Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boat Quest, Part 4

The fascination with the MacGregor 26 trailerable sailboat continued for several years, but it diminished briefly in the summer of 1999 while Nan and I were in Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the wedding of her youngest sister Sarah to Ian Griffiths. At the reception, we sat at a table with Nan's brother Jim and his best buddy Jack Simono. Jack was a long-time sailor who owned a Coronado 25 that he sailed on Lake Michigan. But the boat had been sitting unused in his backyard for a couple of years and he was ready to sell it. He thought it was worth about $7000, which was less than half what a new MacGregor 26 would cost, so I was very interested. When we got home, I searched the Internet and found a PDF version of the original Coronado 25 brochure. It looked like a sturdy, capable cruiser, more of a true sailboat than the MacGregor 26X power cruiser. I would have contacted Jack to work out a deal but like the dreams that preceded it, there was no money to fulfill it and it slowly died.

Later that summer, I made a pilgrimage to Colorado's only MacGregor dealer, The Anchorage, located just north of Boulder and only a four-hour drive away. The owners, Eileen and John, let me climb around on a brand-new MacGregor 26X and gave me literature and a price sheet. I left convinced that the MacGregor was the right boat for me after all. And I rationalized that it would be easier to come up with financing for a new boat than for an older, used boat. We might have qualified for a home equity loan, but the mortgage on our Aspen home was oppressive enough without taking on additional debt, so I never got past checking interest rates and calculating monthly payments.

That fall, Nan and I attended the wedding of Erika and Mike in Moab, Utah. Erika and Nan worked together in the pharmacy at Aspen Valley Hospital. Their boss, the pharmacy director Dan Gold, was also a guest at the wedding. Nan had been eager for me to meet Dan because she thought we had many interests in common, including sailing. Dan was late getting to the sunset wedding after riding the challenging Monitor and Merrimac trail on his mountain bike, so we met only briefly before the ceremony, which took place beneath one of the arches in Arches National Park. The reception was a low-key affair at Eddie McStiff's brew pub, where Dan and I talked sailing and became friends over pitchers of microbrew. Like me, Dan was a believer in the MacGregor 26, in his case because he owned one, a 1992 MacGregor 26D.


Anonymous said...

Give up on the MacGregor if you want to do anything other than inland lakes. If you need trailerable, there are a lot of options.

I've toured the Compac factory. It's more of a real boat, but doesn't sail well. There are lot of very outstanding boat designs available if you get something from the 70's or 80's.

John Lichty said...

As you'll learn in future installments of the Boat Quest series, I do give up on the MacGregor in favor of one of those older model sailboats. Thanks for your comment.