Macgregor mods

Index of our Mac 26 classic mods

The quest for a dry bilge Companionway storage racks Galley storage access
Vinyl laminate floor Rewiring Outboard mount and control
Interprotect and anti-fouling Bootstripe and a new name V berth and head storage racks
New dining table Cockpit table Improved V berth and settee storage access
Port settee storage solution Companionway table Bimini
Tillerpilot mount Pressurized water system Queen berth storage access improvement
Battery and solar charging system Bow anchor solution Aft locker floor and fuel tank
Cockpit backrest Furler solution for mast raising  


The quest for a dry bilge

I was told these Mac's almost always leak rain water into the bilge. It rained buckets the night we brought Teliki home and the next morning I found (drumroll) water in the bilge.

Some of it came in through a speaker mounted in the cockpit. The DPO cut a huge freehand hole, fitted a cover plate, cut a freehand hole in that and mounted a speaker. There was daylight coming through everywhere due to the inaccuracy of his cutting. Needless to say we fibreglassed in this hole and mounted our halyard bag over it.

Next we could see that water had run down inside from the rub rail, staunchon bases and chain plates.

We removed the rub rail and excess caulking revealing gaping cracks and loose bolts. We forced 5200 into the cracks, snugged up the bolts and smeared more 5200 over the exposed edge. Ggetting the rub rail back on was quite a trick as it has shrunk almost 4 feet! A hot sunny day and continuous tension (plus many beer and re-tries) and it was all back in place.

Next, staunchon bases were all removed and rebedded followed by the chain plates. For these we removed the cover plates (drilled the rivets), taped the area off, applied 4000 (need UV resistance and removability) and pushed the cover plate "almost on" (leave 1/8 inch). After drying overnight the cover plates were secured with self tapping screws and 4200.

Teliki was now dry when it rained - but there was still some water in the bilge when sailing ona starboard tack. This was traced to the bilge pump thru-hull. A Whale check valve ended this leak and Teliki only has dust in her bilge!


Bilge fun

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More storage racks!

This pre-cut oak is great stuff. I made two more storage units for on each side of the companionway. These are great for camera, flashlight, horn, sun block, etc.

I stretched a piece of shock cord between two small screw eyes on the bottom of each unit. This is perfect for hanging small towels to dry.


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Galley storage

I used more pre-cut oak to make a galley storage rack. Construction, mounting and finish is similar to the V berth unit. This unit holds our plates, mugs, bowls,paper towels and spices.

Since we are cruisers we tend to carry more food and cooking equipment. The space under the galley is underutilized on Mac classics. With our battery and water tank moved forward there is a lot of "hard to get at" space available. I cut out the galley top and fabricated a hinged countertop. This was stained and then urethaned (as opposed to Danish Oil) as it needs to be more moisture resistant.

We can now easily access the space under the galley. I added a floor made out of western cedar 1 X 6's and rerouted the sink drain to maximize space and access. It's amazing what we can store down there now!


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Vinyl laminate floor

I really wanted teak and holly, especially after seeing a friends boat (SeaQuell - Rod and Ondine Brandon). But the reality of price and short timelines set in and I started looking for alternates.

Found the perfect product at Home Depot. These are heavy vinyl "planks" that stick together tongue and groove style. Better yet they are designed for wet environments, do not require gluing down, are not slippery when wet and only cost $50!

The only mistake I made was not offseting the planks. That would have avoided pattern and seam duplication making it look much more like wood, But for the price I'll just replace it properly when it wears out.

Vinyl plank floor


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I have heard people complain about the factory wiring. Well they aint seen nuttin! The DPO had wired in all kinds of electronics by creating a spiderweb in the cabin. No attempt was made to hide anything - it was all in the open where you either got caught in it or tripped by it. I have never seen anything like it!
Needless to say it was all ripped out. New panels were purchased and installed in the same locations (didn't like locations but didn't like filling in more holes). Tinned marine wire was used throughout with reference to a wiring manual for size, runs, fusing, etc. And - after much effort, all wiring was hidden between the liner and hull.

I went with a single high capacity battery and located it under the V berth. It is securely fastened to a mount that is in turn bolted to the aft V berth bulkhead. It has taken 4 foot seas so far and doesn't budge. A solar panel was added to the aft rail plus the 8 amp outboard alternator was connected.

