The MC 26C uses the capital letter C in its name as an unequivocal reference to her cruising abilities. Actually she was conceived to be one of the most oceanic cruising boats of her size intended to be built within the most economical budget possible, without jeopardizing structural integrity, comfort and seaworthiness.
This design was the result of an intensive survey with which we have been involved for the last few years.
Our goal was to pinpoint the minimum length over all necessary for a sail boat to have adequate headroom in the saloon, which according to the opinion of most of our clients, is at least 1,85m, and so the whole design was developed to fit this requirement.
Twenty-six feet from stem to rudder stock was the shortest length we could figure to fulfill this requirement without loosing adequate proportionality compared to other successful yachts of about the same capabilities.
Obtaining the right figures to complete the MC26C specifications was made easy when we compared two of our most successful designs for amateur construction; one just below her size, the Multichine 23, the most popular of all our stock plans with hundreds of boats built or under construction; and the slightly larger than the MC26C, Multichine 28, our design that represents an authentic revolution in home building stock plans among potential blue water cruising sailors.
The MC23 is an excellent deep sea sail boat but she lacks the essential headroom for living aboard for prolonged stretches. At the other hand, the MC28, an extremely comfortable boat for her size, still is above the minimum price to be considered as a very low budget sail boat to be built.
For the MC26C we used practically the same lines employed in the MC23, applying the superb MC28 interior layout to its accommodations. The result was surprisingly appealing and now that the plans are available, many potential customers enquire if the MC26C isn’t actually bigger than the MC28. No wonder just a short while after its introduction we had so many builders in various countries starting the construction of this new design.
The MC26C interior layout concept is practically the same adopted for the MC28. The chosen layout is, in our way of thinking, the best arrangement for this size of boat.
We placed a double berth abaft the collision bulkhead that makes the anchor rode well, prolonging the upholstery level of the bunks into the dinette so that there is no discontinuity between the saloon and this double berth. This arrangement gives a favorable impression of spaciousness for the whole interior, besides providing excellent air circulation throughout the whole cabin.
The V-shaped dinette has its table attached to the mast supporting pillar and to complete the arrangement there are a series of lockers behind the seat rests. There are also two large storage compartments, as well as two water tanks, under the dinette seats, so that the space in the whole saloon is fully used.
The galley is as complete as one can find in a boat this size. Placed to portside, it has the gimbaled stove fitted in a recess abaft the galley counter and close to the companionway, the most ventilated area inside the cabin.
The galley counter is provided with a well dimensioned sink and an ice-box or electrical refrigerator is fitted next to the topside.
The navigation table is at the opposite side to the galley counter and is separated by a bulkhead from the boat’s heads, where the headroom is almost the same as that in the saloon.
A spacious after cabin with an entrance hall with a sofa and locker behind the backseat complete the interior layout, the coziest we can imagine for a 26 foot hull.
The deck layout is highlighted by a remarkably spacious cockpit, well protected from breaking seas by a cabin trunk and ergonometric coamings. The trunk side walls are provided with four opening ports for maximum ventilation when in port and water tightness when sailing in bad weather and the ports are shut.
The main sheet traveler is located before the companionway hatch, abaft of which we recommend the installation of a folding dodger that should extend to the front cockpit seat, to provide some shelter to the crew sitting next to the cabin trunk after wall.
We opted for a stern hung rudder with tiller bar for maximum reliability and low cost. This rudder is surrounded by a boarding platform with a triangular aperture for the rudder blade. The mast steps on the coach-roof, so any possibility of leaks is eliminated.
The fore deck is provided with a 500mmx500mm hatch and ahead of it we specified an oversized mooring cleat.
The top-rigged sail plan is the cleanest and strongest we can design. With a pair of lowers and one upper shroud, the mast is very rigid and can stand bad weather in all sorts of sailing conditions. Actually the uppers make a cross-shaped support for the mast top panel, while the four lowers make an X-shaped support at spreaders level.
The sail inventory is simple and efficient. She has an overlapping genoa for light winds condition, a high clew jib and a storm jib. A furling device is a good option but it isn’t indispensable, since the working jib may be employed for most of the time. An asymmetric spinnaker may be hoisted from the pin that holds the two anchor rode roller sheaves.
The main sail has a moderate foot, which makes jibing easier and has two reefing lines in the spacing of three.
This is a practical idea for cruising purposes, since although the boat might eventually be short canvassed, the boat can do without a try-sail, providing the main sail cloth is dimensioned to stand the bad weather condition which would require hoisting a try-sail.
The MC26C has a very efficient hull shape with a really large transom and waterlines with a fine entry. The fact that she has a polygonal cross section is hardly noticed, since the adequate number of chines makes the hull to resemble a round bilge one.
The plans provide two options for the fin-keel. The most practical to build is a steel box with lead poured inside, and the most sophisticated one is a cast iron fin-keel with a flat bottom bulb at its tip. With plenty of ballast for the sail area and a large beam at the water line, the MC26C is very stable.
The transom hung hinged rudder is easy to be built, its integrity is bullet proof and it is handy to be maintained.
Tiller steering is the simplest and most reliable system available and allows for the installation of a cockpit auto-pilot, the cheapest and more convenient way to self-steer.
The secret of the construction of the MC26C resides in its extreme simplicity when building the transverse bulkheads. As they are built at the work bench and their outside contours are given in the full size patterns provided with the plans, there is no difficulty in assembling them.
Standing these bulkhead
s on their positions over the building grid is an easy task and joining them with the chine and sheer clamps is also a straightforward operation, since the notches where they fit are opened when fabricating the bulkheads or semi-bulkheads. The structural keel is laminated directly over these bulkheads and joins to the laminated stem.
After beveling the whole structure, sheathing the structure with marine-ply is ready to be started. This work is facilitated by the employment of thin (6mm) plywood panels, which are glued and screwed over the structural members. When the construction reaches this stage, the builder can already see how the hull looks like, and this is a great incentive for proceeding with the work. Next the hull fibreglass sheathing is applied and this is explained in detail, with a whole chapter of the building manual covering this issue.
After turning the hull upside, the construction of the interior is quite straightforward, since all the transverse walls and furniture partitions were prefabricated at the workbench.
The joiner work specified for the MC26 C is the simplest possible. Butt joints are thoroughly employed and trims are simply bonded to panels at their edges, so even an inexperienced amateur is capable of accomplishing a good quality job.
Deck and cabin trunk follow the same process explained for hull construction and this time the glass encapsulation and fairing are much easier to be accomplished than the equivalent work on the hull outside surface.
Other operations are saturating the interior with epoxy, installing the plumbing, electrical and propulsion systems, painting the whole boat and installing fittings, rudder and keel, all these subjects fully explained in the building manual.
This is the Multichine26C, a boat intended for amateur construction with a standard of quality seldom matched by series production boats.