I can see light through my hull much easier where the black boot stripe is than through the white hull itself.

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Post by J Dower » Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:43 pm

I have owned several Mac's and I agree with most of what is said here about structural strength of Mac's. But I did have a scare recently with my 03 M.

I was adding a mounting snap inside the cockpit to hold up the cushions on the back of the seats. I drilled a 3/32 hole through the liner and then inserted a SS screw. Unfortunatly the carpet liner and fiberglass were too thin to hold a thread so I had to expoy it in the hole. This did not surprise me since I have mounted other things on the tan liner and it is extremely thin and brittle. So this was not the best looking mount but since it is behind the cushion I was not too concerened.

A short time later I was walking around the outside of the boat and noticed something silver sticking out. Sure enough, it was that screw. Turns out in the area behind the seats, there is not an FRP liner, the carpeting is simply glued to the inside of the hull. That was somewhat distressing, but the real concern that I had was the thickness of the "hull" in this area. It was less than 1/8", and most of that was carpet liner. I had to remove the screw and patch the hull, and I now wonder how any manufacturer can possibly build a boat with a hull this thin. I know that there are not any reported failure of these boats, and I know that the area I was drilling is above the waterline and not in a structural area. And after some thought I decided not to worry too much about it, but I don't believe that I am going to make any trips to Hawaii in this boat either.

Has anyone else noticed this and is it also true on the X ?

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Post by Rolf » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:31 pm

That thinness in the upper portion of the hull is the reason the Mac is so versatile --light for powering and trailering. It is 20times thicker in stress/load bearing areas. Those are also the spots that flex when pushed against. Moe is right, avoid wind chop pounding, and you are fine. She'll handle rough seas with reasonable speeds (hey, I'm going to copywrite that!) Bill, I have the 2002 x as well (the consensus "best" mac ever built here-haha). I've been to Catalina about 10 times in last year and a half--it's a blast. I will post dates of a coming trip to 2 harbors here next month soon. Maybe the west coast mackers can all meet.
Rolf

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