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Boat Reviews By Owners

1977 -- 21' 0" MACGREGOR

Model: Venture 21

Cockpit: The seven foot long cockpit is bisected by a mid-boom traveller track that separates the helmsman from the passengers. The traveller is often inconvenient and makes the cockpit feel a bit crowded with three. The narrow cockpit and longish tiller mean that no passengers can effectively sit aft of the traveller.

Cabin: I have slept three in it for one night with surprisingly little trouble. I slept in it three nights in a row when singlehanding from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. No galley and no head, although I occaisionally take a porta pottie out with me (I would hate to have to use it with others aboard). The cabin is a little low for me when seated (I'm 6'2"). I like that when the cushions are removed it's bare fiberglass and easy to clean. In short, it's OK for "roughing it" but it's small and very simple.

Construction: The boat takes anything I can dish out. On one voyage I spent 4 hours pounding over 5-foot waves tacking into a 25 knot headwind and the only ill effect was the shroud turnbuckles loosened themselves a little. I regularly test the hull strength by bangining it into rocks, docks and other boats and it hasn't sunk yet.

Handling: The boat sails very easily and quickly with it's sleek lines and low wind profile. It works well to windward and digs in well in bigger winds. As I've become a better sailor, the boat has shown me more and more performance. 6 knots in a reach aren't uncommon when the wind is solid and steady. I most often sail it with the keel fully retracted, though I will drop it down when working close hauled. This dramatically reduces leeway and can stabilize the heeling angles in puffy winds. The low freeboard may be a concern to some sailors in ocean conditions, but I usually feel quite safe on the Great Lakes.

Engine Room: I have a 2.5 HP Evinrude that is mostly plastic and has no reverse. I like it's internal tank and light weight, but I don't count on it to help me out in heavy weather or big seas. The little outboard will push the boat at 4 knots in flat water with no wind or current, but is easily overwhelmed by headwinds and waves. I use it almost exclusively for getting in and out of slips, although I once used it to power 32 miles home across the open waters of Lake Erie when the wind was light and behind me. The motor gets about 5 nautical miles or one and a half hours per tankful (about a quart).

General Comments: I love my boat. It's simple systems and light weight make it a great trailerable boat - while its ample cabin makes it easy to carry food, drinks, towels and the like for a whole day on the water. It sails fast and well, and it's low freeboard makes it look quite elegant graceful to my eye. I would only trade this boat in when I was ready to move into a full-sized 30'+ cruiser and give up trailering. It is easy enough to launch and handle to make it a good daysailor, and comfortable enough for one or two people to "camp on the water" (as long as you think of camping space requirements as "tent" and not "cottage").

Email Address: tim_cordes@hotmail.com


Date Submitted: 2001-08-28

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