Most Common Problems With Macgregor 25 Sailboat

The MacGregor 25 is a small pleasure keelboat that is designed by Roger MacGregor. MacGregor Yacht Corporation in the United States initiated building the Macgregor 25 sailboats. The production of this sailboat was a boom in the years from 1973 to 1987. At the early production stage, the Macgregor 25 was sold under the name of Venture 25

During the 14 years of production, more than 7,000 units have been sold. Sadly, the company is out of production now. This is why the tendency to buy the boat has increased among the people as the boat will not only offer extraordinary performance but also act as a symbol of a wonderful historical monument. 

However, there are some problems that are worth noticing before buying this sailboat. These topics will be presented in detail in today’s article.  

7 Most Common Problems with Macgregor 25 Sailboat:

There is no doubt that the Macgregor 25 is a remarkable sailboat. But there is no such thing on earth without problems. That goes the same for the Macgregor 25.

1. Not Good with Any Outboard Engine

Out of curiosity, people end up buying Macgregor 25 sailboats. Until they eventually realize that these boats are not compatible with any type of outboard engines. Even if they work, you may not get the full potential. There will always be issues.

While reading a forum, we have found that a man had bought a 6.6 hp Mercury outboard engine for his Macgregor 25. He had trouble operating it with the boat. First of all, the engine works when we put it in reverse mode, which is pretty awkward. Second, he could actually make it work after several tries. The engine kicked hard and jumped out of the water instead of locking in place. Now, this is also dangerous. 

Now please, don’t be a guy like him as you don’t want to spend tons of money buying a new engine after such occurrences. Also, he had faced irregular throttles. He had little control over speeding up and slowing down the boat. Even if he shifted into neutral, the boat seemed to speed up.     

Reading this post on a forum and after hearing some frustrating stories, we are determined that only limited outboard engines work with the Macgregor 25 sailboat.

2. Issue With Locking The Keel

Yes, locking the keel of the Macgregor 25 can be a challenge sometimes. Reading the same post on a forum we have found out the man had trouble locking the keel. He said he could locate the locking hole when he was at the dock. Other than that, he could only expect to find the locking hole while powering up as the unlocked keel swung backward then. 

The man also mentioned that he had a narrow berth. That increased the chances of hitting the bottom. As a result, this has increased the risk of docking the boat; especially when locking the keel is an issue. 

People say this issue can be solved by purchasing a jam cleat (i.e. Nautos CL257). However, that will cost you extra bucks and many wouldn’t like that. So keep this problem in mind before buying a Macgregor 25, especially when you have a narrow berth.         

3. Dynamic Build Quality

We have already said that the Macgregor 25 is out of production. You may buy one from a third-party source, but you can never be sure of the build quality. Why? Because you are not getting the boat directly from the manufacturer. A few boats were built with a masthead sloop rig back in 1980 and they were named after “Macgregor 25”.So, it’s been a long time. 

When you are not buying a product directly from the manufacturer, it is common to see some differences or changes in the build quality. And it will depend on the previous owner when you are buying a reconditioned Macgregor 25. You may never know if the original part is being replaced or changed with a poor-quality one.  

As a result, people looking to buy a used Macgregor 25 should do some research before buying a Macgregor 25. They should also find a reliable source for buying such a boat. A source on which the buyer can fully entrust. Here is the specification of the Macgregor 25. 

4. These Boats Might be Overpriced

Although the Macgregor 25 aren’t the most expensive boats when you are looking for a boat of the same class, they are certainly not the cheapest either. C’mon, we are not talking about a million-dollar yacht here, right?

Depending on the condition of the boat and retailer, the price of a Macgregor 25 (aka Venture 25) can start from $7,900 and can go up to $169,500 (source – Boat Trader). In comparison with an inshore boat, the minimum price is somewhere around $27,000.

For instance, when you can purchase an inshore boat of moderate size for less than $20,000; the same size Crestliner (an offshore boat) will not cost less than $30,000. The most interesting fact is, both boats have similar layouts and they both feature Mercury engines.

