Henry Ford is often credited with bringing
the automobile to the common man. Roger
MacGregor, a one-time Ford employee,
may well be credited with doing the
same thing for the cruising sailboat.
The popular MacGregor 25 was the flagship
of his line for 14 years. With a swinging
keel - a MacGregor invention - that
made transporting and launching the
boat a snap, and a price that hovered
around the cost of a new car, the MacGregor
25 opened up coastal and inland sailing
started the company while earning his
MBA at Stanford Business School. He
and his wife, Mary Lou, later ran the
company out of their garage while Roger
was working for Ford. Soon the business
outgrew the garage and MacGregor quit
his job, bought property in Costa Mesa,
and built the plant. The company now
has over 100 employees, sells in 15
countries and is family run.
25 wasn't the first boat MacGregor
built - that honor belongs to the
Venture 21. But it is the one that
did the best job serving the growing
pocket cruiser market. It had enough
space to house a couple or small family
for the weekend, yet could easily
be towed behind most cars.
the 25 debuted, many boat designers
didnít think it was feasible
to squeeze a serviceable cruising
interior into a boat of that size.
While its functional lines, light
weight design and minimal use of wood
may not have won the approval of some
sailing purists, the flexible, go-anywhere
boat proved to be extremely successful.
It was easy to rig (one person could
step the mast), sail, and especially
popular with first-time sailboat owners.
the Macgregor 25's production ended
in 1987 - 7,000 had been sold.
Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Magazine.