So far we have not run out of power even after a two week cruise. I think the one battery decision was a good one. Two batteries brings the extra chores of continually monitoring and switching charging between each battery - why complicate things?



Rats nest

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Outboard mounting and control

Teliki came with a Fulton mount bolted to a couple pieces of rusty angle iron. This placed the outboard so far back that you had to climb into the motor well to start and operate it. I removed this mount, filled in the ten holes the DPO had drilled in the transom and returned to the original configuration.

Since our marina is extremely tight I wanted to be able to pivot the outboard. It did move lock to lock with the tiller handle up. I removed the tiller handle and bolted a piece of square aluminum to the top of the engine cowl. This "top tiller" was easy to reach plus allowed full engine movement.

A later mod was the addition of a trigger style throttle on the top tiller. It is now dead easy to use the tiller and outboard in tight spaces.

I added a lifting line with a block and clam cleat. Saw this on the boat of a fellow North Channel cruiser. Makes it much easier to raise the outboard and less chance of back injury.


Top tiller

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Interprotect and anti-fouling

Since we plan to slip Teliki all summer and her hull had no blisters (yet) it seems a good investment to add an epoxy barrier. This turned out to be one huge and dirty job!

The only advice I can pass on is to follow the manufacturers directions to the letter as you don't want to do this twice. Use the recommended cleaners - not acetone. Clean after every operation so you don't sand mold release into the bottom. Use a lot of rags or paper towels.

After the Interprotect 2000E we added a coat of copper anti-fouling.

I'll add that we did all this with the boat on the trailer and never lifted it. How did we do under the bunks? You first raise the front of the trailer and block the forward part of the hull. You then lower the front of the trailer while pushing it back about two feet. This exposes the areas under the bunks without removing the boat from the trailer or blocking it excessively - and there is no danger of it falling on you.


Scrape, scrape, scrape!

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Bootstripe and a new name

Teliki didn't arrive with this name. Actually, she didn't have a name. We came up with "Teliki" from the first two characters of each of our children's names TEgan, LIndsey and KIra. A good friend of ours who is a sign writer by trade came up with the design. Teliki sounds tropical hence the palm tree "T".

Dave is also a true artist and painted it on freehand. Amazing - it looks absolutely perfect and is very durable as he used paint specifically designed for rough outdoor use.

The bootstrip was also painted on with "OneShot" brand sign paint. Much less expensive than vinyl and far more durable. No brush marks either as this paint is designed to be self levelling.

She has a name!

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V berth and head storage

I made these racks from pre-cut oak from Home Depot. The design was simple with butt joints and countersunk brass screws. The V berth unit does not have a back and attaches directly to the bulkhead. I made a paper template to avoid drilling any "extra" holes.

I used Danish Oil to give a darker and durable finish. The nice thing with this finish is that you can renew it by simply wiping on a new coat. No sanding, blistering, etc. like with varnish. And unlike tung and teak oils it dries completely.

We added a Blue Marine storage unit to the back of the head door. Love this thing! It holds more than you can imagine.



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New "easy access/storage" dining table

The original table in a Mac Classic is a pain to get out from under the aft berth mattress - especially as we have a heavy high density beast back there.

I cut a new table from oak laminated plywood, veneered the edges, stained and urethaned it. I made it the same size as the original - hey, it works.

It stows on an oak rail against the front head bulkhead. A single "wing bolt" through the bulkhead and into a blind nut secures it.

It now only takes minutes to set up and stow the table.

Table storage


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And it doubles as a cockpit table!!

I like reuse, multiple use and ease of set up/storage. The dining table seemed to be the perfect size for cockpit use. I fabricated a mount that slides into the mast support brackets. The initial version "twisted" too easily and a slight knock on the table could spill Lenore's wine. I tried hard oak and still not strong enough. I finally solved the problem by laminating a piece of 2025 T6 to the oak. You can now use this thing to jack up your pickup truck! The end result is a table that can be used inside or outside and stores in the head in seconds.



An an improvement - the table can pivot out of the way of the aft locker - or be offset to allow more room when it's just two people.


