Maybe old-school derision of the MacGregor, could be abbreviated to a moment's focus on the coachroof guardrails? What are they for? Are they even 18" high? Obviously a family boat - guardrails specially designed for toddlers.
Actually I don't hate the M26; its versatility is appealing, at least initially. Any move to show marina/mooring landlords that boating doesn't necessarily mean money in their pockets, must be good news.
It's hard to believe, in respect of the July 4th 2002 tragedy, that a vessel reliant (for stability) on appropriate quantities of water ballast, could ever have been on sale or acquired for use without the fact being made clear. I reckon the choice to ballast or not ballast (I'm assuming it's a straightforward sail or motor decision?), makes the idea brilliant. I'd never realised the drop-keel isn't itself weighted at all, as the U.S. report suggests.
None of that makes up for the design's aesthetic awfulness - although the 'Edge 27' (is that a Hunter or a Legend, or both?) is sufficiently uglier to make the M26 relatively easy on the eye. But I suppose the same was said of Westerly designs, 40 years ago.
Just a small point...I know the big outboard isn't meant for efficiency, but just how much unleaded will one need, hurrying the Mac26 from Chichester to Cherbourg and back over a bank holiday weekend, if the wind only helps for thirty miles out of 160?