In our opinion, the Macgregor 25 boats can be found at affordable prices despite their reputation and history. We have to admit, these boats can cost less than an aluminum or fiberglass boat. Aluminum and fiberglass boats come with Yamaha motors and they are well furnished. 

5. There Are Reviews of Being Rough

Another problem with the Macgregor 25 boat is being rough. At least, that is not what we say, we have discovered it from people’s reviews. After reading the boat owners’ detailed and informative reviews, we are convinced that the Macgregor 25 can be rough sometimes while going offshore.

Owners stated that the boat is hard to speed up and slow down. They would have experienced a smoother offshore with other boats of similar sizes. But that doesn’t completely indicate the Macgregor 25 is always rough. People have different opinions. While some people say they have rough offshore experience with the Macgregor 25, others say it is quite smooth. We guess, it actually depends on the perspectives of people. 

To get rid of this confusion, it is better to ask or request the dealer or owner of the boat for a test drive before finally making a commitment for buying the boat.        

6. No Longer in Production

Perhaps, this can be a major disadvantage and advantage at the same time. But how is that possible? In case you don’t know, the Macgregor 25 was announced a hall of fame in the early 2000 and the American Sailboat declared – 

“Fostering new enjoyment and growth in the sport of sailing through excellent design”

Well, if you are a collector, looking for adding some great and historical boats to your collection; the Macgregor 25 can be a worthy option. The production of Macgregor 25 has stopped. This means, only a few owners can enjoy riding this boat. So, they are like a hall of fame for the collectors. 

On the contrary, finding original parts or services from the manufacturer is no longer possible due to being out of production. This can be a serious issue when you are a general boat owner. Because you can neither expect servicing directly from the manufacturer nor can you find original parts easily. The only option can be importing parts after hardly getting a source.           

7. Customer Service is Not Available

Like we have discussed earlier, a boat that is out of production means – no support to the customers. You will either have to help yourself or get help from an expert. Therefore, this is a very important issue people should take into account before buying a boat that is no longer made. 

We have come up with a way to get around with this issue. That would be buying a Macgregor 25 from a private dealer. When you buy a boat from an authorized dealer, you are likely to expect personal customer service from them. It’s the same as buying a car from a dealer. On top of that, they offer their own warranty and guarantee policies that should make you relax for a bit. 

But don’t buy a Macgregor 25 boat from a transient company or dealer that may go under after serving for a year or two. Then, you will have to rely on the manufacturer’s support, which is no longer acceptable. So, be very careful of this drawback.   

General Pros and Cons of the Macgregor 25 Sailboat:

Despite the above problems, the Macgregor 25 boats have some general pros and cons. Taking a look at them will help you to decide whether you are really going to buy one or not.


  • The Macgregor 25 has a long and flat underbody to deliver enough sailing speed.
  • The boat was declared a Hall of Fame in 2000 by the American Sailboat. 
  • Even after so many years, they are still competing with modern boats.
  • The Macgregor 25 is also a great looking boat that is worth collecting.
  • You can easily find one at a medium price range.
  • Although these are out of production, support and maintenance can be found from private dealers. Not to mention a large fan community.
  • Even if you can’t get the exact part, there are compatible parts available for this boat. These parts are great to make the boat up and running. 


  • A major problem is limited engine options.
  • Dynamicity in the build quality from time to time.
  • The manufacturer’s customer support is discrete.
  • Hard to find particular parts as the company is no longer in production.
  • Some complained of having rough offshore experiences.
  • Sometimes, the dealer or owner can ask for prices that are illogical.


Don’t underestimate the MacGregor 25 sailboat just because it isn’t in the production line anymore. During its prestigious 14 years of production, only 7,000 units have been made. Therefore, these boats are no joke and can be considered as limited editions. Moreover, the American Sailboat has put this boat under the hall of fame section, suggesting these boats have excellent designs for sport sailing. All these make the MacGregor 25 a jewel to collect.

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