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Improved V berth and settee access

I added a two by four foot hatch in the V berth. It is framed in hardwood 1 X 2 that is routed so a 5/8 ply hatch closes flush. I cut the hatch into two pieces so you only have to lift one half of the mattress. Amazing amount of storage available now!

The top of the galley settee was also cut out and fitted with a similarly constructed hatch. An amazing amount of dry goods fits in this space protected in a Rubbermaid 632 container (which exactly fits the space.

Note that the area behind the electrical panel is boxed in to prevent anything shorting out.



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Port settee storage solution

Hey - I found a use for that "useless" cooler! If you take the insulation off you can shove it all the way forward so it's under the front settee access hole. A couple small bolts and it provides considerable waterproof storage.

And the aft area just fits two Rubbermaid 632 containers providing enough waterproof clothes storage for two adults.



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Companionway table



It seems we are always using the bridge deck area for counter space. It's great for food, drink and condiments but it's also a grungy area due to foot traffic.

Lenore thought a small table would be perfect. After experimenting with cardboard prototypes we settled on a decent size table that locks in place in the opening and stores easily behind our cooler.

Construction is oak veneered plywood with an oak fiddle. Finish is stain and satin urethane.

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Our free bimini

Can't believe my luck. The guy who has never won anything wins enough money at a trade show for a bimini!

We settled on GMI top design as they have a superior product at the lowest price. They also fabricate everything themselves so you can have minor alterations made at little or no charge.

We settled on the 79 - 84 inch width so we can use sliding tracks mounted beside the rub rails. This gives the maximum width for keeping rain off plus clears lifelines and stanchions.

We went with the 5 foot length to allow adequate shade and unobstructed passage forward. We didn't have it cut so it could extend behind the backstay as that only adds shade to the outboard well and aft locker at the expense of swim ladder access.

The 30 - 36 inch height fits perfectly without being cut down. Boom clearance is about 1 inch when close hauled and the traveller upwind. Note that a blown out main or a shrunken bolt rope will cause the boom to hang lower. We did the "bolt rope fix" earlier in the season and Teliki's boom hangs parallel to the deck now.



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Tillerpilot mount

I looked over many excellent solutions for mounting a tillerpilot.
I ended up mounting it's pivot in the aft locker lid and attaching the ram to the underside of the tiller.

The geometry works out perfect without any extensions or needing to fabricate brackets. I like simple.

Plus you can still raise the aft locker lid with the tillerpilot running.



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Pressure water system

After relocating the water tank to the V berth it became evident that the pump was not adequate. It never held it's prime and required way too much effort to use.

I located a tiny submersible pump made from food grade plastic. I attached it to the end of the pickup tube in the water tank.

Works perfectly! A steady stream of water at only 150ma current draw. I left the old pump/faucet in place as they work fine with the pump plus you can still use the hand pump in an emergency.

The water tank has quick disconnects for water outlet and power. I find the water quality at many docks to be poor and tasting like plastic. There is always a better source near the marina office so this way I can simply bring the tank to the best water.

Pressure water

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Split access covers under queen berth

This was a simple mod that makes it much easier to get stuff out of this particular storage area. We tend to store long items here so all we really need to do is grab one end.

I cut the front covers in two making it much easier to raise part of it and grab whatever we're after.




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Battery and charging system

We added one of the micro size 40 watt solar panels to the aft rail. It is mounted with perko rail blocks plus a reinforcing arm to keep things solid.

A three stage pulse style charge controller was mounted in the aft locker. This unit has the electronics potted for water resistance.

Our outboard has an 8 amp alternator which is also tied into the charging system. It connects to the battery side of the charge controller so a common 12 ga line is shared back to the battery.

Solar panel and outboard are individually fused ahead of the controller i.e. close to the power source.

Our battery is a single 126 amp/hr deep cycle unit. I prefer this over dual batteries and a selector switch. Why? Because having to constantly monitor batteries and switch back and forth is a PITA. At some point one of the batteries will end up being over charged or totally discharged.

Monitoring is made easy with an LED unit that shows both charge condition as well as charging system status. Much easier than a voltmeter and having to remember voltage levels. Think it only cost $10 at an auto parts store.


