If you believe the following video, Macrgregor sailboats can be setup in under 15 minutes by a single person. So if you have a team of four, you should be ready to go in four minutes, right?

Rigging a Macgregor 26x

First of all, I think the video is a lie. Trick photography with the speed increased. Something David Copperfield would be proud of. There’s no way that you can rig a Macgregor that fast.

The boat does have a nice system to pull the mast up. But there’s all these wires, connections, ropes, sails, bolts, wires, more connections that someone assumes you know all about. I had watched the video, several times, and flipped through the 12 page owner’s manual so of course I knew exactly what I was doing.

You can find a PDF of the manual here (and a great resource for Macgregor sailboat owners):

My problem was that I couldn’t get the CDI furling jib to connect! This is the critical part of the setup. The forestay within the furling jib is what keeps the mast from crashing down on your head. Using the mast raising system to pull the mast forward to make the connection I got close. But no matter what I did I couldn’t connect the forestay with the clevis pin (I didn’t even know what a clevis pin was) to the stainless steel fitting at the nose of the boat.  I was always 4cm away. It was so close and so frustrating!


Went back and made sure the backstay was loosened off and all the shrouds were untangled. Finally after an hour I gave up and lowered the mast right back down to the mast carrier. That’s when I figured out the forestay cable was twisted and wrapped at the top of mast. Untwisting this gave me 4 extra cm of length to my forestay and I was able to connect it within a few minutes.


One day I hope to be more like Erik in the video above, but today it took me 5+ hours to rig our Macgregor.

I’ve documented how to raise the mast here: Raising the mast on a Macgregor 26x