Charging system

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Bow anchors

Teliki came with a bow mounted Danforth style anchor. I added a 4 inch hawse pipe that is over a 12 X 14 X 8 inch plastic dishpan located under the deck. I rearranged the flotation foam to accommodate the dishpan plus added a 3/8 drain line from it to the sink drain.

Rode for the Danforth is stuffed through the hawse pipe and into the under deck dishpan. This keeps things tidy and is easy to deploy (has never tangled). Stuffing the rode back down the hawse pipe is a little tedious plus it has to be dry or it'll mildew and stink.

We wanted to add a second anchor of a different type to Teliki. We settled on a Bruce clone that slips into a piece of 4 inch PVC clamped to the outside of the pullpit upright. We used 4 large stainless screw clamps.

Rode for the Bruce is coiled and held in a plastic strap that has a twist lock closure. This keeps it out of the way but rode is ready to use with only a twist of the lock. Storing it this way also lets it dry in the sun.


Bow anchors

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Aft locker and fuel tank

We added a super simple floor to the aft locker. It is shaped to the contour and made from western red cedar. A single 1 X 6 spine holds it all together (fastened with PL construction adhesive and stainless decking screws).

This gives enough of a flat surface for a 5 gallon fuel tank as well as a stack of Rubbermaid containers. The top spine of the floor keeps the tank from moving when heeled or in rough weather.

The tank itself has an external vent system to keep fumes out of the aft locker. A brass fitting is screwed into a tapped hole where the plastic on the tank top is 3/8 thick. There is an inverted "L" vent mounted on the inside of the motor well that connects to the tank vent with rubber fuel line. The vent is also made from various brass fittings available at Home Depot. Note the in-line fuel filter - worth it's weight in gold!

The aft locker is also vented with a 3 inch clam shell on the lid that connects to a 12 volt bilge blower. There is another 3 inch opening from the top of the motor well. We have only used the blower once when some gas spilled in to the locker during fueling.

To further contain any gas fumes we closed off the aft locker from the cabin. We used tight fitting polyurethane foam with 3M 5200 and foam caulking to close off the gunwales.

Like proper power boat procedure we always give the aft locker a "sniff test" before starting the outboard.




Aft locker


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Cockpit backrest "Francois style"

We have to thank Francois (Ocean Whisperer out of BC Canada) for this original idea. After looking at his pictures and the "smile of comfort on his face" it was obvious Teliki had to have this!

Of course, being a Mac owner, I had to put our own "spin" on the design. The wood was 1 X 6 clear western cedar from the local lumber yard. I tried several types of wood and this seem to provide the right combination of light weight, flexibility and rot resistance. Where I wanted to be different was in mounting the boards. I came up with a simple shock cord design that installs in seconds and absolutely does not move. This has the added benefit that you can release one side and pivot the boards out of the way against the middle cockpit staunchon. One thing I didn't like about other designs is storing the boards in the cockpit foot well - too much "handling" and it is in the way of my big feet!

Hopefully the following pics will illustrate our solution to this excellent mod.



And here is Kira and myself enjoying it under way.




Here is how it pivots and stores in seconds.



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Furler solution for mast raising

We have heard of many ways to make mast raising with a furler easier. From blocks to springs, there were many viable solutions. Currently, Lenore walks the drum forward as the mast goes up - with many a pinched finger!
Then I had an idea - what if I just attach the furler drum to the gin pole? I tried this on the next mast raising using an old caribiner. It worked perfectly! The furler stays right over the mast and after raising, it only takes seconds to unattach the drum and pin it to the stem head. Best of all there are no pinched "Lenore fingers". Can't believe I didn't try this about five years ago!



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Super strong bow roller

Always wanted an anchor roller but didn't like most that I saw. Many were just bolted through the deck and not strong enough for the forces involved.

One that I did like was on a boat from  Ottawa named Watermark - and I patterned mine after it. Our roller unit is mounted on a 2 foot long piece of 3/8 aircraft aluminum. This is further bolted at the front edge to the bow with an L bracket. You can jump up and down on the front edge of the roller and nothing moves. The underside also has a substantial backing plate.






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Designed by the crew of Teliki